Down The Line

with Stran Smith

Do you surround yourself with cheerleaders or challengers? Its good to have both, but you have to be careful if you have too many of one type and not enough of the other. It’s important to have somebody around that can trump you. You gotta be careful if you’re the smartest one in the room. Let me put it this way, you may not be the smartest or know best, but if you’re surrounded by people who are scared to talk then you will think it. You need people around who will call you out when you need it. 

I’ve always believed it’s not how you start, but how you finish. This is true in everything in my life, and it isn’t any different with my horses. I watch people send so many mixed signals to their horses they don’t know whether to jump or lay down. Mostly because the rider really doesn’t know what he wants them to do. My granddad used to have a saying “job him and jerk him.” I didn’t really understand the depth of this statement until I was older. So for those of you who don’t get it, I will take the liberty to try and explain what I think my granddad was trying to say. “Hey fruit loop, you’re sending mixed signals to your horse!”

I never claim to be the greatest cowboy that ever lived, but I dang sure have been in the same pasture as a few of ‘em. My granddad, my dad, and my brother are three of the greatest cowboys I know.

When I was a little boy my most favorite thing to do was sit and listen to my granddad tell stories about doctoring screw worms, or catching maverick bulls, or hunting coyotes with a pack of greyhounds horseback. The best thing about those stories is my granddad did not exaggerate. He told it like it was and how it happened.

Veteran’s Day was just here and if you stop and think about what this really means, you will probably gain perspective.

The nature of competing for a living can be all consuming. Besides the rodeo lifestyle is not what I’d call normal. You often find yourself in a very small circle of people, most of whom you are trying to beat on a daily basis.