A Pinch of Rodeo
By Joe R. Nichols
In my days of amateur rodeo, I traveled with cowboys that competed in other events besides Saddle Bronc Riding. I went a lot of miles with my best friend from home that roped calves. Doug and I often found ourselves in trouble, but we got ourselves out of most of it.
We pulled for each other, and believed in each other.
Doug and I, and a bull rider, made a run of three rodeos in Nebraska. After one of my rides, Doug told me about something that caught his attention. “It looks to me like you’re leaning forward too much. Just seems like you’d get along better if you leaned back a little.”
Now, I was by no means offended, but my internal thought was, how could a calf roper know anything about riding broncs? I discounted his information, and never really considered it to be valid.
A month or so later, a top bronc rider that I respected, gave me some helpful advice. He said, “You need to try and get your shoulders behind your hips. That will help you get under your rein and make it easier to reach up and set your feet.”
It made perfect sense to me, and I planned to implement this technique right away. Then it came over me, that’s the exact thing that Doug told me a month ago. I was humbled. Doug didn’t know the whys and fors, and he didn’t say it in bronc rider lingo, but he saw it. And he was right.
The lesson? You can get all kinds of bad advice, but sometimes people on the outside looking in, can see more than we want to admit. From then on, I have always carefully considered all criticism, no matter who it came from.