“RACE BRED”


“RACE BRED”

Rare But Special is a horse you would call, “Race bred.” His sire comes from linage of the great Easy Jet, owned and raised by Oklahoma breeder Walter Merrick. The dam (mother) goes back to another super horse named Dash For Cash. The point being, these are winning racehorses, not only successful on the track themselves, but also at producing winners in their offspring. The same selection process to breed cutting horses, reining, jumping, endurance, whatever equine discipline there is, these horse are specifically bred to be the best at what they do.

In Chapter two of my novel TRAILS END, Donnie Williams learns of his new boss’s attempt to breed the perfect cow horse. Robert Jarrett uses a method that involves mating animals that are already related to each other. If it works, it’s referred to as line breeding. If it fails, people call it inbreeding. The result of this project is the ranch horse named Trails End.

Rare But Special came in fourth in his last race. Not too bad, but he has to win first to continue his race career. He has one more chance on August 28. I hope you’ll be rooting for him, he’s a kind sweet horse that didn’t have much of a chance early in life. A lot like my character Donnie Williams.

Joe Nichols

Advertisements

Getting Acquainted


TRAILS END – The Novel

   Getting Acquainted

Is your first impression of someone always correct? I generally except people as being good, but I’m slow to get to know someone well. I’d like to think I’m a good judge of character, and most of the time if I have a negative or cautious attitude towards someone I meet, I keep it until proven wrong.

I guarantee I’ve been wrong several times.

When I was competing at high school rodeos, there was a kid my age that I thought was a complete idiot. I had never met or spoke to him, but I was convinced he was a goof that I would never want to be around. We showed up at the same college, and with in two weeks, we became friends. To this day, he is one of my closest best friends. I confessed to him at some point what I thought about him before our friendship, and he told me he couldn’t stand me because he thought I was a cocky and  arrogant. Me? Cocky? I was so insecure, I couldn’t believe he thought that of me.

Then there has been the person I considered to be the coolest most upstanding person, and eventually figured out they were a total phony. I guess all we can do is give the benefit of the doubt to the person we don’t know, and proceed with caution.

In TRAILS END, Donnie Williams is faced with evaluating character when he meets Jim Barnes’ Wife, Barbara. Let me assure you she is a character, and she scares Donnie to death. See what your first impression of her is, and if you end up hating or loving her.

Thanks for reading,

Joe

Getting the Facts


TRAILS END – The Novel

Getting the Facts

Last week I wrote about continuing to improve our abilities, and to learn new skills, even as we age. I attended the Team Roping school taught by Rickey Green, and would like to share a little about that experience.

In sports or any profession, there are individuals who completely change the standard methods in use. In his era, Ricky revolutionized the excepted way of roping the back feet of a steer, and left his competition behind. Everybody had to change what they were doing to catch up, because his ideas worked better and faster. After slowing down from full time competition, he then devoted himself to teaching others to rope. In the same way he competed, he so improved the process of instruction that he is today considered one of the best clinicians in the business.

If you want to improve your skills, in whatever field, you need to learn from the people who have made a living at doing it. Not someone who has made a living at teaching it, but someone who was successful producing income from it. Then you have to be sure that person is capable of instruction. This takes a lot of effort to develop. I’ve known World Champions who couldn’t teach you how to tie your shoe.

In the story of TRAILS END, Jim Barnes is that very type of person to teach Donnie Williams how to ride broncs, and how to win. But is the veteran bronc rider a good influence for the young and impressionable kid that worships him? I hope you will be interested to find out.

I would like to thank Rickey Green for a great positive experience. I wasn’t able to put the information to use during the school, but I’m confident I now have the tools for success. Thanks also Rickey, for making the learning fun.

Thank-you all for reading,

Joe

The Long Hard Road


         TRAILS END – The Novel

              The Long Hard Road

My wife and I went out to supper tonight with our friends who are in the race horse business. They are the trainers for our horse, Rare But Special.

Hauling horses every mile, they had made two trips to El Paso, yesterday and today, getting back to Canyon at 5:00 this evening. They are leaving at 2:00A.M. this morning to go to OKC. They’re a bit younger than us, but I can’t imagine having that much energy and stamina anymore.

Rodeo requires this kind of travel, and in my day, I thought nothing of all night drives with too many miles and not enough time. One time, my traveling partners were both injured over the July 4th run. They turned out at all the next weeks rodeos, and I went by myself.

I drove from Kansas City, MO to Roswell, NM to Tucumcari, NM to O’Donnell,TX.

From a night performance at O’Donnell, which is 60 miles south of Lubbock, I had to make it to Buena Vista, CO for an afternoon performance. I could write a short book on just that one trip.

Jim Barnes, in the story of TRAILS END, has the same challenges. He makes it from a night performance at Coleman, TX, to an afternoon show in North Platte NE. Then two other cowboys get in with him and they drive to Reno, NV, for the performance the next night.

If you want a taste of what it’s like on the rodeo trail, I hope my novel will serve that purpose. Keep in mind though, there’s much more to the story.

Thanks for reading,

Joe

The Long Hard Road


         TRAILS END – The Novel

              The Long Hard Road

My wife and I went out to supper tonight with our friends who are in the race horse business. They are the trainers for our horse, Rare But Special.

Hauling horses every mile, they had made two trips to El Paso, yesterday and today, getting back to Canyon at 5:00 this evening. They are leaving at 2:00A.M. this morning to go to OKC. They’re a bit younger than us, but I can’t imagine having that much energy and stamina anymore.

Rodeo requires this kind of travel, and in my day, I thought nothing of all night drives with too many miles and not enough time. One time, my traveling partners were both injured over the July 4th run. They turned out at all the next weeks rodeos, and I went by myself.

I drove from Kansas City, MO to Roswell, NM to Tucumcari, NM to O’Donnell,TX.

From a night performance at O’Donnell, which is 60 miles south of Lubbock, I had to make it to Buena Vista, CO for an afternoon performance. I could write a short book on just that one trip.

Jim Barnes, in the story of TRAILS END, has the same challenges. He makes it from a night performance at Coleman, TX, to an afternoon show in North Platte NE. Then two other cowboys get in with him and they drive to Reno, NV, for the performance the next night.

If you want a taste of what it’s like on the rodeo trail, I hope my novel will serve that purpose. Keep in mind though, there’s much more to the story.

Thanks for reading,

Joe

Getting the Facts


TRAILS END – The Novel

Getting the Facts

Last week I wrote about continuing to improve our abilities, and to learn new skills, even as we age. I attended the Team Roping school taught by Rickey Green, and would like to share a little about that experience.

In sports or any profession, there are individuals who completely change the standard methods in use. In his era, Ricky revolutionized the excepted way of roping the back feet of a steer, and left his competition behind. Everybody had to change what they were doing to catch up, because his ideas worked better and faster. After slowing down from full time competition, he then devoted himself to teaching others to rope. In the same way he competed, he so improved the process of instruction that he is today considered one of the best clinicians in the business.

If you want to improve your skills, in whatever field, you need to learn from the people who have made a living at doing it. Not someone who has made a living at teaching it, but someone who was successful producing income from it. Then you have to be sure that person is capable of instruction. This takes a lot of effort to develop. I’ve known World Champions who couldn’t teach you how to tie your shoe.

In the story of TRAILS END, Jim Barnes is that very type of person to teach Donnie Williams how to ride broncs, and how to win. But is the veteran bronc rider a good influence for the young and impressionable kid that worships him? I hope you will be interested to find out.

I would like to thank Rickey Green for a great positive experience. I wasn’t able to put the information to use during the school, but I’m confident I now have the tools for success. Thanks also Rickey, for making the learning fun.

Thank-you all for reading,

Joe

Family Matters


TRAILS END – The Novel

     Family Matters

I hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas season. Dianne and I made the long trip to central Kansas to be with my side of the family.

It’s so nice to spend such a meaningful holiday with close relatives. I believe this time of year must be especially hard for those without family, or those who are away from their loved ones. We should all try to be aware of those people who don’t have anyone to share this special day with, and include them in our plans if we can.

Donnie Williams has no family, and sometimes as I write the story, I forget what that might be like for him.

I’m going to try to keep the lonesome part of Donnie prevalent in my mind, and also do the same for the real people in the same situation.

Thanks for reading,

Joe Nichols

Fighting Human Nature


            TRAILS END- The Novel

                                                           Fighting Human Nature

Taking responsibility for the path of your life is hard work. It’s more convenient to make excuses, blame circumstances and other people, or concede to “It’s just my bad luck.” Seeing only the negative side comes easy. It takes real effort to guide yourself in a positive manner, accepting what comes your way, and dealing with it.

In chapter nine of TRAILS END, Donnie finds proof that he is a failure because of the Palomino horse bucking him off. Robert Jarrett’s wife, Allie, delays the home school lesson to present a different point of view to the young cowboy. It’s a turning point in his life and a foundation he turns to forever.

Have you ever had to face the truth to yourself? I think realizing there is always someone worse off than we are, goes along way in accepting our bad situations and motivating ourselves to dig our own way out. I hope that you, like Donnie, can find solutions to your problems, and be happy everyday.

Check in next Wednesday,

Joe

The Value of Monetary Objects


TRAILS END – The Novel

The Value of Monetary Objects

Our society puts a lot of emphasis on status demonstrated by our possessions. Although our priorities in life should really focus elsewhere, some items can have a profound meaning and importance to us. Having family heirlooms being one example.

I believe the most significant gift a person can give you, is something that means a lot to them. An item that you know how important it is to that individual, yet they want you to have it. This shows to me their true feelings about you.

In chapter ten, Robert Jarrett gives Donnie his old bronc saddle. A Gold Seal Hamley saddle that is rare and valuable, and also the only saddle Robert rode in his rodeo career. Although he doesn’t allow it to be seen, Robert takes great satisfaction in passing down this possession to the eager young boy.

What do you have ownership of that means the world to you because of who gave it to you?

I have my grandpa’s hammer. He was a carpenter and I think of him every time I pick it up.

I have quilts from both my grandmothers. I see them working on them when I look at their detail and beauty.

My Dad carved a bull’s head out of a block of wood when he was twelve years old. The spurs provided by an old rooster makes the horns. No amount of money could make me part with it.

A man that I looked up to as a kid and still do to this day, has the most fascinating collection of rodeo pictures of him competing in the 1950’s. When I asked to make copies of a couple of them, he gave me the originals.

Can you imagine the emotion Donnie Williams experienced when given that saddle? It’s just part of the story of a lost boy’s journey.

 

Joe Nichols

Dealing with Pressure


Dealing with Pressure

Do you get things done better under pressure, or fall apart when you’re not prepared ahead of time? When we put obligations off to the last minute, we create the pressure ourselves, and I know people that intentionally function this way. Others have everything organized in advance and avoid all tense situations they can. But what about the circumstances that come to you unexpected and out of your control?

Donnie Williams has a huge responsibility to train Trails End to be a gentle horse for his boss. After the colt starts bucking him off, the fear of failing puts the pressure on Donnie for over a year, and it overwhelms him. How he deals with it, is an important part of the story that reveals his past struggles, and effects his future.

How would you handle it?

Until next Wednesday,

Joe Nichols