Are you Recharging? (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

You can only squeeze so much water out of a sponge before you have to soak it again. In this day and time most of us are busy and have ourselves overbooked. It’s important to stop and recharge from time to time. This became evident to me when I started speaking a lot. Now and then, rather than speak, I need to stop, listen, and recharge.

It’s very important when in a rodeo lifestyle. Back when I was going hard, I always looked forward to coming home to sleep in my own bed and spend time on the ranch. I called it relaxing, but I was actually “soaking up more water” and recharging. Afterwards, I could go back out on the road. Rodeo traveling is busy and stressful, not to mention the pressure and stress of competition. Some guys take vacations. Some would fly their families out and take a family vacation. Young single guys might go to a ball game or play golf. All of these activities offer a chance to recharge.

This is as important, if not more so, for your horse. I always give my horses a chance to recharge. I might ride them in the pasture or punch cows on them. I like to take the tie-down off, put a grazing bit on them and do something different. I feel it’s important to spend time riding your horse out of the stressful situation of competition.

This year I went to fifteen rodeos over six weeks versus trying to make fifty or sixty rodeos a year. It’s been very enjoyable to have my family with me and be able to take the time to stop and see things while we’ve been traveling. It’s fun to sightsee with my kids rather than race down the highway to the next rodeo and pass those things by.

Everyone needs a “recharge plan” to keep themselves, their family, and their horses from burning out. Take break, stop and smell the roses. Competition is fun, exciting and hopefully profitable. But it will never replace a relationship with your loved ones. You might be surprised what a little trail riding will do for your horse’s attitude.

Regardless of your occupation, everyone needs to recharge regularly. People are trying to get too much done in too little time. Recharging for you may mean taking a vacation. For me, it means going home, shutting the front gate and turning off my cell phone.

Till next time, God Bless, and I’ll see you down the line.