Go Ahead, Make my Day (Down the Line, Stran Smith)

Thankfully, this month I get to tell you how good things have been going. Having been on a roll for the past two months has moved me from fiftieth to tenth in the world standings. This is especially sweet since it’s happened while I’ve been coming back from an injury, trying to get with a new horse and rebuild my confidence all at the same time. In the last few weeks I’ve won over $25,000. When you’re on a roll like this things look different. Everything slows down taking the pressure off. You don’t try as hard because you don’t really have to. We all go through these rolls and everyone wants to know what causes them. I would have to say to stay and rope within your limits and be prepared and ready for when you draw well. Know your limitations and capitalize on your strengths.

The other day I was riding out of the arena at Abilene, Kansas and a guy about my age flagged me down. This man has nothing to do with rodeo, in fact he’s a doctor, and had his five-year-old son with him. This man tells me that his son absolutely loves rodeo, because he’s crazy about me. This little boy is so excited to meet me and have our picture taken. When I got off my horse and knelt down beside him, I noticed his little hands didn’t work right; perhaps he has cerebral palsy or some other disability.

There I am, with my two healthy sons, winning the rodeo and the highlight for me was to make this kid’s day and get to enjoy his excitement. I had on sunglasses so they couldn’t see how choked up I was. This is humbling and puts everything in perspective. It hurts in a good way and makes me see the responsibility of what I do. This experience confirms what I stand for and that the message I share really matters.

I feel the reason I’m out here rodeoing, and doing this article, is to impact people. That’s why Allen and I are so excited about the Mentorship Roping Camp.

Normally when people attend a three-day roping school, they absorb as much as they can and then take this knowledge home and put it in practice. At this thirty-day camp I will be there day in and day out – while this knowledge becomes part of their roping. It’s like the difference between simply viewing a snapshot versus being an active participant when the shot was taken. This will be head and shoulders above any clinic I’ve ever seen or been a part of.

Allen and I both feel that with this format we can have a powerful influence on these young ropers – both in and out of the arena. The camp is scheduled for October 1-26, 2007 and will take place at Allen Bach’s in Millsap, Texas. Students will stay on the grounds and receive daily roping instruction Monday through Friday, as well as daily Bible study. There will also be plenty of fun (such as basketball and volleyball) and time to establish relationships that last a lifetime.

Prospective students must fill out a questionnaire detailing their goals and other information. Applications will be reviewed and we will select a limited number of participants.

For more information on rates and itinerary, please call 940-577-0961 or visit proroping.com or forevercowboys.com.

If you have any questions, or subjects you would like me to address in this article, send me an email at strant@aol.com.