Knowing When to Quit
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!”
Some of you may or may not know but there is a young man from Brazil who has been living with me for about a year. His name is Marcos Costa. If you are a fan of rodeo and you don’t know about him, you will very soon! He will definitely be making a name for himself in calf roping this season. What sets him apart from other ropers out there is he is one of the best horseman I have ever been around. He has the ability to do things with horses that I have never seen before. What impresses me most about his horsemanship is his ability to know when to quit. Here’s a quick story to show you what I’m talking about. Marcos was riding a young horse warming him up getting ready to rope. He asked the horse to stop about half speed and the horse stopped half-heartedly on his front end and popped up. Marcos brought him around and asked him to stop again, this time with a little more seriousness. The horse dropped in it like a reiner. At this point Marcos got off, loosened the cinch, and took the skid boots off. He looked at me and said “That’s good for today.” Now there were about 12 people at the house that day wanting to see him rope on this horse. He didn’t run one calf.
I’ve watched so many people not only not know when to stop, but they don’t know when they need to keep on practicing. I believe this is an art in itself. When I am ON that day, that is when I keep going. When I am hitting on all cylinders and I’m in the groove, this is when I do the majority of my practicing. Most people think when they are having a bad day in the arena they need to keep on until they get it right. I call those days Mondays. You need to be smart enough to realize that this may be the day that you are not really in the zone. This is when you need to find a way to quit on a good note. The very last thing I want to have happen is for me to start questioning my ability because of a bad practice day. That’s the whole deal. KNOW WHEN TO QUIT! Like mentioned before, I truly believe the knowing when to quit is an art. Whether it be for you, or your horse, or both.
God Bless. Until next time, see you down the line.