A Cowboy’s Faith: Luxury horse rigs unimportant

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Who can spend the most money to have the biggest and fanciest horse trailer with living quarters?”

Questions similar to that are heard frequently from those driving by rodeo arenas.

It is legitimate observation considering how many big, shiny, obviously very expensive rigs are at most shows nowadays.

The family horse trailer investment is multiplied considerably when cost of the vehicle pulling it is added on.

“There must be more than $4-million worth of trailers at this junior rodeo,” one old school cowboy tallied. Not up on ritzy things, that calculation was likely quite close having seen horse trailer advertisements in freebie magazines.

In reality the trailer in which the horse and rider arrive and living luxuries of the family are of little importance. What counts is how well the horse and the rider can perform together at the optimum level.

Cost of the horse or its proven ability don’t matter either if the horse and rider aren’t working together. Champion horses often are not champions when the rider and horse are unable to understand each other’s expectations.

However, horses many times take care of their riders, especially notable with children on well trained old horses. Not all good horses are high priced. Many well broke horses can be purchased for little investment compared to their ability.

Even today horses coming in expensive rigs often get beat by the local cowboys hauling their horses in stock trailers.

In earlier decades, horses generally arrived in pickups or farm trucks with stock racks, maybe no sides at all. Occasionally makeshift panels were tacked on flatbed trailers to haul horses. When trailers became more common method of horse transportation they were often homemade or one used for hauling other livestock.

The family generally slept on the ground with a blanket under their trucks. When name was called, those cowboys and cowgirls on country horses still took home the top prizes.

Likewise in earlier days contestants frequently had to ride their horses to the arena. That might be a mile or two, maybe 15 or 20 miles, attracting snide looks upon arrival.

The riders had their horses broke when they got there, collected the awards and had their own smiles heading back home at dusk.

Reminded of Revelation 18:16: “All the fancy luxuries don’t mean much in the end.” 


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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