A Cowboy’s Faith: More training than miracles – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: More training than miracles

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Surely all of the highly trained horses used in Western movies aren’t fed those very expensive drugs and supplements.”

No offense to the owners-management of large veterinary suppliers from which major ranch purchases are made. They are very professional, congenial, helpful, and cooperative in every regard.

However, it is interesting that their fancy four-color slick equine supplies catalogs have so many pages of horse “drugs.” The word “drug” is used loosely because the pages are all dedicated to supposedly health-improving equine medications of sort.

Remainder of the catalog offers every kind imaginable of additives, enrichments, just name it, products “to make horses better.”

Again, “better” is said cautiously, because the “costly stuff” causes customers to generalize healthier, fitter horses with these “miracle products.”

The catalogs also feature extensive equipment indicating to prospective buyers that it’ll readily enhance their horse performance, whoever the handler.

Seemingly many viewers take for granted the high caliber of acting ability that horses used in many movies must have.

The horses are trained to fall, lay down, act lame, play dead, buck, rear, and much more, all on command. Their trainers are very knowledgeable with an extreme horse sense.

Admittedly, movie stars riding the horses in general are poor horsemen. Yet, not many fell off, and that must often be credited to the horses taking care of their riders.

Today’s most elite “horse whisperers” and bigtime showring champion trainers are excellent. But what rope horses, cutting horses, reining horses, jumping horses do is incomparable to that of movie stunt horses.

High school trained trick horses like Trigger, Champ, and Koko were elite with quite diverse acts through most knowledgeable training.

However, movie stunt horses often ridden by generally low paid unknowledgeable contract actors are the ones deserving greatest applause. Certain horses have a more natural ability to do such stunts, but the training is what is utmost.

Every horse looks nice, but it is a guaranteed bet they don’t get all those fancy miracle drugs and conditioners. Most likely they live on pasture or have a daily ration of prairie hay and water.

Reminded of First Corinthians 9:25: “Now every athlete who goes into training and participates in the acts is disciplined and exercises self-control. They do it intending to please their beloved best friend handler and their own personal satisfaction.”

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




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