If you live in the North and are anything like me, you’re fighting it right now. The cold weather, paired with the nasty flu going around, might just have you holed up in your house by the fire, while your horses, haired-up and hog-fat, are burning through hay in the barn and pastures.
But the die-hards are still heading to the jackpots every chance they get. I hear it was a balmy 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the barn in Torrington, Wyoming, over New Years for the World Series of Team Roping qualifier there, despite the biting winds and negative wind chills outside. And every Tuesday leaving the office at night, I pass a load of steers heading to the practice barn in Longmont, Colorado, for the weekly roping club. I even watched (from the kitchen window) as my husband gathered our steers last week just to get a day of practice in before the first round of the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo. You’ve all got some try.
Of course, those of you in Arizona and Florida are having a good laugh at our expense. You’re getting to enjoy the daily jackpots (or two or three) and the margaritas in the sunshine, and your horses are snappy, sometimes body-clipped, and sure-enough fit.
We know how dedicated you are to this sport we all love, and so we put together an issue that hopefully will help get your blood pumping as you untwist the ties on a new box of ropes (that you kept at room temperature, in your basement or mudroom, hopefully). This time of year, some of you might be gearing up to make changes in 2018 with a new horse or two, so Jake Barnes (pg. 36), Bubba Buckaloo (pg. 42), and Aaron Tsinigine (pg. 52) all have tips to help you with that. If your horsemanship is something you’ve resolved to improve in 2018, new world champ Cory Petska (pg. 50) has some critical insights on what ‘in the bridle’ really means.
And as always, if you love or hate something, let me know: [email protected]