Little Things Make a Big Difference on #RoadtoNFR14 with Jake Barnes
It’s so hectic when you’re rodeoing for a living, and so many things can go wrong. We go non-stop at times in the summer, and so much can happen out here. You need a driver, and people to help you. It’s just a must. I’m always amazed at what a rodeo family we have, and how many people will let you borrow a truck if you’re broke down, borrow a horse if you’re in a jam, let you borrow a shower or invite you in for a home-cooked meal along the way. As hectic as this lifestyle is, one small favor can mean so much.
I can’t tell the people who do lend a helping hand how much it’s really appreciated. We’re in and out of towns all the time. But the nice things people do for us, like letting us keep horses at their place or letting us rope at their house to tune up our horses, is major. Sometimes letting a horse rest or scoring a few makes all the difference in the world.
It’s inevitable that something’s going to go wrong when you’re traveling non-stop. Your lights are going to quit working or you might run a hub off of your trailer, where the bearings go out and a tire comes off, and you need a horse hauled to the next one. There isn’t much time in the rodeo schedule to take the day off and get something repaired, so good people saving the day is a big deal.
We eat on the run all the time. A lot of rodeo committees have cowboy hospitality now, which is really nice of them. There are times when someone invites you to their house for a steak dinner. It’s so great to get away from the grind, and eating out every meal gets so old. Very seldom is there time to take people up on that home-cooked meal, but when it happens it’s so nice.
Cowboys have a lot of dirty laundry. To go into someone’s home and do a couple loads of laundry is really helpful, too. This is a fast-paced life, and there are so many of those little things that need to be taken care of along the way.
The chance to kick your horses out on a green pasture for a day or two is refreshing for them. When you think about their job, how much time they spend in that trailer or tied to the fence, giving them time to relax can go such a long way in freshening them up. Your horse is your greatest tool. If he doesn’t feel good, it’s going to be hard on you.
Hitching a ride for ourselves or our horses can be a big deal. In the rodeo industry you’re always needing some little favor here or there. It seems like I always need something. There are just so many little things people do for us. A huge thanks to all the nice people across the country who help cowboys. It’s almost impossible to say how much we appreciate it. Without you people, us cowboys would be up a creek.