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Television horse trainers capture attention

Monty Hopkins
Harrisburg, Neb.

Seems the older I get, all those things my dad used to do that I didn’t understand, I find myself doing. Like going to bed early, and getting up early for really no reason.

I go to bed the same time about every night and wake up early about every morning, including Sunday. Early Sunday morning is a real drag.

I watch the CNN news until 6:30, then switch to Channel 4 in Denver for news and weather from at least the region. Heaven help us if one of the local TV stations even thought of weather on Saturday or Sunday morning. Then at 7:00, I turn on the radio, get the local weather and all of last week’s news.

It is at this time, while listening to the radio, with the TV sound muted, I channel surf the TV. I’ve found RFD channel often has a horse trainer on at this time. Good program to watch with no sound.

But I think until my economic stimulus check arrives, I might get into TV horse training as a means to subsidize my Social Security check.

From watching it isn’t all that involved. It appears about all that’s needed is a good halter with about 25 feet of lead rope and one old horse that is broke to death. You know bomb proof, or idiot proof. That kind of horse.

Then you drive this horse around in a circle one way, and then the other. You use the long lead rope so the horse can be about 10 or 15 feet from you, and the rest of the lead rope to whirl around so the horse will keep moving.

Oh yes, you need a good pair of goose neck spurs to wear. Just why I’m not certain but good TV horse trainers always seem to wear spurs.

Some of the trainers even wear chaps with their spurs. Here again, not certain why. I’ve never seen one of these TV trainers ride a horse. Not even certain they own a saddle. You never see a saddle around. Just a halter and long lead rope.

So, taking inventory. I have several pretty good rope halters, and here a few years ago, I bought about 100 feet of good cotton rope when we were cutting down some trees. That much rope might look real impressive. With a little practice I might get ol’ Bill to trot in a bigger circle. I don’t have silver mounted spurs, but I do have a pair with my initials on them and if I wore my chaps you really couldn’t tell if they were silver mounted or not. I think my chaps would clean up fairly well, especially if we didn’t get the camera too close.

So folks, stay tuned. Could be a new program coming on. In addition to an old horse I do have a couple of foundered jenny burros, but they aren’t even halter broke, so they might not add much to the program. They just ran with the cows and about all they were good for was coyote carcasses. They did provide us with quite a few over the years.

Just as soon as I can get a film crew rounded up, I’m putting on my spurs, my old chaps, and my old gelding. He’s about 25 but with his Go Man Go breeding, still looks pretty good. An old halter out of the barn, and the tree cutting rope we’ll be in business. We’ll pile some bales on the outside of the corral, and I can park the pickup and trailer on the other side of the bales. That way it won’t show that this horse trainer doesn’t have a crew cab dually.

Just my spurs, my chaps, the old gelding and around and around we’ll go.


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