October 17, 2018



They had a bucking horse contest in Watford a couple of days ago. I wasn’t there. I wish I had been. They bucked nearly a hundred young horses out. Putting a dummy on them. No, a real dummy. It’s a deal rigged up to come off a young horse after a few seconds. Gives you a chance to see how these colts are going to perform as they get older. It’s a contest between stock contractors and bucking horse breeders.
I’ve always had a soft spot for bucking horses. Unless they are saddle horses that buck. Over the years I’ve gotten so I don’t really care for that kind. But we raised bucking horses and produced rodeos for a lot of years. Our kids grew up going to rodeos on weekends instead of the lake. The whole family was involved. Mom would secretary, Shirley and Gayle would time, Lynn and Dennis would pick up, Dad would flank, Gary would load chutes or pick up, our kids carried flags and ran flanks…I, heck, I don’t remember what I did.  Must have been important though.
People always wonder where horses get their names. Some of them come naturally. Bobby Sox had white stocking legs. Anchors Aweigh came from a family whose son had just gone in the Navy. Crazy Man was a chute fighter. Maneater would try to bite you as you got off, and would snap at the pickup man’s horses. Pow Wow was sold to us by an Indian friend raising money for the annual Little Shell Pow Wow. High Dollar was the high selling horse at the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.
Those were all horses of ours. They were horses that were bucking horse of the year, or at least made it to the Finals in the state.
Oh, there were others, maybe not as great, but they had a soft spot in my heart. Idle Hour was named after a small town bar. He was never great, but he would buck indoors, outdoors, rain or shine. You could count on him if nothing else was going good. Margie was a wonderful little bareback horse named after our wonderful neighbor. I hope you are reading this Margie!
Tom Collins had her name when we acquired her. A great, great horse that was killed in an arena accident and was buried on the ranch. “Born to Buck and died that way.” The inscription on her marker.
One of my favorite stories took place the first rodeo we put on. A high school rodeo in Watford City. We had made a big circle, gathering enough horses to put on the rodeo. A young bareback rider was getting down on his horse, and he suddenly exclaimed, “Hey, this is my saddle horse!” I guess we made too big a circle.  
It was lucky Ace of Spades was in the reride pen. I won him in a game of High Chicago.