Monday, October 31, 2011

Behind the scenes at RTTH

Road to the Horse has grown from an unlikely idea – a colt-starting contest built on natural horsemanship principles – to the must-see event of the year for students of horsemanship. For Diana and me, it’s something more. It’s a chance to be at the top of our game before a huge live audience (she announces and I host), a chance to party with friends, fans, and sponsors, and, of course, a chance to learn from the finest horsemen and horsewomen around. Now, being part of this phenomenon since day one, you’d think I would be privy to most that’s gone on. And you’d be wrong. After a recent spa day at the Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona, RTTH creator Tootie Bland shared a few behind-the-scenes stories that surprised even me. I’ve included some of the G-rated ones in this week’s radio show.
Listen.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Riding, roping, and remembering Monte

Just when I despair that the late great Monte Foreman is being forgotten I run into someone else who knew him, studied with him, and is committed to keeping his methods alive. This week on radio I talk to my newest acquaintance from the land of the Basic Handle and Balanced Ride saddle, Becky Mahoney, who took her first lesson from Monte in 1963. She went on to win just about every riding and roping prize you can win and today she brings the same commitment to teaching. You’ll like her.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Honoring WWII Vets

More than 1,000 American World War II veterans die each day. One group committed to thanking those still living is Honor Flights, which brings them free of charge to Washington, D.C. to see the memorial built in their honor. Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole greeted my dad, brother, and me, along with hundreds of other vets and family from Kansas and Kentucky, on a recent fall day. (Click for details and a message from Senator Dole.)
What struck me about these veterans, all in their 80s and 90s now, is how ordinary they are; ordinary men called upon to do extraordinary things to protect our country and way of life in the 40s. They were young farmers, factory workers, and fresh-out-of-high-school mechanics like Dick Lamb. Six decades of movies have defined for most of us what that war was like, but I suspect the day-to-day reality was a bit different. Homesickness, boredom, fatigue, uncertainty, discomfort, fear, horror … it’s a wonder those who came home found their way back to any kind of normalcy. But like Dick Lamb, most did. They had jobs to do at home, too. Calling theirs “the greatest generation” is fitting tribute, but I think of them as the model for every generation.

To learn more about the Honor Flights program, visit http://www.honorflight.org/