Hitting It Hard
You get sore for the first week or so, and then you work it out. Sometimes you get beat-up, but beat-up ain’t nothing.
This will be my nineteenth Cowboy Christmas as a saddle-bronc rider. You can win $15,000 and think you didn’t have a very good Fourth. The next year you’ll only win $1,000 and think, Holy crap, this is bad, because you’ve got two thousand in fees and that ain’t even counting what it costs to get to ’em.
One year I think I won more than anybody out of the Fourth of July deal. I can’t remember when it was. I just remember seeing my name in the ProRodeo Sports News.
You get sore for the first week or so, and then you work it out. Sometimes you get beat-up, but beat-up ain’t nothing. I broke some ribs at Red Lodge once and had to go home. That was bad.
During the Fourth, there ain’t no guarantees. I just throw my name in the hat for a bunch of big ones and hope I draw a few good horses. The big ’uns are the ones you want to win. That’s where you make the biggest jumps. You just never know. Most of us roughstock riders are gambling on entries. You wait until after you get the stock to figure out which ones you’re gonna go to. Then you aren’t but maybe four days in front of it, so you find a ride or pay a pretty good price for a plane ticket. If you’re worried about the lack of certainty, you’ll never make it as a rodeo cowboy.
I have a guy who travels with me, Glen Gremillion, a former game warden from Sulphur, Louisiana. He’s been going with me now for about five years. He’ll probably drive my truck up to Denver, and then I’ll probably meet him when I’m up at Greeley on June 30th.
I’ve done some crazy things in my time. A few years ago, me and Glen left Louisiana on June 19 and went to fifty-three rodeos in sixty-five days and put 47,000 miles on my truck. It was pretty ridiculous, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Rodeoing is the funnest job there is.