Support  ~Steve McClure (Reno)

This was a blog I wrote in 2014 and it is true now as it was then. Sun Fire Stables is a special place.  ~ Reno

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 We recently completed a Beginners Ranch Roping clinic this past Sunday at Sun Fire Stables in Waterford, WI.   It was a beautiful day at a great facility with a wonderful group of horse people. Everyone seemed to have a good, safe and enjoyable time.  Now I have to disclose that I am somewhat biased since Sun Fire is my home barn and I know all the riders who attended. Leading up to the clinic I had been approached by some nervous folks asking what would be expected of them during the clinic. They simply couldn't believe that they would not only learn to throw a rope but eventually do it from their horse! I tried to calm them best I could but they just didn't seem to think it was possible but, sure enough, by the time the clinic was winding down every rider roping and dallying and doing a fine job at it. Roping is a lot more than just throwing a loop and making a catch. It is about furthering the trust between you and your horse and you just don't know what you can do until you try.

Roping is really addictive. Once you start it is hard to put the rope down. You are always looking for a shot. My youngest granddaughter, Chloe, helped during the clinic and she did a great job. I encouraged her, as did Steve Lundean, to come on into the arena to give it a try. She deferred, feeling that her job was to help, as she had promised, and she is a real hand. As soon as the clinic was over she grabbed a rope, went into the arena, and asked me to show her how to make a loop. I took care of her that evening until her parents and brother got home and that little girl practiced her throw on a bucket in the backyard, until nightfall.

I was also struck by the number of folks who volunteered to help during the clinic. No matter what the job was, people would just pitch in. If the arena needed picking someone took care of it. If something was to be unloaded or returned to its proper place willing hands appeared to help. That is the true cowboy spirit. If a job needs doing you just pitch in and get it done. I took my obligatory spill during the riding portion of the clinic (it's expected of me by now) and at least two kind souls in the audience offered me an ice compress or some such as I remounted and rode past them.  Thanks to those folks as well.

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It also occurred to me that all the riders in that arena owed so much to so many. The kids relied on parents, extended family and friends to support and nurture their efforts. Transportation, fees, rescheduling family outings and cheering on the sidelines are only a few of the things that go on in the back round to get these youngsters into the arena. Adults spend their hard earned money and take time from chores and family obligations to pursue horsemanship. It really is a team effort and thanks to all those who sacrifice time and money to help the riders fulfill a dream.

Thanks to Jen and Dean (who won the timed team roping by the way) at Sun Fire Stables for hosting and Steve Lundean, Katryna and Bob for putting on another great clinic. Looking forward to the next time.

 ~Steve McClure (Reno)

To read more by Steve McClure--see below.

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