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The Texas Side Of Things

published: August 20th 2021
by: Jim Banner

Two weeks ago, I attended the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course and once again I was amazed at the enthusiasm to learn by the attendees during the two days I was there.  I know many times in the past I have praised the outstanding job that Dr. Jason Cleere and his staff of workers do, but I probably don’t brag enough about the speakers that conduct the numerous breakout sessions or classes. 
    During these breakout sessions, I sometimes I walk around the trade show and visit with the exhibitors but sometimes, I wander around to some of the classes being held and listen to various topics being discussed.  This year, I peeked in one of the classrooms to find there wasn’t anyone in there except the speaker, so I decided to sit in on his discussion and see what it was all about.   The speaker introduced himself as Dr. Knucklehead No-more and his topic for the class was “Recognizing the Do’s and Don’ts as We Grow Older.”  Being that I’m 63 and not having anything else to do, I decided to stay and listen.  Dr. Nomore started by explaining that as we age there is a time span, between 40-60, when we have the perfect ratio of experience and judgement to make rational and wise decisions.  Our bodies are physically sound, and we’ve dealt with lots of unexpected problems, and should know to heed a possible warning of apparent danger. He referred to this ratio of experience and judgement as the common sense and wisdom factor. 
    Dr. Nomore went on to explained that as we get older, pride begins to take over and sometimes its influence overpowers our common sense and wisdom factor.  For instance, this can happen when someone warns another person that possibly a situation is potentially dangerous and for them not to do it.  Some examples of this on a ranch could be: climbing a 20 ft. ladder with a chain saw to cut off a large limb that might knock the ladder out from under their feet; walking into a large pen of Brahman cross pairs with baby calves, just so you can see a faded ear tag number that everyone else is afraid to get; or riding an outlaw horse that everyone, in-cluding your family members, have warned not to ride because the horse has proven numerous times to be crazy and not trustworthy.
    I thought about this last example for a while and so I asked Dr. Nomore, why would someone in their right mind ride an outlaw horse, especially if that person knew it wasn’t safe?  He said the answer was simple!  As we mature, especially after we reach the age of 60, we still like to think about our younger days and when someone challenges us, we try and prove that the act can be done.  For you see, pride takes over and the challenge begins.  If we are bucked off when we are young, we can brush it off, suck it up and go on like it was nothing.  But as we age, our common sense/wisdom factor tries to steer us in the right decision, but the stronger pride factor still wants to take over…it’s kind of like to sin or not to sin!
    Dr. Nomore went on to tell me of a recent incident that he had heard about, where a very good, well-respected cowboy, about 66 years old, had a grey mare that was considered a proven outlaw.  Apparently, the mare would pitch and buck when she was made to do something she didn’t want to do and that included when you would rope off her. Everyone, especially family members, asked the mature cowboy not to ride the grey mare anymore because they knew eventually, she would blow up and possibly injure him.  In fact, they tried without success to convince him to sell the horse.  The cowboy would not listen to their advice and decided not to sell the horse but instead continued to ride the grey mare like she was the best one in the world.  Sure enough, one day the cowboy was riding his horse when a cow broke and ran.  The cowboy immediately took his rope and threw the prettiest loop that you have ever seen and caught the cow around the head.  The cowboy was on top of his game until the slack tightened up and that grey mare commenced to pitching like she was entered in the Cheyenne Rodeo.  Of course, the cowboy was thrown off the mare, cracking several ribs and was bruised up like he had been a bar fight.  Thank goodness he survived, and he swore he would never rope another cow…especially off that grey bitch!  So, you see, said Dr. Nomore, the common sense/wisdom factor was in place and the cowboy knew he was going against good judgement, but the pride factor took over and really taught him a lesson that he already knew. 
    I’m really sorry that no one else attended Dr. Knucklehead Nomore’s session because it was very interesting and taught me a very valuable lesson.  Don’t let pride influence your common sense/wisdom factor or like he said, “It Ain’t Cool to be a Fool!”  By the way if you are interested in buying a pretty, grey cow horse, let me know because I bought one near Yoakum several weeks ago and she seems very gentle….except when you ride and rope off of her.

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