A note from Chelsea Shaffer

Spin to Win Rodeo - - De­part­ments -

If you live in the North and are any­thing like me, you’re fight­ing it right now. The cold weather, paired with the nasty flu go­ing around, might just have you holed up in your house by the fire, while your horses, haired-up and hog-fat, are burn­ing through hay in the barn and pas­tures.

But the die-hards are still head­ing to the jack­pots ev­ery chance they get. I hear it was a balmy 65 de­grees Fahren­heit in the barn in Tor­ring­ton, Wy­oming, over New Years for the World Se­ries of Team Rop­ing qual­i­fier there, de­spite the bit­ing winds and neg­a­tive wind chills out­side. And ev­ery Tues­day leav­ing the of­fice at night, I pass a load of steers head­ing to the prac­tice barn in Long­mont, Colorado, for the weekly rop­ing club. I even watched (from the kitchen win­dow) as my hus­band gath­ered our steers last week just to get a day of prac­tice in be­fore the first round of the Na­tional West­ern Stock Show and Rodeo. You’ve all got some try.

Of course, those of you in Ari­zona and Florida are hav­ing a good laugh at our ex­pense. You’re get­ting to en­joy the daily jack­pots (or two or three) and the mar­gar­i­tas in the sunshine, and your horses are snappy, some­times body-clipped, and sure-enough fit.

We know how ded­i­cated you are to this

sport we all love, and so we put to­gether an is­sue that hope­fully will help get your blood pump­ing as you un­twist the ties on a new box of ropes (that you kept at room temperature, in your base­ment or mud­room, hope­fully). This time of year, some of you might be gear­ing up to make changes in 2018 with a new horse or two, so Jake Barnes (pg. 36), Bubba Buck­aloo (pg. 42), and Aaron Tsinig­ine (pg. 52) all have tips to help you with that. If your horse­man­ship is some­thing you’ve resolved to im­prove in 2018, new world champ Cory Pet­ska (pg. 50) has some crit­i­cal in­sights on what ‘in the bri­dle’ re­ally means.

And as al­ways, if you love or hate some­thing, let me know: cshaf­fer@aim­me­dia.com.

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