Life's Work by Jake Telford









Winning Competitions is Rewarding, But It's Just a Test to See How Well You've Done Your Job as a Horse Trainer

I train and show horses. Everything’s gotten so specialized that all I do anymore is ride reined cow horses. But roping is what got me into training horses. Roping, and a man named Bob Johnson.

Bob Johnson was a well-known roping instructor who lived in western Idaho, a few hours from where I grew up in central Idaho. Once, when I was in eighth grade, my uncle took me with him to one of Bob’s calf-roping clinics. Everybody called Bob “Coach” because he’d coach you. If you did it wrong, he’d tell you, and you had to do it again. Bob was pretty hardcore. I remember being tired and sore and having tape on every finger. I wasn’t really big enough to flank calves. Hell, I don’t think I weighed a hundred pounds. But Bob taught me how to nose calves over...

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