Some sad news…

For those of you that don’t know my very  good friend Rusty, who I grew up with and is like a brother to me, I have some bad news… My friend has taken ill and is in the battle of his life. Things are not on the high trail for my friend and he can use all the well wishes and prayers we can muster. Please take a moment to talk to the big guy up there and put in a good word for Rusty’s recovery. Thanks Smokie

1030 pm

I got a phone call from Rusty’s wife today and It’s looking like my friend and brother is on his last  ride to meet the old man… I wish there was some power or wisdom I could muster up to change the realities of life and death but as true horseman know, all things happen for a reason an its up to us to figure out how to see the problem at hand and deal with it in the best way we can… with the knowledge and experiences we have learned through life with horses and people.

My friend Rusty was not a famous  horseman or person of noted fame and fortune. He was just a man living life the best he could and trying to make life better for those around him. He gave of himself without regard to who’s gaining from it, how much money he could make, or who might get the credit. His knowledge and wisdom will not go down in the annuals of training history or be eulogized in a nationally televised memorial. But My friend was every bit as  important to the folks he helped and those that knew and loved him as a friend as any one of the big time personalities that people idolize today.  He is the true measure of  a man and a horseman, and I hope I can carry on in his absence.. Have a good ride my friend and we will we see you in another pasture  some day.

About Smokie

Smokie Brannaman grew up on a 5000-acre horse and cattle ranch in Southwestern Montana. Working with horses, cattle and rodeoing as a professional trick roper was his way of life as a youngster. Upon graduating from high school, Smokie chose to serve his country in the United State Coast Guard. Although his military duties did not always allow much time to spend with his horses, he never the less, rode and trained horses of his own and others throughout his military career. Smokie retired in 2000 from the Coast Guard and worked as a Corporate Operations Manager for a security company. But he soon realized that his true enjoyment came from being around horses, training, riding and helping others with their horses. After working for 2 years as a stable manager for a large boarding stable, Smokie hired on at Ots Sunrise Farm to work with the young horses halter breaking, ground work and starting horses under saddle to progress to more advanced training. Smokie started his own business, Horseman’s Services Limited, llc in 2006 and now works full time as an educator of the horse and rider. Smokie utilizes the training methods of his brother Buck Brannaman, Jeff Griffith, and others, as well as his own techniques learned during a lifetime of working with horses. Smokie is a published author of two books about horses and their riders, Whisper This… Not to your horse, to yourself, and his newest book Equiknowlogy 101… and numerous horse training DVDs. Smokie lives in Greenleaf Wisconsin with his sweetie Vickie, and has three grown children, Kat, Travis and Jason. He raises and trains registered quarter horses of his own, which he uses as, Cavalry horses for his hobby, Civil War reenacting, and performing in Wild West Shows throughout the Midwest.
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