Hey, y’all. The name is Wes Richards and I’m constantly on the rodeo circuits. There’s nothing I love more than feelin’ a bull buck under me as I’m riding it across the ring. However, that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about the beauty of maintaining a ranch. After all, if it wasn’t for my daddy and my granddaddy raising me here in the beautiful state of Texas, I’d never have found the rodeo.
Maintaining the Barn
I learned at a young age how to maintain a barn. Daddy woke me up at four in the morning to the sound of George Strait blaring through my bedroom on the record player. I’d get up and start my chores. The barn was huge, and there was always so much to do.
After a while, it became routine. “Not my first rodeo,” as my granddaddy would always say. I knew how to work the barn with the best of them. I’d muck the stables with the horses, sweep the hayloft, and make sure that everything was getting done.
The biggest pain for me growing up was that the barn got so darn hot during the summer. There was also the fact that my daddy was on the roof more summers than I can remember, fixing the darn thing because it was leaking again. The wood wasn’t holding up in all of the heat.
Keeping the Livestock Fed
The cows, the horses, and the chickens all need to be fed. That’s a full-time job in itself sometimes. The bags of feed are heavy. They’re expensive, too. A bit of rain can cause those bags to mold faster than you might realize. My mama used to yell at my daddy all the time when she saw that a bag had to get thrown out. She’d fuss about the money and beg him to give it all up. Daddy wasn’t a quitter, though, and we always made do.
Feeding all the livestock on the ranch was another one of my jobs. I loved it, though. It was a time to check on all of them, rub their heads, and talk to them. They heard more about my girl problems over the years than anyone else. That’s when my dad would yell, “Wes, stop givin’ the cows your anxiety about girls and start mucking the stalls.” Yeah, those were the good ‘ol days.
To this day, though, I still enjoy taking the time to go around and feed the livestock. I’ve got workers to help me with these things, but when life has been particularly rough, I like to throw the hay around and visit with my old friends. They don’t provide the best advice, but they happen to be excellent listeners.
With the use of a few more buildings across the property than what we once had, it also makes it easier to grab the feed. I don’t have to get a secondary workout moving the hay from the barn to the wheelbarrow and then from the wheelbarrow to the hay shed. Everything’s laid out a lot easier nowadays, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
Practicing My Riding
I’ve spent a significant amount of my life in the rodeos. It started when I was a little kid, learning how to throw a lasso over steer horns that were attached to a bale of hay. After that, I moved onto riding horses. My daddy took me to a place where they had a mechanical bull for my 10th birthday, and I haven’t been the same ever since.
While I could always practice my bull riding, it wasn’t necessarily easy. Riding horses was the easiest because we had the stables and plenty of land. As for some of the other tricks, it required more space. I didn’t have the right space for that, either, which meant taking a drive out to Amarillo where some of my friends lived. It’s where they had their own riding arena to practice in. They were better in the rodeo circuit than I was (not that I’d ever admit it to them), but I swore it was because of having that darn arena.
I knew that, to get my skills to where they needed to be, I needed my own arena. It’s when I decided to listen to my friends and start thinking outside the box. My granddaddy wouldn’t approve, but, he also never saw the benefit to smartphones. We must evolve, and, well, this ain’t my first rodeo.
Taking a New-Age Approach
Most people who see me think that I’m about as traditional as they come with my worn cowboy hat and my brown leather cowboy boots. They can think what they want about me, though. When people say, “Wes, how do you do it all?” I give them a chuckle. The secret is that I am actually more modern than people give me credit for.
I’m not listening to George Strait records anymore while I work. I’ve got it streaming from my smartphone. And as for the old wooden barns that my granddaddy built, bless his heart, I find that they don’t work. The last time there was a huge leak and a ton of hay got ruined, I made the change. I knew I needed a steel building on my land.
Sherman Pole Buildings has helped this Texan become a modern man. They introduced me to a pole barn that could be customized for whatever I needed. I started with one to replace the rickety barn. Then, I ended up getting another one as a hay shed. After that, I figured I needed another one to help me with my bull riding days, and that’s when Sherman built me a custom-made riding arena.
Like I’ve said, this ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve thanked Sherman Pole Buildings regularly for helping me to see that a steel building can be the best solution for what I’m doing out here in the hot, Texas sun. I reckon it would be good for some of them Northern climates up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, too. If granddaddy could see all of the benefits of a pole barn for himself, I bet he’d actually give me the thumbs up. It has made life on the ranch a lot easier, and there’s nothing wrong with taking it easy now and again.