Keeping Cowboys and Cowgirls Safe

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Eight seconds might not seem long, but when someone is on a bucking bronco or bull, it may feel like eternity.

There are a few men in the rodeo ring who might not always get recognition, but they are always there to help a cowboy out.

A Wyoming Native Brody Cress said, “those guys are out there to help us a lot you see guys get hungup and they're out there to save them and those guys are essential to have in the arena and I’m glad they're here."

Becoming a successful Pickup Man doesn’t happen overnight.
Shawn Calhoun is a Pickup Man from the C-N-F-R and had some advice on what makes him successful. "First of all you have to have good horses and a good partner to work with those are the main two things and being able to read livestock and what they're going to do before they do it."

There are different things that make a good horse for a Pickup Man to ride. Duane Gilbert says, "well I like size and I like speed and then they have to be sensible they can't be crazy speed like race horse speed you know? They have to be able to read the horses and slow down at the corners and be an all around good ranch horse will work here too."

Every night of the rodeo the men use multiple horses. This means when they go for different jobs they are bringing a lot of horses with them.

Calhoun said, "they just get tired you know it's like if you ran track you would get tired so it’s to keep them fresh for a long week."

Another important thing both men talked about is having someone you work well with.

Both Calhoun and Gilbert say they like working together and are comfortable doing so.

One of their main concerns though, is going unnoticed.

Gilbert said, "I try to go out if I can go unnoticed out there then it seems like I’m doing a good job because nothing wild is happening usually if you notice us in the arena then something really bad is going on or we're not doing a really good job you know we kinda want to keep the show going..."

With Pickup Men like these, cowboys and girls can rest assure they're in safe hands.