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 A Good one Gone...
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Arenadirt
Trainer

USA
670 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  8:16:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arenadirt's Homepage Send Arenadirt a Private Message  Reply with Quote


This shot was taken in 2004 at the event where I met Jim Craig, who passed away last week and will be sorely missed. From 2005, Jim was a stalwart presence at Victory Hill, and usually the only person among us at practice who had more than half a clue about cutting. He was Rocky Mt Open Champion 4 times, Non-Pro Champion five times - Jim really knew his stuff and was generous in sharing what he knew.



The picture is of hall-of-famer Leon Harrel, who kindly agreed to do a demo of bridle-less saddle-less cutting for us, then spent time with each of our horses.

"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~

PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 03/11/2012 :  10:14:08 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm sorry for the loss of what sounds like a great horseman and friend. I'm glad you were able to meet and learn from him and I'm sure he'll be missed by many.

I'm in awe of Leon! How in the world did he stick bareback on a WORKING cutting horse?? GEESH. I'd have to be glued, taped & tied!


Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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killybean907
Clinician



USA
1082 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  01:35:03 AM  Show Profile Send killybean907 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Sorry for your loss....sounds like he was a true horseman.




It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.
Karen-Anchorage, Alaska
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  06:05:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jim sounds like the kind of guy we all try to be. Treasure the memories and pass on his knowledge where you can. He will be happy living on through his teachings.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  10:44:25 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's never easy to lose a friend. Just cherish your memories, and Jim will live with you forever.

At first I thought I knew your friend, Jim Craig. Then I realized where I knew the name... why it sounds so familiar. Jim Craig was "The Man From Snowy River". When you first said "Jim Craig" had passed away, I felt in shock before it dawned on me that I was thinking of one of my favorite fictional characters instead of a real person.

Count your blessings that you got to know someone who sounds like one heck of a guy. People like that just don't come into our lives often enough.


"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Arenadirt
Trainer

USA
670 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  11:07:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Arenadirt's Homepage Send Arenadirt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for your kind thoughts.

Went to Jim's house and visited with his wife yesterday... that was tough. She gave me one of his (many) buckles and his fav felt hat. I tried not to cry. Wednesday we (our little cutting group) have a huge indoor arena and a herd of cows for the day. We will all be hearing echos of Jim sayin "Back 'im up! back 'im up!".

Saturday will be a service at the Victory Hill barn, with mandatory attendance by five of the horses with whom he helped so much including Safari Seven. Then... life goes on.

Leon is pretty amazing all right... the picture was taken in June, and that gray mare had already won $150k that year - Leon sez "we'd like to put another 150 on her by the end of the year..." Sheesh! But she was SO smooth, Leon had no trouble staying in the middle of her while she was working. As much a testament to his training as to his horsemanship.

"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2012 :  5:55:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm so sorry for your loss, AD! Be assured, he will always be in your heart. A wonderful horseman mentored me when I was young; he passed away 30+ years ago. But I STILL often ask myself, "What would Art do in this situation?"

EZ2SPOT
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Arenadirt
Trainer

USA
670 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2012 :  3:37:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arenadirt's Homepage Send Arenadirt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Art is in the eye of the beholder"?

Sorry, couldn't resist. I bet he'd heartily endorse you getting Butterbrickle back in action though!

"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
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EZ2SPOT
Clinician

USA
3785 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2012 :  7:53:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit EZ2SPOT's Homepage Send EZ2SPOT a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LOL, AD, I'm sure if he were here today, I'd get a good lecture on the evils of letting my horses regress the way they have with their training!

EZ2SPOT
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tagnrocky
Clinician



USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2012 :  4:37:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit tagnrocky's Homepage Send tagnrocky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry for the loss of your dear friend, Arena. Making use of his vast knowledge is the best way to honor him.

Nancy (and Tag & Rocky)
Free & easy down the trail I go......
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Arenadirt
Trainer

USA
670 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2012 :  3:44:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Arenadirt's Homepage Send Arenadirt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For what it's worth, everything I ever learned - and continue to learn - from Jim about cutting, can be summed up in a sentence he often used:

"It's just a feeling."

Doesn't seem like much, but that's really it. Nobody can cut cows, and at the same time be thinking "heels down, push on the horn, cow-side leg, roll hips forward, be ready to stop" etc etc etc. Only when it all melds into a feeling, do we have something to actually remember and hold on to.

My competition season starts 6/17, and I hope to honor Jim with some plus scores.

Thanks again y'all - this is like an extended family that never asks to borrow money!

"There is something about the outside of a horse...that is good for the inside of a man." ~Winston Churchill~
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tagnrocky
Clinician



USA
1776 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2012 :  1:16:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit tagnrocky's Homepage Send tagnrocky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[quote]Originally posted by Arenadirt

For what it's worth, everything I ever learned - and continue to learn - from Jim about cutting, can be summed up in a sentence he often used:

"It's just a feeling."



I'm gonna remember this quote. He was a wise horseman. It truly is all about feel.

Good luck in your competing!

Nancy (and Tag & Rocky)
Free & easy down the trail I go......
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