Dusty Burson | 6666 Dixon Creek Ranch Manager | The Converse CowboyMar 17, 2022
little reduced a lot you know that wasn't his main main job then but um so he would be one that definitely struck me that I used to get really close and I wish I could keep going uh of course my dad and my brothers I lean on them a lot to things in life and show me, me and my little one. brother, right, he also worked for the sixes and helped each other a lot. I don't know, none of us, especially early on, knew, knew, knew that maybe we shouldn't have taught each other, but we were able to just watch each other and you know say you um what did you do there what is he doing you know and it helps you know to have someone um i know it's important to have someone you can call and go on the weekend but you know every month or go riding with someone who's really been very successful but it's important to me to have someone who can watch you day in and day out because he knew what you how that horse worked yesterday and what you've been dealing with what you've been dealing with versus if you just go know override the rice and he just sees what you put in your problem is there you know that It was important, you know, I was able to travel with him and I helped him and he helped me both, you know I was only able to bounce stuff. brainstorm and say hello the other day i did this more or less definitely it really helped me a lot and you know 15 probably has nothing to do with it but when we moved to the camps we had to start shooting our horses and uh the People ask me who taught me how to shoot because I'd clip some but I've never had a Shawn and I tell people the truth taught me how and he tells people I thought you didn't know any of us just us just I called, hey, I did this, you know, that's great too getting to help help him and him help us and then and then he goes to the show and looks at the other one you know he has a good run and and seeing the horse and seeing improve their horses you know know you know what If you didn't you know you weren't riding them but you gave them some tips on part of them so yeah that's cool um talk about maybe some you know before writing that you are going. to the world qha show in oh yeah prince of rice whats your mindset writing on or even on the warm up pen while warming up?
What are you thinking about? What is going on in your head? Do you do any visualization of how you want? the race to go or yeah yeah yeah you know before I write on the showpin I try to have a game plan you know I don't care if what job you doing if we go together pastor if you want to go make it rain and run or have a cow run horse whatever you need to have a game plan and you know to make a plan and then work the plan for me you don't need to go there and realize you take it out when you get there so you definitely knew in the warm-up pin that would be or even day or even week or months until you know you're trying to start you know yeah I don't think you necessarily need to run the patterns but in your mind you know I'm running through a prevailing pattern you know and seeing i'm pretty visual i like to know, sit in the bleachers and think ok i need the center of the pen to be there and you know you find your markers and that way you don't go in there and because it makes a big difference if you do go in there and search those m archers on the wall you know you need for me you must have been there and seen it in your mind yeah but yeah i just try to mostly keep calm and don't just show your horse's strengths and don't don't try to do something that you can't do and i just hope you get it all together, yeah so how do you do that?
I know what I mean is that you say stay calm, but I have to think that the work you put in weeks and months before allows for that confidence and that calm. ss, yeah, right, sitting there in the warm-up, yeah, um, you know a lot of times, I think you know, because of me, proving that I could get along with a horse, that maybe he wasn't that athletic, but he was willing, you know of that way that way you know you can depend on him because because I mean show I mean is you know taller carp have more stress you know you're trying to compete and win and so you know I want that horse on wheels that way you can go there and, um, you can lean on it because because you're going to have to know, especially in the events on the cow, you know you don't know which cow you're going to draw or you know you've got to be able to react and lean on him to react, you know why but you know I always answer you, I just want to be soft, you know in all that and if something goes wrong, don't worry about it, don't focus on it because if you go in there and you you lose, you know, drag a track or something and you're thinking about re that was probably your parries probably won't be that great you know because you're still just get over that and try to make the next step positive and you have a great plan in your head it's not like you can sit there and doubt and think, okay, what do I have to do next, but you know to complete that task and then move on to the next one that deals with, you know and if you've made a plan in your mind and you know where you're at I think you can do that pretty fluently where you don't know where you're not sitting there thinking okay i'm done spinning what i gotta do now yeah yeah you know it's okay what's next go ahead yeah step in the pattern? or whatever is cool and I think I'm curious to get your take on this, you know, we talked about it a little bit yesterday just about
cowboyand about, you know, since you were a kid, you know, and then you went into show business. i think you have an advantage i know you have an advantage because you don't have to i think some of it is just a lot of feeling and timing you know it's kind of new to me in all this i have to think very consciously about some of that stuff um , so i think about we were going to haskell for that first show my first show and so i'm poking around in your brain along the way like what things do i need to know what things do i need to do and things that are second nature to you i'm going to get there you're going to get there you're going to look at the arena and see where it's halfway you're going to look at all these things every time you take a cow out of this you take a cow over the fence on the last turn you throw it back the other way because the cattle are here he came in he's going to win this this this doesn't even register in my head unless you tell me you know what I mean I think I'm just a
cowboyand um you know you see the rice boy of the cowboy world he's in the cup and then he's doing his job ajando vaca yes sure i feel like you guys have an advantage age is not an excuse but it's just the consistency and experience you can bring to the arena yes sir yes i think i think growing up around you know cattle and horses and just animals and cattle in general you probably have a slight advantage over someone you know may be a bit more advanced in other areas of horse training but you know if you grew up with animals you learn to learn, I mean even a dog. or a cat you meet walking across the parking lot you can read and know what they're going to do I mean I know it's kind of simple but then you take it to the cattle and horses you know just uh you kind of know what what you do they're going to react to what you do and your horse is and then the cow is to what you and your horse are doing so um I think you have a little bit of an advantage there because you can kind of look look look what when if i pass here well that cow goes nna gonna move that way or you know they're going to react to you this way and then if they don't you know that's something else you know like we were talking the other day , you know when you have four or five hundred cows and four hundred calves together something is not going to go as planned so you learned to take that reaction and change the plan you know you might have wanted to walk through this door but because of this you know that you may need to change your plan and I guess how much m The more you do it, it becomes second nature, you know and you know how much pressure you can put on one before they do it. you know how much they can take, so I think that definitely plays a role and I've heard every person I've ever sat down with, every trainer I've ever sat down with, talk about getting the most out of the horse. mind, how do you know once you've gotten into that horse's mind psychologically? and I mean, I think again a lot of that comes over time and I don't know if I can tell you, uh, there's not really a formula for that, I don't think you know, but I think you can only you know that you can tell when they are. and a lot of times it just comes with time you know you can ride one some of you can get it in the first five rides and some of you I think it could take years it enters your mind and a lot of that comes with those that take longer in my opinion , it's just miles, it's what you get, you know and you know we've all had horses that are tougher and tougher minded. it's harder to get them to come with you, you know, and for me, miles and just days, and not hours of riding them and trying to do this, but just hanging around them or you know, gathering a pasture or something that you can get into . their mind where, um, you know one day it's like a switch that they just go to fight you, you're kind to the enemy who just want to be with you and you can tell them you're up for it, but um, I don't think you can, I don't think you think a little bit more so you can you can push that but i do think there's something you can't you can't force it you know you have to let their mind prepare for that you know rather than just being able to pound them into some horses .
Can you know as I said that some of them the first trip you can go to ask for much more, but others you know, only that there are more miles and yes, and time in them? Your
managerat Dixon Creek for the four sixes you pick of horses pretty much high caliber horses you see a consistency um you know when you talk about the mind I know you're a fan of plant attractions you see a consistency I guess with the lines of blood as to when that when that light bulb goes off for them yeah right yeah I think so you know a lot of the times it's bloodline I think it's understood that the sixes here have a good performance of the rain, I know as far as
ranchhorses, in my opinion they are some of the best in the country, just the ability and talent that they all have and uh but yeah I think.
You know lineage definitely plays a part in this and, you know, the doctor spent years, you know, trying to create this Mayor of London and he, I mean, he's always, you know, we're talking about steps and showing him or whatever. . he's doing well he's thinking about him you know when he leads this to it well he's you know he's constantly making a plan for it and me and it was worth it because um tamiya we're like china or the prince of paddy than horsefish no I don't know how to go, he was the last bronco picked that year in the world champion, now you know, that says a lot about the depth and quality of the horses that are here because you know they had picked him. yeah you know all kinds of guys could have got him and that a and I'm not saying they didn't get big horses they did too but you know those 20 guys can get through and then the 20 that comes out of there is one, you know, one of the winds ends up being a world champion you know you know with anything in life you know when we succeed on any level there really is no linear path it's not like we say i want to go here and do this and you go straight to what you know that that's doesn't happen and so I'm curious to hear from everyone I sit down with, but I'm curious to hear from you what are some challenges, what may be a perceived failure that you've been through as if I hadn't.
I understood why it happened at the time, but that had to happen for this to happen, something occurs to me, oh I don't know if it would really fail or not, but I mean something like that when I tried it. out for the
ranchhorse team you know I'm going out and of course you didn't know for two or three days if you made the team or not you know you had the interview after that and you know that I was a little disappointed you know why I obviously didn't have the career that I wanted you to know about so I guess that might be a bit of a one but it became, you know, it works well but yeah where I'm at now one thing because I was when I was working for doc just I was training and showing horses and we dried seal coats and stuff you know and put them through a lot of the sails but I can't remember the year but I took a camping job there and at that time I went a different way and I realized and I loved showing and being able to travel and go do, but just that opportunity to move to a camp there and at that moment I was in my mind I'm thinking if I take this camp I'm not going to know that I will be able to compete and show and spend so much time in the sand and still uh t I used that I wrote so much but I was just a different guy than you know a different path different like we were talking you know I wasn't going to be able to go and compete as much and so I knew but um and there were some negatives to that you know I didn't get there to you, you know there was some missed shows and I had some horses that, you know, some phillies that I had to leave there and you know and then seeing another guy ride them you know that thatIt was kind of hard at times, but, but you know, looking back on me taking that camp and making the decision that that was the best route for me and my family. you know now it became this job you know if I hadn't taken that I don't know I'd be here today yeah so that's very interesting and you know we're going through these things um I don't understand why I'm curious about to know what led you to take the camp job, I mean, was it just trusting your gut, yeah, yeah? hi i mean i've obviously prayed a lot about it and yeah um you know i wanted god to come down and have an abortion tell me when i first went to the ranch there i wanted a cat to be on the couch side of the ranch but uh there was nothing open so i thought that would be a way to make the process easier for me you know initially i was just riding colts and you know and i love starting the coast that's one of my favorite things in the world to do the first 15 rides in one or five rides, it's even one of my favorite things to do on a horse, but you know how many you started, I'm not sure, I wish I would, I wish I would, I think it's thousands.
I bet it might not be a thousand, but I bet I'd be getting close to that. I didn't really sell it. for us because you know we didn't have to go you know that was the hard thing for me it was like I could see myself being happy training horses and still competing and showing and I could see myself happy you know going to that camp I think long story short accounts, it was just, growing up, that's what I wanted to do, was to be a cowboy, you know, on the cow side more than a horse trainer um and so deep down you know that's what I wanted , but it was hard not to see the bright lights and the glory because you know they're not very glamorous about it other than you're on your own and I mean it's a great place to raise a family and kids and you're on your own no one's around and day after day it's just you you I know slowing down was attractive.
You know it's like I said you'd miss the road and the lights and everything, but on the other hand, sometimes it's good to be alone, yeah I believe deep down. It was just that I just had a desire to be a cowboy not a horse t Rainer you know yeah but I said you know I was there for about three years at South Camp Sixes and then and then this opportunity came along and there I was again, you know another crossroads because we were happy there you know i wanted to spend the rest of my life there and yes you never know what the lord will bring and where he will take you so yes i definitely believe he has a plan and for everyone you know, for the horses and for us. and if you seek him out and watch him i think he'll put you where you belong so yeah i agree um you know that being said you mentioned you knew you wanted to be a cowboy and be on the side of the cows that's something that people may never find out in their lifetime you know um their purpose their why why they do what they do how did you know that was what you were supposed to be doing i mean i think its a lot of it its just the way that they raised me, the way that my mom and dad raised me, you know for a and the way that we're doing it now with our kids, you know it's a lifestyle that you know you're not doing it for the money or because of the ease of the work because a lot of days it's hard work and not fun i mean there are fun parts about it and that can make the fun times not worth it but you know the lifestyle of growing up you know i just think that you love taking care of cattle and horses. both and we still get to show here so it's almost like I can have the best of both worlds like having the low key slow profile you know raising your family in camp cause I don't think there's a better place to raise a family not a camp but basically it's like ours wasn't a camp but growing up you know it's just ruining our family in the middle of nowhere so I know for me it's great.
Every time I go out west and spend time with you here, it's like life slows down all the trouble. that we believe or that I believe in my head, they dissipate and disappear and it gives me a new perception, yes, in life, you know different lenses to see reality, um, so yes, I can definitely appreciate that if you could go back in time . and give your 20 year old self advice what that advice would be no one would you know now and we can do that in two parts i would like to know how for you for
dustypopping in life and then
dustyvs the horse trainer what advice to do you know many Sometimes I think we talk about the pressure on horses huh and I think a lot of patients and things come at least for me it came later so training wise I think you know the older the more mature you get the more you realize that you have to put yourself, get out of the situation and see what the problem is that way you can fix it instead of just focusing on a problem that you know and, uh, being able to kind of step back and anything in life or training horses whether it's being able to step back and take a breath and slow down you know when you're young you think it has to happen now and you know why and sometimes you kind of have tunnel vision the and you're looking at something like uh instead of thinking about the big picture you know uh it's like you want to want to catch a bull that doesn't want to go to the gate there you know if you if you can just double it there you know instead of just you know that You don't have to and I think training horses is the same way some horses are if you just can't get what you want today but while I'm working towards that ultimate goal, instead of thinking you have to have it all now.
I think that is a good point. There are many similarities between training horses and then living life. You know, and I think what you just said is very important. especially in life to get away and just be an observer, sometimes you know, yeah I know. For me, I tend to like it. I said I want it done now and I'll judge what I'm doing. I don't think it's good enough for me. same thing, so how can we just watch what's happening and know to be aware of it and then move on because all we can do is to the best of our ability.
Yes, you can do that in life and with horses. it's for the best and i think you know i only care you know if you don't care what you're doing in life or training or anything you have to care first and the rest will fall into place. You know, uh, but if you put in the effort and work hard, I think you can do whatever you want and you know how to show her life or anything, but uh, and I do. kids and you know it's, I know it's something else, but at the same time you want your kids to be disciplined like you want our horse to be you know, so I compare it a lot to you, you know, the first few rides, especially when you have a daughter three-year-old and a one-year-old girl, so that's kind of you. you can use those training moments you know a horse you can relate to you know if you're having issues with your kids you know i mix them up a bit i don't know if that's right or wrong you see similarities to raising kids and training horses answers damn I absolutely think the same way I like I don't have kids and uh but I like to think that training a two year old is like training our subconscious mind you I know because by default a human brain is going to have negative thoughts you know, and by default, that horse wants to go crazy, you know, just like our brain wants to go crazy and unless you know how to tame it somehow and with consistency. you ride this horse everyday with consistency like for me i meditate and really dial in what's going through my brain yeah um and i only put positive things i don't watch the news and i don't watch any of that because i don't want negative things in my head like that that I like to compare those two those two, yes, but especially with everything going on in the world today, yes, it's 2020.
You guys carry on with the traditions of you know, days gone by, can you talk about some of those things and such say I want to hear? about I want to know about your relationship with the boots, but yeah, can you talk about some of those traditions that happen in the wagon and what that means to you? Some of the things we do are maybe holding on to a tradition but at the same time, in my opinion, it's still the best way to get the cattle to work and get the job done with less stress on the cattle and less stress on the cowboys as well. . best way to do it but there are some things we are still trying to hold on to these traditions i guess you know they are great to do and are a little more work but you know the opinion of most cowboys is worth a little more to hold on to that tradition, like taking out the wagon, you know still in the spring we took out a wagon and put up our teepees and got a canvas fly under which we eat every day and a wagon we cook and, um, I said obviously it's easier not to go hammer all those stakes into the ground, but in the end it's worth it just for the camaraderie you build with the team and spending that time together instead of just coming home from work and everyone going to their own house, you know kind of they're forced to sit around the fly and visit in the evenings and you know and you're just with them day in and day out until the brand is over you know so um and then there's benefits to the wagon that you know you don't use a lot of fuel huh and you use a and tear up their trucks and trailers and stuff like that so I mean there's also some benefits you know because you just get your horse and another big big benefit of taking the wagon out is just that you jog, you know we don't pop the horse all the time in a trailer, you just catch them off the remote and you jog and come back for dinner and you have to jog back and go drive the cattle, you know? you're just for you to do a lot of good horse you know we were talking as they go uh putting that time into it puts the horse in the right frame of mind well the wagon will definitely do that because because even just round them up you You know we can round them up twice a day, you know, and get a fresh horse or catch colts or something, you know, and just tuck them in and be around them instead of just being on their horse pin or you know, stalls. nowadays that they're on you it's just you it's you your hands are a lot more on them huh so I think it definitely helps your horse to have the right mind talking about traditions and a guy that's been around for a long time I know that you and him are really good friends, yeah, what do you mean, yeah, yeah, and he's also a guy I lean on for advice?
I mean my job now because he has run some big ranches and he can give a lot of tips and things to help me now. in my new position but hey oh shoot man he's worked for a lot of ranches for longer than he's really worked for just three different ranches mostly and for longer than many people have been alive so uh it's pretty well the knowledge that guy has him and his brother both he comes and helps us uh and you know seeing them was pretty cool too once they both started hearing the dragon and seeing the two of them crawling together you know , just thinking about how old they are or From experience, you know, but yeah, he's a, he's become a really good friend of mine, uh, man, he just says he's hit more cows than a lot of people have seen, yeah he's 87 and he still rides every day and i gave him a horse the other day i think he's ridden it every day since but he's got a lot, a lot of knowledge and a lot of perspective like we're talking you know the things he's seen materialize throughout of the years. you know, kind of see what's going to stick and what's not and, at the end of the day, you know that experience of what works, you know and, um, and then speaking of reading won, you know, imagine, I never had Dyed. it shows, but I mean he knows what it's like even more than guys like me who's been at it for 32 years, but you know he's been at it for 80 87 years.
Did you realize that time you know he can I can tell you if he's driving an old bull that's crippled and he will know when to stop and give him a break and when he knows ask him to keep going even more than many cowboys just for the years and years of experience you know and then he's a good rider um hey like i said he never showed but i mean just cow hits horse he did a bunch of them yeah and i only spent a very limited time i mean a day and some change around him but he seems like a very stoic man very nothing nothing really bothers him if i'm wrong no you're not right and he's always said if you enjoy what you do and you like and love your job even um you'll never have to work one day in your life you know and that's true you know and he looks at it you know it doesn't matter there are things you don't know aren't fun to do but he just knows if you're going to let your feet dangle down it's a it's a good day like that which um i think a big part of why we do what we do is just for the love you know and the in th The worldwide reward of doing it again tomorrow you know?
You can talk? We talked about this before. Um, some of the unwritten cowboy rules. a little horsey but i don't know the cowboy rules you know so you give me as a top three yeah for thosepeople who can do it well are some of the rules I guess if you want to keep it. or the cowboy code or things that you know you're never supposed to ride in front of someone you know, I mean, you always know if you have to go there, that door where you have to go after me and there are times when I might it takes a little longer to go around behind someone, but that's just considered rude to ride in front of someone else's horse, so um, that's something that bothers most people.
I mean, especially from ranch to ranch, one is pretty consistent, there are things that some ranchers do a little differently. I'm not saying one is right or one is wrong, that's how they do it, but that's one that goes. I would say it covers all ranches. someone, um, you meet another just uh, I don't know if it's necessarily a rule, but it's just being a good person, you know, yeah, you know, cowboys are, in my opinion, supposed to be good people first, you meet and you care and just be a hard worker and that helps a lot you know if you are especially for me when the men who work work with them or form or under them or whatever if they know you are you will too and you know that they will go and do whatever you want for you like wiggle and stuff you know you're not supposed to walk between the chuck box and the oven huh that's just that's the cook area you know there's a chuck box it's the lid you know you take off the one the cook cooks on and it would be a little similar you know most people might not and you know if a cook sitting there walks up and down the island to the oven you know that you're in the way, you know, so that's another little rule Mu Many people may not know that a lot of this is just to make the structure of things go well and not just make it look like you're running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off, you know I thought about things that went on for years. and I'm like, oh, I mean, I'm embarrassed years later, but anyway, um, so I messed up my last question, um, you just answered part of it, but I want to express it, I'll be very specific about it and see if it has a different answer but the name of the show is the converted cowboy the last question for every show is what is his definition of a cowboy um i think a cowboy like he said is a big part of him just being a good people um i think that They're supposed to respect people, uh, you know yeah, yeah, if you don't respect other people, they don't respect you and, uh, I think cowboys should be respectful and kind and courteous and, um, no I know, maybe back in the day when it used to be the ripping and the roaring and the hard fighting, but I think nowadays it's more of the type and dependable, you know they're not a, you know, and I'm talking a lot more about the character, there they are, there are also they know that they have to have some talent and some experience and n roping and riding and riding colts and knowing how to read cattle and gather pasture too but, to me, another part of being a cowboy is that it's just the character of a man you don't know, uh, you can have the best, but as if You know what, you have the best cavalry in the world as far as roping and riding but if he if he's not a good person you know what's the what's the point of him so I know I think you know today cowboys more you know the rep utation of most of them you know they are good good people I guess so that's a very good answer well that's all I have for you I could sit here and talk to you for a few more hours but I appreciate your time i appreciate your hospitality um i appreciate you just being a good friend through these years i don't know how much i really helped you but if i did it in any way that makes me feel better you know i had a part in you in your success later in a show or in life or anything you know and I think that's what What makes the entire farming industry so special is that it's not just about me you know if you see someone else succeed well that's good and in a show even you know if if this trainer helps trainer horses get better, that will make you step up you know that's right i think we always have um people we look up to you know people we compete against and we have people we're helping yeah i mean it's because that I really learn I needed to teach a few things that worked, yes I agree too, so reflecting on the interview with Dusty, what stood out to me the most was the impact his mentors had on his life trajectory, reinforced the idea that we should all seek guidance from them. that they've been there and done that, but also that we need to cultivate relationships with others who are looking to learn what we know and invest in them the way Dusty's mentors invested in him until next time be thankful and be kind.
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