story by Lori O’Harver GLEN ROSE, Texas – “We’re thrilled to have the bronc riders back in town, but honestly? It’s the TBRA lady ranch […]
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Bronc Riding Nation and TBRA: Fighting for the Bucking Horse Community
story by Lori O’Harver
Before the Texas Bronc Rider’s Association (TBRA) had issued its first membership, founder Daryl McElroy joined forces with Lori Lee O’Harver, the founder and president of Bronc Riding Nation (BRN).
BRN is a member supported non-profit organization that supports the all facets of the bucking horse community in simple, yet innovative ways to preserve the culture by promoting the truth about this inspirational breed of horse and the people who love them.
“If you love horses that buck, it’s time to act to see that they are protected,” said O’Harver.
Sounds odd knowing that bucking horses are the most naturally kept, naturally performing domestic horses on the planet. When you know that the instance of injury is less than 0.1%, that the hardest working among them manage to log about 2 minutes a year on the clock. They’ll never have a farrier nail a shoe on. They’ll never feel a bit in their mouths, much less be asked to collect into shapes defined by fashion or discipline standards. Home is deep, grassy pastures where fences are hard to find and family bands form; retirement in soundness happens regularly at the end of long carefully managed careers.
If humanity for horses means great care with limited captivity and zero micromanagement, the bucking horse is the most humanely treated, employed horse we can point to. But still, they’re misunderstood and at risk from political attack by animal rights groups who don’t know them at all.
“Statistics show that 90% of the population in the United States is urban based, far removed from the reality of the animal world,” said O’Harver. “The American Horse Council (AHC) is the horseman’s advocacy group operating in Washington D.C. Their last study proved that one out of every 63 people in the United States claimed a ‘deep connection’ to horses. We’ll need each and every one of those people to fall in love with the reality of the bucking horse and not fall victim to the widely spread lies of ‘animal rights’ regimes who profit from donations extracted from good hearted people who simply don’t know the truth.”
“If we allow PETA and SHARK to be the loudest, most organized voice out there, we’re essentially dooming bucking horses to extinction,” O’Harver said. “It’s way past time to organize and stand up for our way of life and what that truly entails. Historically, we’ve done a great job in terms of taking care of our horses on every level. Where we’ve failed is in giving those who would naturally fall in love with them the opportunity. We have to start the conversation … the factual one.”
“The partnership between the TBRA and BRN is a natural as both organizations serve the interests of the bucking horse community,” Daryl McElroy said. “Our community is known for rugged independence. While that needs to be protected it’s also time for outreach.”
“Early in the developmental stages of Bronc Riding Nation, I visited with Mac Altizer,” O’Harver said. “Mac is one of our community’s visionaries. My takeaway was this. ‘We’d already be there if we’d have learned to all get in the harness and pull our wagon the same direction.’