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Rode trip
Aussie breaks horses, sees U.S. up close from his saddle
joe guy 5
Guy puts Pruitt and her horse through their paces. - photo by Photo by Sandi Van Orden

Joe Guy came from Australia to ride a horse in the home of the cowboy.

His trip began in Nashville, Tenn., two months ago, and this week, it has brought him to Rincon.

“I’ve done 850 miles so far, but I’ve worked with 30 horses since I left Tennessee,” Guy said. “I’ve broken eight, re-broken two and worked with another 20.”

He said he has always wanted to come to the U.S., and last year he did, and he broke 20 horses on his road trip.

“I got fixing people’s horses who had spent three months at trainers, and I was fixing their horses in half an hour, an hour, and they had spent three months at trainers, and sent home as unfixable,” Guy said. “It made me think that a lot of these trainers just don’t know what they’re doing.

“That’s where I started messing with horses, and figured I would ride around America and show as many people as I can how to fix a proper horse, how to fix them so they know how to keep that horse in check.”

Guy said there has been a significant difference between driving around the country and riding.

“Last year we came over, and we drove 20,000 miles of America and Canada in an old Chevy van, camping out in RV parks and beside the roads to get an idea of America and how it all worked,” he said. “That was really interesting, because we got to see a lot of the country and meet a lot of people. But when you’re driving, you don’t meet people like you do on a horse. I’ve learned more in the two months and 850 miles than I did in 20,000, which to me is just incredible. But it is the way to meet people and learn how a country works.”

He said the only negative thing he has noticed is that people don’t trust one another.

“In Australia, we don’t have the guns and the violence that you all have, and people are friendlier,” Guy said. “I’ve met some friendly people on the road, but probably few and far between compared to the people who are wary of me, and what I’m doing.

“I hope to inspire people. You know, 50 years ago, it was people like me riding all over this country, I’m sure, and it just doesn’t happen any more. I hope to inspire people to look at that and think this is the home of the cowboy — if it wasn’t for the cowboy, he opened this country up years ago with the pioneer express and pony express with your mail. It would be good if people just think back to where they come from.”

He arrived in Rincon on Friday and plans to stay the week. Cathy Pruitt at Lovett’s has organized a place for him to stay with his horse.

“Which has been great, because that’s the hardest thing,” he said. “I was camped down the road at the old church and it’s like a cemetery in the back. I was camped at the back of the cemetery, but they moved me on. It’s sad because they just don’t trust anyone. I reminded them what the church is all about, and that I’m traveling around, and what I’m doing, but they didn’t care. Thank God for Lovett’s because they found somebody for me. I thought I’ll just camp out wherever. I’ll sleep under a tree wherever, but often enough I get moved on by different people, so it’s good to know last night I could sleep and my horse was in a stall. I could sleep in this morning knowing that I didn’t have to saddle up at daybreak.”

While he’s in town, Guy plans to talk to people and work with horses.

“To me if a horse doesn’t have a job, he hasn’t got a future, especially in this country because they go down to Mexico one after another to get their heads chopped off and to the glue factories,” he said. “You fall off a horse, that horse is deemed no good, it gets sent on to somebody else. They fall off of it, that horse goes to the glue factory. That’s a shame because there’s nothing wrong with the horse. The rider made him like he is. The rider fell off because she can’t ride or he can’t ride, so fix the rider. Fix the horse, the horse has a job, it has a future.”

Guy worked with Pruitt’s horse over the weekend. She was happy with what he taught her.

“I think that it’s a lot of common sense and respect for the horse and the horse has to have respect for you, and it’s a give and take situation,” she said.

She said she rode some as a child but never had training, and as she gets older, she feels the need to learn more about proper riding and training of horses.

“With horses you have to be totally committed it’s just like you have your own business or a marriage — you have to be 110 percent committed for you and the horse,” she said.

Pruitt is trying to schedule for Guy to come back and hold a two-day clinic in early October.

For more information on the clinic, or to talk to Guy while he’s in town call Pruitt at Lovett’s Tradin’ Post 826-2461, or check Guy’s Web site