Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In memory of Ray Hunt

"Why does it take a lifetime to learn how to live a lifetime" ~Ray Hunt

Rest in peace Ray Hunt: August 31, 1929 - March 12, 2009.

One of the greatest horsemen in history - he was called a "Master of Communication" for a reason - passed away last week. I had the opportunity to ride Tommy in the horsemanship portion of a Ray Hunt clinic in Wyoming in 2006. I have the best parents in the world. In fact, Mom took the photograph featured above at that clinic.

He was amazing to watch - watching him watching the horses and humans.My favorite part, though, was not caught on camera. In fact, Juilie's half-brother, Clayton, remains the only eye-witness. See, everyone else took a picture with Mr. Hunt and shook hands with Mr. Hunt. But when I went to thank him and shake his hand....

he said, "Come here, Karen" and he gave me a hug.

Maybe it was my very large horse. Or my english attire with western tack. Or my purple hair.
I don't know. But I shared a hug with Mr. Ray Hunt. And when he smiled, he had the brightest twinkle in his eye. (Thank you, Mom and Dad!)

And he was wise beyond the horsemanship. Some favorites from quotes from his book, Cowboy Logic, illustrate this:
"Fix it up and let him find it"

"Adjust to fit the situation"

"Recognize the smallest change, the slightest try"

"It's the little things that make a big difference"

"Believe in your horse so your horse can believe in you"

"Make the best out of a bad situation"

"The slower you go the faster you will learn"

"The horse will teach you if you'll listen"

and, of course, "Whistle, grin and ride!" :)

While they refer to horsemanship, they apply to multiple venues of life. Like teaching. Relationships. Getting through hard times. So very wise.

Rest in peace, Mr. Ray Hunt. I know you were in it for the horse, but you helped the humans, too. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your self. And thank you to your family for sharing, too!


Packy said...

Very nice. YOu shared a side of Ray that many people didnt know about. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I had the pleasure of being in 2 Ray Hunt Clinics. It was one of the last ones that he ever rode in with us. He was an amazing man. He knowledge was evident in just the gleam in his eye while watching a student with a horse. The horse can't be right on his feet if he's not right in his mind. It took me a while to fully understand this, but it's something I use everyday. As with most of what Ray had past along to us. To watch him recite poems in the evening after a good day of riding. Good Memories. Thanks Ray. Whistle Grin and Ride my friend

Unknown said...

Thank you, Karen. I still tear up thinking of some moments I had with Ray that were similar. I never felt that I deserved the type of kindness he extended to me, as he did to you. I, too, never asked for a picture or an autograph. At one point he reached down from his truck cab with a huge hand and encased the top of my head and said "YOU'RE GOOD." That will stay with me forever... we love you, Ray. Thank you so much... Colleen