The most valuable life lessons are usually learned the hard way, and none more than that of halter breaking a calf. When you’re just a little boy trying to break a 1,000 lb. calf to lead, it can seem to be an insurmountable task.

That’s when I rst learned that he with the most muscle always wins the contest—or almost always, as sometimes it’s brains over brawn. But the odds were against  me, as I was no match for any calf; especially one with an attitude.

It came as no surprise, that come showtime, I might have my hands full. Not only did the calf get away from me, I ended up with what was called a heat stroke. I think it was probably just nervous exhaustion. But for both the calf and myself, it became a tension- lled day.

After that experience, I never again entered the show ring without being totally prepared, with a well-trained calf.  It was one of those life experiences that has served me will to this day.

Many of you can relate to this kind of undesirable experience, so my advice to you is to always tie your calf to something bigger and stronger than you are. In my case it was an old farm tractor that never flinched. The calf could have pulled his head off, but the tractor was oblivious to it all.

When the pulling and fighting was over, I singly inched the old John Deere ahead with complete patience, compassion, and control. Another life lesson that has served me well: Always have the upper hand in every 'life situation' you confront.

From that point forward, I went on to show nine more grand champion steers throughout my years of 4-H, and took home the showmanship trophy every time I showed. This is not about bragging or patting myself on the back. It’s about learning the lesson of life that will put you in the winner’s circle.

Putting you in the "winners circle" is what Gunter Hess is all about. He can take your most difficult situations and turn them around for you. Before you give up, talk to Gunter. He can be contacted at [email protected] or 970-290-3278.


"PONY TALES by" Ponty is written by Ken E. Knight, the author of the “Knightro Report”, a nationally syndicated livestock-marketing column, which is featured in the "Farm And Livestock Directory" every month.

…Brothers And Sisters, And One Ol’ Man Processing Memories!