ST. PAUL – One of Canada's top rodeo competitors stopped in St. Paul on Oct. 22 and 23 to teach youth how to rope during a clinic held at the AG Corral.
Clint Buhler, from Nanton, Alta., explained how there are a variety of activities that happen on a ranch, and among those activities is roping cattle. Back in the old days, when “you’re out in the field to doctor if a cow gets sick, and you don’t have a chute or stall or anything, you need to rope them off your horse to doctor them or look after them," said Buhler.
Among the roping techniques Buhler taught at the weekend clinic was breakaway roping. Buhler described it as a “very fast action-packed sport.” He also provided the young participants with training in team roping, which is done in partners, and includes heading and heeling. In team roping, one person ropes a steer around the neck, while the other person then ropes the back feet of the animal.
Buhler said the practice is common in ranching for doctoring cattle in the pasture. “It’s very effective, and it doesn’t cause a lot of stress in the animal,” he said, adding, it has also become among the fastest-growing sport in rodeo.
“I really enjoy coming and helping kids get started,” he said, stating there was a lot of interest at the weekend clinic. To motivate the learners, he shared that he had to “fork out $40” to a couple of youth who managed to catch two cattle in a row.
Buhler said he travels wherever he is invited to teach. Other recent stops included Lloydminster, Forestburg, and Vegreville.
“There’s been quite a bit up north here and it’s good to see the demand for it,” he said.
James Purdy was among the parents who brought their children to the clinic. Purdy signed up his son, Griffin, and noted he found the clinic to be a unique opportunity.
“It’s a pretty cool opportunity for the local kids here to get instruction with such a good instructor such as Clint Buhler,” he said, expressing his appreciation for the clinic.
Buhler said he’s flattered that communities are asking him to come and teach children, and “my style of teaching is appreciated by not only the kids but their parents as well.” He also credited parents for helping out when he teaches.
“I’m telling their kids the same thing they’ve told them, and it’s just coming from someone different,” said Buhler, explaining that sometimes kids don’t want to listen to their parents, and it takes a neutral person to have them listen.
After the clinic, Buhler said would be heading back home to practice for the upcoming Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer on Nov. 2-6, which gathers the best contestants throughout the country. After taking a couple years off from competing, he is excited to be back.
Buhler will be competing in team roping with his roping partner Brett McCarroll, who he describes as “one of the best heelers in all of Canada.”