Tag Archives: Cowboy College

An Interview with Rocco Wachman from the Arizona Cowboy College – with a twist!

Well, today I have a longer interview for you.  Horse and Man went to Arizona’s Cowboy College to speak with them about their bond with their horses. Instead of asking about ridin’, ropin’ and gatherin’, I wanted to chat about the horses they run and what they meant to the wranglers there.

Wow.  We spent an entire day there (even overnighted in the bunk house) and these folks are real horsepeople.  It isn’t about domination or training, it is about partnership.  I mean, think about it, if you are on the trail or out there in neverneverland, you need a mount you can trust.  Rocco told us all about it.  He seemed very genuine and I really enjoyed our time together.

First off, let me tell you about the Arizona Cowboy College.  It was started by Lloyd Bridwell who was a rancher that was the son of a rancher who was the son of a rancher.  You know what I mean here…  Anyway, in 1989 he created the Cowboy College to impart his love of the ranching life.  It caught on like wildfire and was featured in television and magazines everywhere.  I’m sure the movie, CITY SLICKERS, took a piece from Lloyd.

Students came to Cowboy College from far and wide.  One of those students was a businessman from New York, Rocco Wachman.  Well, Rocco was so moved by his experience at CC, he left NY behind and became a part of the College.  Now he is the head instructor…  Rocco was our tour guide and interviewee.

But before we go to the video, I have to tell you the tragedy here.  Lloyd Bridwell passed away unexpectedly in 2003.  Honorably, his wife, Lori, continued on with Rocco’s help.  The College was Lloyd’s dream and no one wanted it to end.  So, with great strength and will power the Bridwell family and Rocco kept Cowboy College thriving.  And thank goodness because our adventure there, and the adventures of everyone who takes the course, make memories that last a lifetime!

So, in this short video, Rocco speaks of his relationship with the horse and two horses in specific.  The first horse he mentions is a mare who saved his life.  Rocco was on horseback and lost his way in the wilderness during a snow storm.  He was unconscious when they finally arrived back at the ranch.  His mare had walked the last several miles with an unresponsive rider on her back.  According to Rocco, he was suffering hypothermia.  If she had given up, he would surely not be with us.  You can see his admiration for her when we enter her pen…

The second horse we visit is his young Appy “son”.  This is his favorite horse of all of them, even at the young age of just 5 years old.  Rocco feels that this horse is the most honest and willing horse he has ever worked with or taught.  You’ll see him interact with this sweet gelding.  It is funny, this gelding was for sale but not really, if you know what I mean…  I thought Rocco’s love for this boy was very endearing.  It was great to see this Cowboy speak of his horse so lovingly.

I also want to add that the “Inspired” video I put up a few weeks ago was filmed at Cowboy College.  The girl in the video is Lori’s student who rode through all those jumps at liberty.  So, you see, they do more than Cowboyin’ at Cowboy College.  Here is a link to the Inspiration video.

Here is a link to the You Tube site for Rocco’s interview at Cowboy College.  I hope you enjoy our little visit with Rocco and the Cowboy College!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

Spring Has Sprung, the Grass Has Rizz, I Wonder Where the Flowers is?… Spring Inspiration!

My Aunt Sid used to use that expression and it always made me smile.  Spring is here!

I have two things today.  Inspiration and Lists.


Here is an inspirational video (click here) that we shot at Arizona’s Cowboy CollegeThis is a girl who with only a strap around her horse’s neck, takes him over several (not little) jumps, around bushes and trees and whatever else without a fence or any gear except a helmet. Hmmmm.  Kinda inspiring to become ONE with your horse again after a long winter…  I totally remember shooting this and feeling like such a schmoe because I couldn’t ride at liberty.  Anyway, all it takes is lots of devotion, companionship and practice.  And time.  Lots of time.

Did you know that Cowboy College taught this sort of thing?  I didn’t either.  Yup.  It isn’t all about ropin’ and ridin’.  It is about total horsemanship.  Check it out!  We loved it there.  Anyway, here is the video of our Spring Inspirational At Liberty video.


You probably already do this list but I’m writing it anyway just in case my experience helps you:

  • clean and repair flymasks (or buy new ones on sale)
  • clean out feet and apply thrush cure if needed (If you suspect canker, us the purple mush.)
  • detangle manes and tails (this could take several days  ;)  …)
  • wash and put away winter blankets
  • clean out all water troughs/buckets and remember to check them more frequently
  • order your predators
  • order your garlic (if you use it)
  • order fly spray on sale or make your own
  • clean out your trailer and trailer tack room
  • road ready check on your trailer — bearings packed?
  • put fresh water in your trailer
  • grease the trailer ball
  • clean tack (If you use leather cream, my favorite is Skidmore’s.)
  • clean and oil your clippers – or have someone do that
  • check your helmet
  • clean out your saddle bags (hopefully no mystery blobs of old treats in there…)
  • fix your hoses, floats or waterers
  • check/order your hay – this is the hardest time to get hay
  • watch a few videos (They make it look so easy…)
  • get on your trainer’s schedule if needed
  • scour Ebay and Bayequest for tack on the wish list


  • TIGHTEN ALL CHICAGO SCREWS (I lost a bridle mid-gallop because of this — not good.)
  • CHECK FOR SPIDERS IN TACK (One that made no web and left no clues, crawled out mid ride and bit me.)
  • CLEAN THE MOLD FROM YOUR TRAILER HORSE AREA AND TOTALLY WASH OUT THE HAY BAGS/RACKS FOR MOLD  (This seems so obvious but you want to be really careful with this.  Mold climbs up walls and gets into cracks that your horse sniffs.  I have known of respiratory ailments that came from hidden mold in the trailer of a show horse who traveled often.)

Oh, and here is a tip.  I found this plastic 5 gallon gas can that BMX/ATV riders use.  It is perfect for water in your trailer after trail rides.  Previously I used the huge trailer tanks but for me, they were kinda unruly.  This is easy to fill, easy to carry and easy to pour (two handles).  I love it.  You can get them at any motorbike store or online.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!