Page 22 - New Mexico Summer 2021
P. 22

                  Lisa has been barrel racing practically her entire life. She started when she was a young girl and still competes professionally.
 National Finals Rodeo. She has qualified for 20 circuit finals within the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.
“What’s remarkable about that is she did it on
up there for nothing.’ So, I got up there and
all the elk ran away. They weren’t spooked by me, so I was irritated with the hunters. I was thinking they hadn’t done what I asked them to
what he meant. “The bobcat was stalking you,” the hunter told him.
Well, it wasn’t a bobcat. It was a mountain lion, and a big one at that, weighing about 180
probably 15 different horses,” says Brian. “Most girls do it on one horse and once that horse is gone, you don’t hear from them again. She’s very humble and won’t tell you, but she’s one of the best barrel horse trainers in the country.”
Horse shoeing has been a long-running tradition in the Anderson family. Brian did
it for 25 years, most of them at racetracks.
He’s worked with some of the top trainers in Quarter Horse racing and on the Thoroughbred side with Steve Asmussen. Brian’s dad, Merlin, was a horseshoer for 40 years and his twin brother Bruce shod horses in this country and in Dubai. Bruce’s younger brother Travis works at Hot Springs.
Brian also is a big game hunter and guide. His kill count includes 27 bull elks, 15 of them with a bow and arrow. But sometimes, the hunter becomes the hunted.
About 23 years ago, Brian was guiding a group of Texans on an elk hunt on Lisa’s family ranch in Montana. He told the hunting party where to position themselves while he climbed up a ridge. His plan was to get any elk that might be in the area headed in the direction of the hunters.
“I climbed up a ridge into the pine trees. I told them, `Don’t move, I don’t want to crawl
do. And I got to thinking, why did the elk run the wrong way.”
Brian started walking down a trail that had a cliff above him and a drop off below him.
“I sensed something was watching me,” recalls Brian. “I turned and the cat was already in the air. He caught me around the shoulder and the side, but fortunately he missed getting my neck.”
Brian and the mountain lion tumbled together over the drop off and both landed about 15 to 20 feet below into a pile of rocks.
“When we hit the ground, I picked up a rock the size of a basketball and hit the cat with it in the head,” said Brian.
Stunned but undeterred, the fully grown mountain lion wouldn’t back away.
“He backed me off the mountain all the way down. I was throwing pinecones, sticks, anything. I felt like a mouse,” says Brian. “He finally ran off.”
Brian wasn’t carrying a rifle or handgun.
“I didn’t have a gun because I had to climb a big ridge and I didn’t want the extra weight. I usually carry one. And I definitely didn’t think there was a lion up there,” he said.
When he got back to the group of Texas hunters, one of them told Brian, “That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.” Brian asked him
“I told him, ‘You saw him sneaking up
on me? So why didn’t you shoot him.’” The Texas hunter replied: “I didn’t have a tag for him.”
“I said, ‘If he’s about to eat the guide, I’ll pay the fine,’” said Brian.
The mountain lion clawed through most of Brian’s clothes. Fortunately, he had dressed in layers. “He tore all the way through my jacket, through my sweatshirt and T-shirt.”
Brian survived that scare on the mountain with only minor scratches and lived to guide another day.
Now, he’s part of a partnership that is
all good. The trio don’t miss the sub-zero temperatures of winters in Montana. They appreciate New Mexicans’ naturally friendly nature and Tularosa’s population of just over 3,000 has been a perfect fit for where they want to be and what they want to do.
“We’re not trying to beat anybody,” says Brian. “We just want to contribute to the (New Mexico breeding) program. We believe we have quality stallions and great mares. We’re excited to be part of the program.”
One can’t help but wonder: WHAT IF, they hadn’t made the move to New Mexico.
  “We’re not trying to beat anybody. We just want to contribute to the
(New Mexico breeding) program. We believe we have quality stallions and great mares. We’re excited to be part of the program.” – Brian Anderson
    20 New Mexico Horse Breeder

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