Horses & horsemen agree - Craig Cameron is a Texas Hero
By Mary Allyce BCC Contributor
Craig Cameron prefers "natural horseman" over the popular "horse whisperer" label, but, however he is described, when Cameron speaks, horses - and their people - listen and understand.
In recognition of his years of superlative western horsemanship, the Frontier Times Museum designated Craig Cameron a 2012 Texas Hero and will induct him into the Hall of Honor on Saturday, July 28, as part of Bandera's National Day of The American Cowboy celebration.
The adage, "Don't call him a cowboy until you see him ride," is one Craig Cameron has no trouble proving. The resume of this rancher, working cowboy and horse trainer includes cattle ranching, custom hay-baling, horse training and bull riding on the professional rodeo circuit. It was his affinity for horses and communicating with them that led him to a different way of training rather than so-called "breaking" horses. He credits meeting the highly respected horseman Ray Hunt in the early 1980s with showing him techniques he uses today.
Headquartered at ranches in Pine Bluff, Texas, and Lincoln, New Mexico, this native Texan travels far and wide, as many as 44 weeks a year, giving clinics and making appearances all over the United States and Canada. His television show, "Ride Smart," is a staple on RFD-TV, produced by Cameron and his wife, Dalene, who is an integral part of the business.
In addition to the "American Horsemanship" road show, Cameron hosts clinics at his ranch and offers books and DVDs sharing his experience and knowledge with the many horsemen and women who want to know what he does and how he does it. He also envisioned and produces the Extreme Cowboy Race competition.
On his webpage, Cameron says, "People always ask for the secret in training," then describes the tough-to-train type of horse he works with frequently. "There is no secret.
Horses respond positively to effective training techniques...training in a relaxed fashion and...working with the horse, not against him."
With fellow horseman, Pat Parelli, Cameron won the 2010 "Road To The Horse Competition." In 2002, he was named Working Cowboy of The Year by the American Cowboy Culture Awards Committee. He has also been inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and achieved the respect of fellow horseman wherever he goes.
Awards notwithstanding, it's safe to say Craig Cameron is as pleased with the trust and respect he gets from horses as that of their people. "It's about being the best," he offers, "and...revolves around the horse and great horsemanship. The horse is only as good as the trainer and seeks the level of the rider...it is about the quality of a cowboy's work that counts...not just by 'talking the talk', but you need to 'walk the walk'."
Cameron can and does both "talk the talk and walk the walk." He will participate in a "meet and greet" and book signing at 2 pm, Friday, July 27, at the Frontier Times Museum, 510 13th Street.
Everyone is also invited to join Cameron and others honorees, Arkey Blue, Buddy Groff and Joaquin WHAT when they become official Texas Heroes at high noon Saturday, July 28, on the Bandera County Courthouse lawn.