Mike Beck

by Mike Thomas

Mike Beck and his Border Collie showed up in Montana at the Madison River Cattle Company Ranch in the late 1970s. I had heard from Mel Obrigewitch, who was my Cow Boss, that Mike Beck had spent time riding with Bill Dorrance. I told Mel that I was very interested in hiring Mike Beck.

Sometime later, somewhere on the ranch, I asked Mike Beck: “What was it like, riding with Bill Dorrance?” I had known Tom for some time but never really met Bill. Mike’s answer involved saddling a horse, I think at Mt. Toro, and then riding to a tree on a hill. I seem to remember that it was not really that far from the barn, but the tree could be seen clearly. They made that ride and when they arrived at the tree, Bill asked Mike about his ride from the barn to the tree.

Bill asked Mike (as I remember): “What happened on our ride from the barn to the tree?” Mike discovered that dozens of events occurred, from the horse stepping around a rock, a bird flying up, the horse noticing all; dozens of other events took place on that short ride that Mike was not aware of. Bill's powers of observation really made an impression on Mike, and his listening to the horse’s reaction to each and every one of these minor events. These were minor to Mike but not to the horse. This one ride and many others changed his life forever, he said.

Mike is a man of many talents and his loyalty to, and honoring of, the Dorrance Family speaks very highly of the integrity, character and honesty in his life associated with the Trinity of Horsemen from Inner Circle. These have been the basic principles of lifemanship that are and always will be his life, and a good one at that.