A Cowboy’s Faith: Old cowboy learning new trick

buchmanhead“No beginner’s good luck this time.”

Maybe we can blame it on being the 13th, a “bad judge,” or “it’s the horse’s fault.” Never could be lack of ability, or that we’re overstepping the line.

Actually, it was our lucky day: We didn’t fall off.

And, we received more compliments, well let’s say “comments,” than we’d have ever expected.

“You sure look sharp all decked out in that fancy getup.”

At least four people said that, or similar, as we rode into the show grounds. Two others contended, “I would have never suspected this. I always thought of you as a dyed-in-the-wool cowboy.”

The remarks came when we changed our cowboy attire to complete English riding getup. Our family has made fun of the “monkey suits” required in the English division of horse shows, and flatly refused to ever put one on, or enter those competitions.

Admittedly, despite having judged English classes for our entire professional career, we sometimes made tongue-in-cheek remarks under our breath, too, when “the-uppers-and-downers” came in the ring, with no-easily-visible saddle, almost formal attire, and construction worker hardhats.

Despite all that, we were entered in English classes at the horse show. A full day a week earlier had been spent getting all of the “funny clothes” for us, and “even more humorous tack,” claimed Maggie, our buckskin mare. She didn’t care for the rigmarole, but went along with it.

Five days were spent practicing how to post (the-ups-and-downs), and ride like the queens and kings. It wasn’t very successful, but we were committed, and put everything together for the show.

Maggie was decked out, as we put on the tight “pajama pants,” zip up boots to our knees, white shirt, blue tie that was supposed to be white, too, gold-buttoned blazer, hardhat with chinstrap, and we forgot the black gloves in the pickup seat, our excuse for booby prizes.

In response to: “Why do you want to ride English?”

“Just because. Prove we can.”

Regardless, thanks to Maggie, we got through three classes, with a jillion ringside smirks and snides.

Reminds us that unlike First Samuel 17:12: “He was too old,” rather Romans 3:21: “In our time, something new has been added.” Because, Proverbs 18:15: “Wise men are always learning.” Then, Genesis 19:5: “We can have our sport with them.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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