A Cowboy’s Faith: Mistakes need multiple understanding

buchmanhead“It was all pilot error.”

That honest, humble evaluation was made several years ago when a teenage cowgirl cited reason for not winning a major barrel race. Significance continues to become realized.

When a horse makes a mistake, it’s generally the rider’s fault. That’s especially true with smart, well-trained mounts, yet often also with younger, less experienced horses.

There are exceptions, but everybody can make mistakes, human or animal, as all living creatures have certain semblance.

Interesting that the most talented horses become personally offended when making a mistake. It’s apparent in their attitude change, pouting.

Not unlike all of life and living, the older we are, the less we know. The more we know, the more we don’t know.

Especially that’s true when riding horses. The more we ride, that much more we don’t comprehend.

Of the thousands ridden, there’ve been a handful of really top horses. Maybe even a couple were great, if we’d been cowboy enough riding to potential.

Blessed we are in having our two show horses today. One certainly qualifies as great, and the other seems to have the potential to become such.

Missy is little, old, swaybacked, always-swelled right front knee, ornery, picks on her mates.

But, that mare tops every speed competition when ridden correctly. She has to have the biggest heart of any horse we’ve ever seen.

Problem is always the rider. Touch Missy with rein, leg, knee, backside, and especially voice, she responds. It can cause down barrels, knocking over poles, kicking kegs, us missing the flag.

Rider’s uncoordinated, clumsy, slow, basically old, even if not as mature proportionally as his mount.

When we ride correctly, Missy’s a winner going away, regardless of the field.

Now, Maggie is similar, yet vastly different. She’s intelligent, too smart for an old cowboy.

There’s little Maggie can’t do, sometimes entering 20 classes a day. Dilemma is our lack of understanding.

Two weekends in a row, Maggie was riding like a charm, winning. Then, her attitude completely changed, mad, upset, seemingly without reason.

Like the Man Upstairs, Maggie doesn’t make it obvious what we’re to do. Blame the cowboy, not his horse.

Reminds us of Job 14:16: “You notice every mistake I make.” Yet, First Kings 3:9: “Give me an understanding, so I know the difference between right and wrong.”


030615-franksmug2Frank 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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