A Cowboy’s Faith: Congenial acknowledgements always returned

buchmanhead“Hi Frank. Good to see you.”

Probably a couple dozen greeted us similarly early Saturday morning at the horse show.

Always acknowledging their cordial kindness with an appreciative smiling response, interestingly those nice gestures come from across the show grounds.

Of course, we senior riders tend to have certain camaraderie helping each other, sympathizing with feebleness and lack of coordination. An understanding of all things going wrong, while especially pleased when efforts come together.

Yet, the show officials, prime-age contestants who seldom take a backseat, arena crew, timers, and concessionaires express same congeniality.

Then there are those who’ve been around as long or longer than us. Judged some four decades ago, done training for several, had horse transactions through time, while competing against for decades.

Others quite mature who we’ve become acquainted through mutual friends somehow typically have like or similar philosophies and appreciations for each other’s unique ways.

What’s most pleasing is the large number of kids who speak to us, comment about our horse or ride. With them, of course, immediate recognition is returned for their successful efforts.

Actually, it’s all quite humbling and incomprehensible, really. Thing is we wonder how do so many folks seem to know us so well?

Maybe it’s because we’re in so many classes and they hear our name called often?

Perhaps it’s our horses? Maggie the buckskin mare does stand out from most. Missy’s old, little, cute and always prancing. Each receives comment at every outing, without exception.

No, sadly we’ve concluded. The real reason so many know us by name is because we’re the “old man” there.

It’s not that we consider ourselves that way, but it’s finally become obvious it’s the way many others think of us.

Well, they’re right: gimp, humpback, pot gut, fat cheeks, wrinkles; proven in the mirror.

Now, they know us by name, but honestly we don’t know or anyway don’t remember very many of them. Sure can’t call each by name.

However, we never let on that way. Our conversation responses are like we know all about everyone, their family, their horse, their last ride, and all; though each generally remains generic.

Reminds us of Isaiah 61:9: “All who see them will recognize and acknowledge them.” So, First Corinthians 16:18: “They have refreshed my spirit, so fully greet and deeply appreciate them.”


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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