A Cowboy’s Faith: That great flying feeling

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.There’s not much better feeling than flying through the air with the greatest of ease.

Trapeze artists of long ago likely came up that description made popular in early day movies.

The Wright brothers knew it, too, when they went about inventing the airplane.

Lots of people get a thrill flying in a wide variety of ways. Of course, airplanes and helicopters, but also air balloons, and those little one-person flying gizmos.

Haven’t heard as much about zip cords lately, but the brave ones like flying off mountains and across the valleys on a cable.

It’s certainly a sensation and unique thrill of sorts riding a horse jumping over fences.

A couple of decades back, opportunity to follow the hounds in a fox hunt through the prairie hills lit the fire. There were two routes, higher fences for longtime traditionalists, and then foot or so high jumps for weak-of-heart beginners.

Shortly after, Western jump was added as a speed event on some horse show bills. The Wonderful Zane made it over 18-inch obstacles just fine.

After determining to ride in English tacked competitions, there were seldom but a couple entries in the hunter hack class. So, why not see if Maggie would jump upon request and enter that event as well?

First time to the 18-inch practice fence, she sashayed away, but on the second try easily went gliding over.

When the pole was hiked another six-inches, the buckskin mare tried but didn’t make it. A back leg hung up and knocked the fence down.

A few more practice attempts, and the pretty horse got the hang of what was expected and seemed to enjoy jumping.

Class itself is actually just going over two 24-inch fences, and then riding like in English pleasure. First official out had beginner’s luck and beat a handful of the old pros.

Other shows offer jumping classes with eight fences in a pattern, so tried that, too. Entering it for a while now with only occasional down rail.

Have even collected a couple blues, but happiest when the judge said: “Maggie sure can jump.”

Inspired by the ole world champion blonde lady jumper, am considering going higher through the air.

Reminded of Revelation 14:6: “An angel flies through the air preaching eternal gospel to every nation, tribe, language and people.”


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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