Another georgous Thursday has blown by. Late Wednesday evening after I got the horses rode and roped some calves, I sorted out the yearling heifers and loaded them in the trailer to deliver them back to the ranch. They were here to help finish the ranch horses I had showing in the Ranch Horse competition at San Antonio. I really don’t have room for them here, so it’s time for them to go back to the ranch.
Having loaded them the night before gave me a chance to take my time this morning. For some reason it seemed like the stars were shining a little brighter. There’s a northern pushing through on Saturday, so maybe the front of it is clearing out the air a bit. Who knows. The point is that it was a beautiful morning. I fed the horses and loaded my right hand man Gus. Then after kissing my bride goodbye, loaded two calf roping horses and headed south.
Today was another one of those great Thursdays. We fed this morning and then I rode a couple three year olds. Two fillies. One will hopefully be headed to NCHA Cutting Hall of Famer Rusty Carroll and the other to NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman winner, Chris Littlefield. Time will tell, but they are both capable of going bigtime in my opinion.
After that Morgan asked me to put the first ride on a two that he just got up. He was almost no effort at all. One little hump during the first trot out and smooth sailing after that. He’ll be fun.
After lunch we went to the Mulas to check water and then it was calf roping time. Mr. Greeson’s son, Parke, has a highschool rodeo this weekend and wanted me to tune Roany up for him a little. Roany is the Reserve World Champion Calf Roping horse Dad sold to Mr. Greeson. He’s pictured at the top of this post competing in Houston. Anyway, Morgan came with me to turn out, but more importantly, to help Parke with his roping. He was already roping better than the last time we went over there. I can get Roany jamming, no problem, but I can’t teach him to throw the rope. 😉 Parke has to do that part. And Dad is so much better at watching someone and communicating the changes they need to make in order to rope better.
My concentration is almost always within the horses. They usually teach me more than I teach them and today was no different. Ice Man, a grey stud of my grandfather’s, had his first experience of me leaving him yesterday. Plenty went into reaching that day, but yesterday was the first time I roped, stepped off and left him to go tie the calf, and expected him to do his job on his own. So today I had planned to get off the gas a little and let him run a couple of breakaway calves and call it a day. After the second one, my breakaway sure enough broke away. The plastic loop broke clean into two pieces. I had a choice. Quit Ice Man, or rig him up for tie down.
Dad hadn’t seen him go yet, so I decided to tie at least one down on him at this new place to see how he’d do. I got off the left and he did OK. So I scored one. Then on the second one, he hunted him hard from the start, stopped hard, so I stepped off the right and left him. He pulled great and I was so pleased with him.
Long story short, Joe, the other calf horse I took who his Roany’s younger brother worked fantastic. It’s hard to quit those kind because they’re so much fun to rope on.
So we headed back to the ranch.
“Well, what’d you think?” I just had to ask Morgan on the way back. He hadn’t said much.
He half grinned and said, “Hell I was kind of surprised. He looked good.”
I feined disbelief and we had a good time with it. Truth is I was pretty damn surprised myself. That was alot to ask a horse. New place. New task. High pressure. But here’s the deal. We, me and Ice Man, have LOTS of hard days behind us. There was so much preparation behind those two runs. I should have been confident in his ability and I wasn’t. Hopeful would be more descriptive. Same with Joe and he’s way further along than Ice Man.
So what I wanted to share today, other than a Thursday story that sounds more like vacation than work to me, is the concept of trust. Relationship trust. Not the romantic kind, but trust nonetheless. Everybody has their version of cold windy riding days. Hot sweaty roping days. Trials and tribulations that happen on your way to an accomplishment. Most of the people in your life aren’t there for those hard days. They only show up for the performance. They don’t see the hard part. And so you (and I) worry. Somwhere in me I knew Ice Man would do just fine or else I wouldn’t have rigged him up in the first place. That’s the trust I’m talking about. For me, though, it needs to be more prominant. I suspect it’s the same for you.
So trust in God’s ability to work through you. And in the abilities that He has given to you. And in the horses (or people) He has entrusted unto you. Be great. Sometimes our worst fear is not in being a failure, but in becoming something great.