As South Texas began warming up under the morning sun, the hands were making there rounds feeding. Four geldings, all four years old, are part of the routine. They waited impatiently as the feed truck made it to their corner of the corrals. They had no idea that today was going to be a little different.
Not long ago they were running at the Yenger like wild horses. And had been for almost a year and a half. Morgan picked them up and had worked them on the ground a bit and today they would get ridden. They’re a nice group of horses and it’s hard to believe that they slipped through the cracks. It was time to find out if they remembered anything at all from their less-than-thirty-days training they received almost two years ago. Age and so much more strength can often leave you with quite a different horse than what they were when they were started.
The bay was first. With jobs like this, I just start over. I have confidence that Morgan prepared them very well, but I didn’t have the ability to see it happen. Starting over lets me get familiar with the horse as I go in order to have as few surprises as possible. I was on the bay in less than ten minutes. Then saddled him up and eased him around the round pen. No problem. The ride went the same. I was excited. The bay will be pretty nice.
On to the pale gray. In an effort to keep this short, let’s just say that he did well also. In fact, this gray ended up being my favorite. On to the darker gray. The best looking gelding in the bunch did not come back from his long break like the other two. No problems other than laziness, but he just wasn’t in the same class as the others on this day-one-after-two-years.
That leads me to our final horse and the lesson teacher for me today. He was bay roan and everyone’s pic really. Dick and Morgan both thought he’d do the best. Well, he did . . . for a while. He kicked up just a bit when he loped off the first time but I didn’t worry about it. Like I said, it had been a long time. Then we went throught the typical drill. He did well. Time to quit. Four for four. I was happy with this set. But, he wouldn’t stand to dismount. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and offered him two more chances. Same results. So, off we went.
He wanted to move out so we moved out. And about that second time around he hopped up again. What?!?! He should be over this I thought. And if that’s all he’s got, I’ll let him have it if he humps again. Well he did. I gave it to him. And then he gave it to me. That wasn’t all he had. The next thing I knew, I’m looking for my horse.
That’s what over-confidence gets you. I was feeling pretty good, had a good feel for the roan’s movement and was going to wear him out if he wanted to pitch. I never saw him coming. I had let my guard down. If he had done the same thing fifteen minutes earlier, we would not have had any problems. But, now I was proud. I had settled in and could “do no wrong”.
Such is life. That over-confidence is a wedge that pushes it’s way into the things we are best at. And Satan himself can’t stand that open door. He slips right in. We all look for him at the bar, in prison. Scams, thievery, murder, whatever. The funny thing is, he doesn’t even have to try at those places. That wedge is what he enjoys. His creativity gets put to work in our lives in the places we think we’re the strongest. Our strong marriage, bible study, even church. Seriously, how many damaging conversations are a result from something that has to do with church. ALOT.
We can’t get to proud of ourselves and let our guard down. We might end up brushing the dust off and having some humble pie.