Was Blind, But Now I See (My Horse)

by Kevin on July 24, 2014

I was the new guy on the Rocker B Ranch near Big Lake, Texas. I was there long before you started seeing the ranch show up in Western Horseman and cowboys posing at the pens. I was there before famous horse trainers were called in to ride the rough string…we did it ourselves.

Unless you lost your horses.

I lived at Hoodoo Camp with my dad and our string of horses were turned out in a two section (1280 acres) horse pasture that had exactly 4-9/5 feet of clear, West Texas prairie. Every night we would gather the horses in and give them a coffee can of oats and a little hay. The horses stayed penned up and then the next morning we would go out and feed and decide which horses were to be used that day.

My dad is the breakfast Nazi. He and my brother both have to be eating something before their left eye opens and I don’t like to eat until there is barely a morning left. So my job was to go feed the horses while my dad fed the mule (more on this in a minute).

As I went out to feed, I immediately noticed that there was only one horse in the pen. The gate was standing wide open.  The horse in the pen was our kid horse, Ben. We very seldom used him because you had to peddle him like a tricycle for ten hours and you were less sore the next day if you rode one of the broncs and got yard-darted three times. Ben was too lazy to leave with the other horses.

I threw my dad’s saddle on Ben and I think he woke up once, but it wasn’t for long. I hooped and hollered and shook the fed bucket in hopes that the horses were close and they would come in.

Nothing moved in the pitch darkness of the pre-pre-pre dawn hour.

I raced back to the house because I knew dad would be waiting on me to stare at my food while he inhaled his. I told him that the horses were out, but he seemed more concerned with his bacon and eggs than horses being out.

I sat there with my stomach in knots. I hate to be late for anything and I could already tell we would be late for the gathering this morning. I started telling dad to take Ben and go on. He said everything would be fine and we would find the horses. That man can be stubborn as a mule with his head in the hay.

We jumped in the truck and got the spot light out. There were two roads that led through the pasture and he drove slow as I looked for the wayfaring caballos. For two hours we drove around and around without any luck. The entire time, I pleaded with dad to tell them I was sick and go ahead without me, but he just smiled and said, “We’ll find them. It’ll be alright.”

My stomach was in knots as we both wondered if the horses had been raptured by the Almighty himself. There was not hide nor hair anywhere to be seen in the glow of spotlight or dimness of headlight.

Finally, dad just parked the truck at the highest point of the pasture. This was a beautiful spot overlooking Centralia Draw. I asked him what he was doing and he said we were going to make a call and wait for help. With that, he slid down in the driver seat of that single cab pickup, tipped his hat over his eyes, and went to sleep.

I had dreamed of having a ranch job on a big outfit and now I was having nightmares of being fired. I couldn’t understand how dad could just fall asleep at a time like this. I sat there and fretted and cussed the situation, my dad’s stubbornness, Houdini horses, brushy pastures, and shaved alpacas (this last one probably isn’t true…I just think they are scary looking).

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally looked up from my pit of despair and saw the early light of dawn creeping down the draw.  I could see the birds darting from mesquite to mesquite in a musical dance of flight and song. I could see a jackrabbit slow hopping from one breakfast plate to another that God had provided. Where once I couldn’t see the front of the truck, I could now see the windmill down below us turning gently in the breeze as if it were stretching its body after a good night’s sleep…and could see the horses drinking from the trough that the mill poured its life-blood in to.

I turned to tell dad that I had spotted the horses, but I could see him smiling from under the hat. He stiffened and stretched and then turned to me and said, “We needed more light to find what we were looking for, so I made a call and waited on the Boss to turn on the lights.”

When we showed up at the pens about the time the cowboys were arriving from the pasture with the cattle, dad laughed and told the cattle foreman what had happened. Jim Ed said, “That’s happened to me more times than I’m willing to admit. Glad y’all are ok. We were worried when you didn’t show.”

Do you feel like you’re running around the pasture trying to find what you need to do your job, take care of your family, or just to find your purpose? Do you find yourself full of anxiety and worry? Instead of pulling your hat down and relaxing, do you fret and fear what may happen?

I have Good News!

Everything you are looking for is found at the Water: The Fountain of Life. But it will never be found in the darkness of fear, worry, guilt, shame, or unforgiveness. Sit back, pull your hat down, make a call, and wait on the Lord.

For you are the fountain of life,
the light by which we see.
Psalm 36:9 (NLT)

Windmill at sunrise


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