6 Ways to Keep Life From Buckin’ You Off

by Kevin on May 4, 2010

I’d like to say thanks to everyone that has commented and helped me with the 31 Days to Becoming a Better Blogger. It’s not too late to sign up if you have ever thought about starting your own ministry or blog. Go check it out.

I should have known!

“She’s as gentle as maple syrup poured on hot pancakes.”

This thought kept replaying in my mind as the horse I had agreed to ride for a friend was trying with all her might to buck me off. She was bein’ real honest about it. She was honestly tryin’ to rip me in two like a wishbone at Thanksgivin’. I had her covered, there wasn’t any doubt about that, but she was sure makin’ things more than a tad bit uncomfortable.

This mare just wouldn’t quit pitchin’. I knew she couldn’t buck me off and I promise you she had come to the same conclusion. But me and her were both givin’ it all we had. About halfway through the ride, I started getting asthma. I never leave home without an inhaler and I seriously considered goin’ for it while she was buckin’. I would have, but about the time I didn’t know how much longer I could hold out, she gave it up.

When I trotted her back up to the pen, one guy asked me how in the world I was able to stay on her for that long. I thought about for a minute and then I passed on the same advice that I had been told.

  1. Keep Calm – This is probably the hardest of all. When a horse goes to pitchin’, it tends to unravel your nerves a little. But the best thing you can possible do is to not freak out. Freakin’ out will get you bucked off and hurt more than anything else. Take a deep breath and keep calm.
  2. Keep Pushin’ – Most people grab onto the saddle horn if a horse farts real loud. I’m not going to criticize anyone that does, but how you use that horn will likely determine your outcome. DO NOT ever pull yourself forward towards that saddle horn. You must learn to push yourself deep in the seat by placing your hand on the horn and pushin’ yourself away from it. If you pull yourself forward, you are just helpin’ the horse. Pushin’ on the horn keeps your butt in the seat, your feet forward, and your head up.
  3. Keep Confident – You can ride any horse. If you start doubtin’ yourself, you will start lookin’ for a place to land. This is the quickest way to arrive head first like a pasture lawn dart from a height of about six feet. No matter what’s goin’ on, don’t ever doubt that you CAN and you WILL.
  4. Keep Workin’ – In between heart beats and hoof beats, you will probably have to reposition yourself. This might be with your stirrups or maybe even your reins. Don’t be lazy and just sit there waiting for the ride to be over. If your boot starts slippin’ in the stirrup, get a better hold on the next jump. If the horse is pullin’ you forward, shuck a little rein. Don’t be a lazy, reactive rider. Be proactive and keep workin’.
  5. Keep Squeezin’ – Most people ride right on their wrangler pockets. You have to ride a horse with more than the seat of your pants. You need to squeeze that horse with your toes, your calves, your legs, your thighs, your everything. You need to be hanging on to the horse like you’re a spider monkey.
  6. Keep Goin’ – Despite how you feel, the ride will be over in about 5-15 seconds. This may seem like a long time when it’s happening, but all in all, pitchin’ fits don’t last all that long. If you keep goin’, it’ll be over before you know it.

Life tries to buck us off all the time.

The lesson here isn’t just about ridin’ buckin’ horses. It’s about dealin’ with the fits that life throws at us. When things go wrong, we tend to freak out, pull ourselves into the problem instead of pushin’ away from it, start worryin’, we get lazy, we stop hangin’ on with everything we have, and we think the problems will last forever.

When a horse (or a life problem) knows it can get the best of you, you are in for a fight until you get ’em covered. If you get bucked off, get back on. Once you get ’em covered, they will no longer be able to give you the same kind of fits. So whether you are a cowboy or not, take these lessons and learn ’em.

We all got some sort of buckin’ stock that needs tendin’ to.

Tell us about a wild one that you covered (horse or life).

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  • Wow. I love your template and the welcome sticky at the top of the post with your profile photo. The list was thorough and informative for the next time I never ride I horse again (bad experience at the corner carnival when I was 5)

    I don’t know if my wild ones will fit into your comment box. Your metaphors were great!

    • Kevin

      Thanks for droppin’ by. I know about those bad carnival experiences. I had one with a clown when I was 36. Come to think of it, that was last week!

      Thanks for noticin’ the new site layout. A friend helped me with all of it. They have a couple of blogs and have been through the 31DBBB. http://realtexasblog.com/ and http://www.TexMexFandango.com

  • wow, how often do you do that? Must give you legs of iron, ha ha ha.

    • Kevin

      Not as often as I used to. I make my kids do it now!!!

  • Howdy. Great way to bring something practical you know, and to relate it to what the world tries to do with us.

    Actually going through a situation like this right now, and you post just gave me some courage to push back, and to work this baby with my legs.

    • Kevin

      Work it like a spider monkey!!!

      • Is that an actual catchphrase? It’s officially stolen…

        • Kevin

          I would love to be there the next time you use it!!

  • Great insight! I think it is great when someone can take something they are passionate about and help us see the world a little differently.

    • Kevin

      I don’t know how passionate I am about gettin’ thrown on my head, but I got plenty of experience.

  • Great – now I want to go ride a horse, but I don’t live in the country anymore!

    Great advice, both in a literal sense and in the figurative sense. People want to bail when things get rough, but then they miss out. It seems like every time I’m talking to an older person about hard times they went through (like the Great Depression, or war stories), as they’re talking about how hard it was, there’s almost always a gleam in their eye, almost like it was a fond memory.

    Good stuff.

  • Nice site, Kevin. I’ll have to pass this along to some of my cowboy friends here in Idaho.

  • DeAndra

    I will be passin this on to my daughter who is about to graduate from High School, although, she has better insite then I ever did at her age.

    She is a Christian and wants to be vessal for God, to spread His word to as many young people as she can. She is an awesome young lady, and for the life of me, I don’t know where she gets it. I was a single mom for 6 yrs, and I always tried to be strong for her, I guess this is God’s way of tellin me that I did ok as a parent.

    Great advise for both young and old!

  • Glen Kunz

    Great post. It is nice to see someone who has limted computer experience do so well. You have really made this ministry into a work of art as only God can assist. Keep up the great work. You are truly a blessing with this church and all you do for us. You picture on the top of the page is just too cool.

  • Great post, and just what I needed to hear–like 15 years ago when I was trying to ride my friends mean little mustang. Ouch! Just what I need to hear today, too. You’re right that most of life’s problems don’t last all that long. Some of them do, but Jesus is in us, and He has overcome the world. Thanks for a good word at a good time.

    Blessings, Cindy

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  • craig archer

    i am fortunate to have actually been present during this ride. Now the next question i have is, have you related the story of the horse wanting to turn over backwards with anything yet. Maybe it should be that sometimes life turns you upside down or maybe you just knock it in the head.

  • Pingback: Cowboy Wisdom – Keep Calm. Keep Confident. Keep Going. | Agriculture Proud()

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