Burping Cockleburs Does the Body Good

by Kevin on December 27, 2011

Have you ever reached a point in your life when you just get tired of people tellin’ you to do things that you know how to do? They’re just trying to be helpful, but at some point you just want to do it yourself. I went through a time like this and it ended very humbling.

I used to break horses with a friend of mine. He was very knowledgeable and I learned a great deal from him. I learned little tips, tricks, and other things that I have valued ever since.


Eventually, I got tired of Ralph “helping” me out on things that I knew how to do. He was never ugly, bossy, or rude about anything, but it just got under my skin like a thorn. Finally, I told him that from now on, I could handle things on my own.

He agreed that I had reached a point where he didn’t need to point out every little thing.

Things went well for a while and then I got a horse that I couldn’t understand. He would do fine, but when I went to turn him left, he always fought me. Right was fine, left was wrong.

I bet I worked 1,000 left circles and my horse only blew up about 2,000 times. These fits might range from the slinging of his head to buckin’ me off. Yup, it was that bad.

With growing irritation, I watched Ralph watch me have problems. He never offered any advice and never brought it up. It was like he was oblivious to my predicament. Finally, I asked him if he was just going to stand there and watch me have problems.

He said he was.

He wasn’t rude. I knew what he was doin’ to me and I knew that I deserved it.

Eating a handful of cockleburs would have been easier than when I finally asked him for help. He patted me on the shoulder and walked over to the horse.

What happened next was mortifying.

He took the hackamore off and walked over to me and showed me where a piece of the rawhide would poke the horse when I turned him left. He took a set of nail clippers out of his pocket (it seemed like all the old timers I knew carried nail clippers) and clipped the piece of rawhide off. He then went and put the hackamore back on and told me to try it out and see if that was the problem.

I burped cockleburs for a long, long time.

‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you.’ –Zechariah 1:3

Print Friendly

  • Seiji

    Humility is one of those things that everyone tries to fake, but comes crashing down hard when it’s real. There was one time when I was too proud to ask for help even though I knew i needed it and everyone around me knew it, and I don’t need to tell you how bad it turned out.

  • Oh, I think I’ve eaten my share of humble pie, too. Thanks for sharing the story. Greetings from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  • old ralph

    leason learned, the older that you get, the easier the cockleburs are to eat, I know.

    • Kevin

      Well, well. The famous Ralph H. graces Campfire Cowboy Ministries. And you all thought I’d just made him up!

Previous post:

Next post: