Cowboy Pride

by Kevin on March 31, 2010

I was breaking a horse many years ago and he was coming along quite well. I could saddle him and only get kicked a few times. He had the prettiest little trot and lope you ever did see. Of course, you had to ride the buck out of him before you got there. It was kind of like having to eat four bowls of tomato and coconut soup topped with cottage cheese just so you could have a rice crispie treat for dessert.

This particular day was going well. There had only been six or seven “knock-down-drag-outs” that afternoon. I was very encouraged by the progress. We were now loping big circles and figure eights. Things seemed to have settled down. Then a car pulled up.

A guy and several young ladies stepped out of the car. Ralph had invited them out because they were very interested in horses. He had told them that I was breaking one and they couldn’t wait to see a real cowboy in action. Ralph called me over to the fence to introduce me. I must have looked a mess. My horse was all lathered up and I know I must have looked like I lost a fight with a caliche pit. I didn’t step off, but I nodded my head and tipped my hat to the ladies.

When I asked leave of their company to continue with the training, I felt a big wad of pride ball up in my chest. These people were looking at me like I was Robert Redford in the Horse Whisperer. When I would come around close to the fence during one of my loping circles, I could hear Ralph telling them tales of cowboy trials and tribulations. Oh, he was going way over the top about how I could ride the hair off durn near any horse alive. He told them yarn after yarn and the stories got bigger and bigger.

After about twenty more minutes of riding, me and the horse were finished for the day. The visitors were still standing at the fence with their mouths open, watching every move the horse and I made. By now, I am sitting up in the saddle like Zeus on his throne. You could hear the stitching in my hat starting to break from the size that my head was getting.

I ended the training session right in front of them. I made the horse stand there and I rubbed all over him from the saddle. I spoke soft words as I did this. My horse just stood there panting from all his exercise. Not a word was coming from the spectators. I glanced up once and smiled inwardly at all the attention I was getting.

If all this soaking in attention would have been water, I would have been one crinkled cowboy. I was going to get off and tip my hat at them as I walked away with my bronc. I would play the strong, silent type-the more mysterious, the better.

With all of this in mind, I stepped off the horse. I didn’t really notice that my right foot hung in the stirrup for just an instant. My big head probably got in the way. My right foot was just on top of the horse’s rear when that stirrup finally made it back down and smacked that colt in the side.

This horse jumped straight up in the air. My legs were in a wide “V” formation due to the fact that I was getting off the horse. Saddle horns are great for roping and sometimes for holding on, but in this instance, it came up like a sledge hammer and hit me right where the “V” comes together. I didn’t scream or yell, at least not where humans could hear it. My voice let out such a high pitch that three birds dropped from the sky dead and the dogs started howling.

When I untwisted from the quivering ball of fetal cowboy mush laying in the dirt, I stood up and gingerly walked over and got my horse. I never looked over at the visitors. I am sure they were standing there with their mouths wide open. I didn’t need to look, I could hear Ralph laughing. From the dust coming my way, his laughter had knocked him down too.

Judges 9:52-54
52 Abimelech followed them to attack the tower. But as he prepared to set fire to the entrance, 53 a woman on the roof dropped a millstone that landed on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. 54 He quickly said to his young armor bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me! Don’t let it be said that a woman killed Abimelech!” So the young man ran him through with his sword, and he died.

Pride will get us into trouble all the time. Whether it’s showing off in front of people or having so much pride that you would rather die than have everyone know that you were beaten by woman. If Abimelech had not attacked the tower against God’s wishes, he wouldn’t have been killed by a woman. If I had been paying attention instead of basking in cowboy glory, I wouldn’t have been killed by a saddle horn and embarrassed beyond belief. The only person we should worry about is how Jesus see’s us. He is so proud of us that he went and gave his life for us. Now all we have to do is love Him in return. Quit trying to look good in front of others. Look good in front of God.

Learnin’ lessons the hard way,

Kevin Weatherby, Pastor
Pecos County Cowboy Church

©Kevin Weatherby, 2010

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