Dropping the Reins

by Kevin on June 22, 2011

Dave and Mel were two pretty handy cowboys. They also had an affection for the pursuit of the illusive elk. So that fall the boys loaded up their camper, hitched up the trailer, and loaded their two best horses.

Upon arriving high in the mountains that late November, they proceeded to erect camp. Using a hay tarp, they proceeded to build a lean to off the side of the stock trailer using a few lodge pole pine for support. This little shed would be the horse barn for the next few days.

The boys awoke the next morning to the temp hovering just below zero and it was starting to snow. Not to be deterred, the boys saddled up and headed out in search of their prey. After riding in circles for a few hours and glassing several south facing ridges, our boys came to the conclusion that they were not lost, just simply unaware of exactly where they were. To make matters worse, it was now blowing snow so hard they couldn’t see six feet in front or behind.

Now most folks would panic in a situation like this. Not our boys! They pulled their hats down tight, turned up their collars, and checked their cinches. They then tied the reins in a knot, gave their horses their heads, and hung on tight. They stayed low along their horse’s necks for warmth, and to avoid those pesky low overhanging branches.
Those two bays were ranch raised and wise in the ways of the equine. They headed out with their tails to the wind. The boys simply hoped the horses would find a hollow where they could hole up and start a fire until the storm stopped. When their horses stopped they realized it wasn’t snowing, peeking out from under their hat brims they found themselves safe and sound, under the hay tarp inside their temporary “barn”.

If those cowboys hadn’t tied a knot in those reins and gave those horses their heads, they’d still be lost. Isn’t it funny how often we try to pick up our own reins and guide ourselves where we want to go only to find ourselves lost in the woods?  Only then do we drop the reins turn to God and ask for his guidance out of the woods only to reach down and pick them up once we clear the brush. Let go of the reins and trust in the Lord, he has great plans for you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight -Proverbs 3:5,6


Today’s post was by Walter Taylor. He has partnered up with Save the Cowboy to start a ministry in the state of Washington. By the looks of this, he’s gonna do just fine.

Print Friendly

  • Don Coyote

    Good ‘un, Walter

  • Like every other time I read a post here I feel that one hit me right in the chest. Well said and thanks!

  • Keith Bodwell

    Wow that was great, I really needed to hear that. Thanks Walter

  • Walter Taylor

    This was a lot of fun to write the Lord kept bringing me back to this story from my childhood of the time my dad and uncle got lost hunting and depended on their horses to take them to the trailer. I’m touched to hear that it actualy moved people. God bless everyone and if your ever out in Washington stop by the coffee’s always on.

  • cassie

    Thank you that was great and touched my heart

  • That was so perfect an explanation of facing a critical choice in the storms He send our way for our growth. I am probably not the onliest one who’s raised my collar, tucked my hat down and, using all my wit and wisdom to get me more lost. Sometime’s it’s beyond us, folks. Drop the reigns and trust that The Father, like Equus He created, knows better where safety is.

    Walter, hope to accept your invitation if I ever get free of the distractions and limitations keep the wife and me from trailerin up to Washington, western half of the state, I assume. Will bring my own Cowboy Campfire Brew.

Previous post:

Next post: