Horse Fundamentals – Backwards Thinking

by Kevin on February 10, 2011

Manny came out of the barn and watched as Ricky worked with his favorite horse. Ricky was draggin’ a cross tie back and forth across the arena. The horse leaned into the breast collar and drug the heavy wooden timber effortlessly. Even though it was lathered and its nostrils flared, the bay horse still gave all everything he had.

Ricky pulled the bay horse to a stop and patted it on the neck. He unwound the cotton rope from around the saddle horn and walked the horse slowly over to where Manny was standing. He stepped off and unbuckled the back cinch and loosened the front girt to allow the horse to breath better.

Rockin K Bar Photography

“What’s the one thing you should never do if your pullin’ a calf to the brandin’ fire Manny?” Ricky asked.

Manny sat there for a moment watchin’ the horse breathe. He picked at the wood on the top rail of the arena as he pondered the question.

Ricky smiled and put one foot up on the bottom rung of the wooden arena and said, “I know, that’s kind of a trick question. What I’m gettin’ at is you can ever go backward.”

Manny nodded his head as he saw where Ricky was headed with his question. “Because if you are pullin’ and you start going backwards, the rope gets slack and the calf could get up?”

“Now you’ve got it!” Ricky said smiling. “But what does that have to do with Christianity? I could see that you’ve been wondering about that all night.”

“Well, your example yesterday did get me to thinkin’,” Manny said.

“I’m glad it did. A man needs to know where he’s headed, not only in this life, but the next.” Ricky opened the gate and led the bay out of the arena.

Walk with me while I unsaddle. Ricky was quiet for a moment then said, “Remember when I told you about the four fundamentals of Christianity? I told you the first fundamental was that there was only one way to heaven.”

Manny nodded his head.

“Well,” Ricky said, “the second fundamental is that you don’t want to go backwards when draggin’ calves and you don’t want to go into eternity backwards either.”

Manny felt like a bobble head doll as he once again nodded his head.

“Folks sometimes think that people go to hell for doin’ bad things. Manny, that’s as backwards as it gets. There is only one thing that will land you in the slaughter house.”

“Well, if you don’t go to hell for doin’ bad things, what will land you there?” Manny asked.

Ricky stopped and looked Manny in the eye and said, “Believin’ in Jesus gets you to heaven. The only thing that will get you to hell is not believin’.”

“Well, what if you kill someone?”

“Jesus died on the cross to forgive sins just like that.”

“Ricky, I don’t know that someone like a killer can get into heaven.”

“It don’t matter Manny! Jesus died to forgive all sins. Even those sins like killing someone.”

“I ain’t sayin’ I don’t believe you Ricky. It’s just that I always thought that bad folks went to hell and good folks went to heaven.”

“That’s why I told you about going backwards. If you start thinkin’ backwards, everything starts comin’ undone. There’s a lot of folks in hell that were pretty good people here on earth, but they didn’t have Jesus as their saddle pard.”

Ricky could see that far off look in Manny’s eye and knew he was listenin’, maybe for the first time in his life.

“Manny, here’s the straight line. The four horse fundamentals are forward, backwards, left, and right. The only way forward into heaven is livin’ with Christ in your heart. That’s fundamental number one. You can’t work your way to heaven by doin’ ‘right’ things. That’s fundamental number two. Fundamental number three is bein’ ‘left’ out of heaven. The only way to hell is bein’ left without Him. If you can’t work your way into heaven, you can’t work your way backwards into hell either. And that there is fundamental four.”

Manny pursed his lips together as he let that concept creep into his hat.

“You know, this old horse that you like so much, he makes mistakes too. But that don’t make him a bad horse.”

“That old horse could make a hunnerd mistakes Ricky and he would still be better than anything I ever had!”

“You mean you’d forgive him if him if he humped up with you on a cold morning?” Ricky asked.

“You bet I would!!” Manny exclaimed.

“Good!” Ricky said as he walked up to Manny and put the lead rope in his hand.

“What are you handin’ me your horse for? I ain’t gonna go put him up for you just ’cause you’re given me a Jesus lesson,” Manny laughed.

“No, I’m handin’ you the lead rope to your new horse.”

“What?!” Manny said in disbelief. “I can’t afford to buy him off ya.”

“He ain’t for sale Manny.”

“I didn’t do anything to deserve a gift like this!”

“And that’s just why you’re gonna take him Manny. You see, you didn’t deserve the gift Christ gave you either, but you gotta accept it if you want to get to heaven. I thought I’d let ya practice accepting things you don’t deserve and didn’t do anything to get.”

“It’s called Grace. Now take your horse and love on him. I ain’t got no more lessons more important than that to teach.”

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  • Don Coyote

    Good ‘un

  • Greg Box

    Again great stuff- Wow!

    Thank You All God’s Blessings To You And Your Family Cowboy!

  • Kandis

    i love God’s grace <3

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