How to live a life with no regrets.

by Kevin on April 9, 2010

Ridin’ The Hair off ’em

The last time I entered a rodeo in the bareback horse competition, it was here in Fort Stockton, Texas. There was only a few of us that entered so I thought I had a pretty good chance of placing or maybe even winning.

When the draws were posted by the announcer’s booth, I asked the stock contractor about the horse I had drawn. He smiled as I told him the horse’s number and he pointed to a pen that had a real pretty little palomino mare in it.

“You see that yella’ horse over there, that’s yer draw,” the stock contractor told me. “She bucks real hard son. You’d do well to bring super glue for your pockets. You’re gonna need it.” He then told me that this mare had been bucked out over thirty times and never been covered. The first of them pesky butterflies started a flutterin’ in my craw.

When my turn came later that evening, I slid onto the back of this unridden cayuse and stuck my hand in the riggin’. The boys were at the gate and were watchin’ me like a hawk eyes a ground squirrel. They were just a waitin’ for the shake of my head.

I wasn’t near ready for this ride when, out of nowhere,  my buddy climbs the chute and slaps me on the leg and says, “Come on cowboy!! You can do this!! You gonna ride the hair of this mare or not??!!” That’s all it took. I was fired up now. The adrenaline was pumpin’ and everyone was a watchin’. I smiled through gritted teeth and looked at my buddy and said, “She’s gettin’ rode today boys.”

I still wasn’t quite ready yet so I turned my attention back to gettin’ everything just right for my ride. A peculiar thing happened though, I must have nodded my head when Caleb asked me that question, ‘cause them boys opened the gate.

My hat wasn’t pulled down yet. My glove wasn’t in the riggin’ good yet. I wasn’t even leaned back to be sure that I got my mark out. I just looked up in confusion as my horse fired out of the chute.

Somehow, I got laid back just in time to get the mark out. This mare was a buckin’ as furious as a Baptist that’s been drug to the local barn dance. I just held on as tight as I could with everything I had except my free hand.

This horse made about three or four real hard jumps and then starting spinning like a bull. I had never rode a bareback horse that spun before. She got to spinnin’ so fast, I didn’t think I could hang on all laid back like I was. Now, I never claimed I was a good bronc rider. I am more of a “stay-on-if-you-have-to-use-your-teeth” kind of cowboy. Since this horse had some bull in her, I just dee’d up and rode her like a bull.

When that buzzer came, it was the sweetest sound on earth. I had done it. I had covered the uncovered. I had beat the unbeaten. Victory was mine that day. I tipped my hat to the crowd and waited on my score. Surely it would be in the mid to high seventies. Shoot, it might have even been an eighty.

I held my breath as the announcer said, “We have our cowboy’s score from one judge. (Little pause) We now have the score from the other judge.  FIFTY-TWO points! Folks, let’s give this cowboy a hand for tryin’ as hard as he did.”

Luke 9:61-62

61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” 62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

I have no regrets about that day. I didn’t win anything at the rodeo, but that doesn’t matter. It would have been easy to blame the chute help for opening the gate when I wasn’t ready. But honestly, when are we ever ready for the things that life throws at us. Every mornin’ when that chute gate swings open, there is a brand new horse that hasn’t ever been ridden. Some days you will score big. Other days you will get bucked off right on your brain bucket. Most days we will do a decent job, but might not score many points.

Jesus says that we are to look to him for everything we need. It’s hard to keep our focus on Jesus if we are constantly looking back at where we’ve been. The past is gone and regrets are just our way of trying to keep what’s been forgiven in our back pockets. Turn around today and walk boldly into that arena and “ride the hair off ‘em today!”

Pastor Kevin Weatherby

© Kevin Weatherby, 2010

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  • Donna Peoples

    Kevin, Thanks for this ministry it gives me great pleasure every mornin to read this and gives me great inspiration to begin my day. You always seem to hit what I have planned in my day somehow and give me that little tug I need to know I can get up and do this today. I have some job stuff I am going for today and was very nervous about it and this has given me the strength to know I can go out there and do what has to be done. Thank you soo much from the full of my heart.

    • Kevin

      Thanks for the comment Donna…We sure will be prayin’ for ya today as we have been durin’ all your trials.

  • Chad

    I remember this like it was yesterday Kevin, Man I was so proud of you that night, I have been to many bullridings in my life and I agree when that mare started spinning you should have heard the stands errupt with appluas!!!! we were all yelling behind the shute like it was a 90 point ride at the NFR man, that was great!!! NO you did not win the bareback riding but you won something even more special than that I believe, Ya won the braggin rights that night, ya won the respect of a bunch of bullriders, and ya won the crowd over, and in my opionion you won that bareback riding, but I was not the judge that night, and that night you had what all cowboys wish they had every time they get on bucking stock and that is “TRY” and you won that too!!!! and even better you have the memories to last you a life time…. Good ride brother….

    • Kevin

      That was a real fun night. Seems like all my cowboy friends were there that night. We will have to do that again sometime, but the next time might have to be at an Oldtimer’s Rodeo or something. You could probably still hang with the young guys, but I don’t know if I could. Thanks for the comment!

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