The Fear of Falling

by Kevin on December 9, 2010

Deep down inside every person is a fear. Some can ignore it. Others let it rule their whole existence. And still others, like myself, have just learned to deal with it and go on. This fear I am talkin’ about is the fear of fallin’ off of a horse.

When we learn to ride at a young age, our parents walk close by and make sure that we are not going to fall off. Unless they buy you a shetland. Then they think that it’s perfectly alright to throw you in the saddle before you can walk and if you fall off it’s not that far to the ground. Come one people!! A shetland is still twice the height of a three year old. That’s the equivalent of an adult fallin’ off of an elephant.

The first couple of times you fall off is like surviving your first tornado. The story will get replayed and retold, each time getting bigger and scarier. If you’re real young, your parents will brag about how you cried just a little bit. Everyone will know that you probably screamed for half an hour. If you are a little older when you first fall off, your parents will brag about how tough you are to all their friends. They are scared to death that they just spent $30,000 on horses, tack, truck, and trailer and now you are going to be too scared to climb back in the saddle. Sooner or later though, just fallin’ off of a horse is going to get you laughed at. Unless you get bucked off, then that’s something entirely different.

Everyone loves to hear a great and epic story of how you got bucked off. They want the horse to be Widow Maker reborn from the fires of hell and how you hung on with ever’ tooth and spur rowel groove you had. They want a play-by-play of every jump, kick, snort, and fart (hopefully that’s the horse). The wildest and craziest stories ever told came from cowboys and cowgirls tellin’ how they got bucked off.

Fact is, nine out of ten times, everyone falls off like a fat guy on a teeter-totter. You can picture it. The board goes up and all his weight is shifted to the front as he desperately tries to hang on to the handle with both hands. This forward momentum causes his feet and legs to go backwards as he tries to will his body from going forward by stickin’ his chin way up in the air. He closes his eyes as he realizes that all of this is in vain and his face is going to smash into the wood. He can’t quite figure out how his legs and feet got behind and above him. He’s still got a death grip on the handle, but it’s done him no good. Finally, after a heroic effort, he gives up and falls the four feet to land ever so ungracefully upon the packed dirt.

I thought I would include this little video to show you just how funny people falling down can be.

At the root of all of this talk of falling off or getting bucked off is pride. The fact is, falling off is falling off. It doesn’t matter the circumstance. The Bible says, “Pride comes before the fall.”

Pride isn’t always thinking of yourself too highly. Some people have a reverse pride in that they think of themselves too little. Pride is simply thinking more about yourself more than you think about God. It doesn’t matter if you think of yourself to high or too low. It’s all pride.

The only way to avoid pride is to think of ourselves according to how God thinks of us. That’s why Paul wrote:

Be real honest when thinkin’ about yourself. Judge yourself by the faith God has given us. –Romans 12:3 (Simplified Cowboy Version)

God loves you and he wants you to love him more than anything. He also wants us to love others and we can’t do either one if pride, whether too much or too little, is in the way.

We all have pride in us. If you think a little too highly of yourself, then you need to come down a little bit so you can love others instead of puttin’ yourself a little bit above them. If you think low of yourself, you need to realize that you are very important to God and that you can’t love others with a low self-esteem.

We are all children of God. Let’s just ride according to his grace and mercy and strive to stay on the thing we call life. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you get bucked off or you just fall off, it’s all the same result.


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  • Don Coyote

    Best part of a Shetland is the backstrap in a corn tortilla with some really good homemade hot sauce.

  • Greg Box

    Awesome Stuff!

    Thanks Again Cowboy For God’s Word Being Spread In Real Way’s Of Life!

    All God’s Blessings To You And Yours!

    Greg Box

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