I want you all to meet Lefty – a 5 year old grey gelding Quarter Horse – WR Doc O Diamonds. Lefty (his barn name) just celebrated his 5th birthday last Sunday. He has a great attitude and a gentleness in his spirit. Lefty is becoming a great cow horse. I mentioned earlier that Lanny Leach – a phenomenal trainer out of Granbury – worked with Lefty for several weeks. After that training, Lefty has worked cows with ease and expertise.
I am writing this because accidents can happen in a split second – to the greatest riders – on the greatest horses. Today – Lefty went left – and I went right……….. right on to the ground!!!
We had been riding for several hours checking fence. We received 2 inches of rain yesterday. Believe me – we have been thanking God!! Now, with the rain – trees that were stressed in the drought are falling over on the fences. So Gary and I rode out early this morning. Beautiful day – great ride!! All was good and we were headed back in. I was totally relaxed – guard down. We were within 500 yards of the gate leading back to the barn when Lefty spooked – taking a hard fast left – a champion cutting horse could not have maneuvered with more urgency.
Horses are prey animals. Their first response to anything that frightens them is to flee. This instinct is referred to as fight – or – flight. Well, Lefty decided to flee and I took flight. And you might ask what the “spook” was? It was a wooden feed trough that Lefty has walked around many times. Today it was a brand new monster with huge fangs and bad breath.
I picked myself up – dusted off – noted nothing broken except my pride. I looked at Lefty who was standing just a few feet away with his head down – not moving. No victory lap for him. His lowered head said it all. I walked over – got back on – and together we finished the ride back to the barn.
God created the most magnificent animal when he created the horse. It’s good to relax – but we should stay alert and always expect the unexpected. Ranching is like life – there are those “interrupted moments” when we take a fall – get thrown – or simply hit those “proverbial” bumps in the road. It really is important to get back in the saddle. Lefty and I know that together we are going to get through the day’s work and all the trials that day brings. He won’t do everything correctly – neither will I. It does not matter who caused the “upset” – we’re going to be together for the long haul. Always learning – taking signals from each other – understanding – forgiving when necessary. And since he’s the one that always carries me – I forgave him the minute I got to him.