Amy and I had the opportunity to go help some friends gather and move some cattle pairs this past week. The sky was threatening rain when we arrived but, the temperature was perfect for an afternoon move. The cattle we were to move had just been purchased by the ranch and had been processed earlier in the day. Our friends told us as we approached the corrals that the previous owners had used motorcycles and 4-wheelers to do most of their moves and they weren’t sure how these cattle would work horseback.
The horses Amy and I had chosen for this trip were a couple of younger Arabians who had had quite a bit of riding but, not a lot of exposure to what we knew we were about to get into with these cattle. We had loaded the horses at home, driven 2 1/2 hours through Denver traffic, unloaded, saddled, did 2 minutes of groundwork, and stepped on. The cattle were penned about 5 minutes from the trailer and we found out what the cattle were about 4 minutes into the ride. Our horses were a bit fresh!
Our hosts made the wise decision to go into the corrals and see how the cattle reacted to people horseback. They seemed okay, moved off of pressure pretty well and acted like they wanted to get along. We opened the gate with plan that our hosts would push them out of the corral and the rest of us would point them in the right direction and keep them from scattering across the meadow. The cattle struggled to find the gate so Amy and I ended up in the corral helping to guide and push them out of the corral. Once the cattle found the gate and got out on the meadow, they found new life and headed east at a long trot and lope. We were already behind from the corral work so, we needed to catch-up, on fresh horses, woohoo!
Fortunately, we were beneficiaries of the good foundation we had put on these two horses we were riding. They were really tipped up from the new place, new job, new horses, and speed of things. Because they trusted us, they stayed with us. Because we trusted them, we gave them the benefit of the doubt and let them move their feet and do their job of getting us back in place on the cattle. We did the job we were assigned, together. It wasn’t super pretty and it wasn’t the most comfortable feeling in the world but, it worked!
We run into a lot of horses in our business that haven’t benefited from a good, solid, foundation. We look at it as our responsibility to provide them with that. We’ve found that horses that have that foundation know what to expect from us and find an inner peace in that knowledge. They are more settled and better prepared to handle the things we expose them to. When they get unsure, they have us and the foundation we laid to fall back on.
We also deal with a lot of people in our business. We find that those folks with a good solid foundation of values tend to “get it” with their horses more easily. As Christians, Amy and I do our best to reflect the values that our God and our parents instilled in us early on. When we are exposed to things that cause doubt or uncertainty in our lives, we have that foundation of principles to fall back on and trust in. It gives us an inner peace and strength to deal with an uncertain world. We are the beneficiaries of a loving God who forgives our weaknesses and sins through His Son, Jesus Christ and gives us the peace of knowing that we don’t have to face things alone. We can live through Him and He through us. That’s what I call being a beneficiary!