The Water’s a Rage’n!

Riding in the RainMy Grandpa (Robert) Mitchell grew up on a ranch in south Arkansas, raising cattle and horses.  We heard a lot of stories of his youth… though not nearly as many as we would have liked to have heard.

When Grandpa was getting up in years and had suffered a couple of strokes, he sometimes got confused or had trouble remembering what word he wanted to use.  One day he walked over from his little house next to ours, acting very agitated.  “The water’s a rage’n and the horses are runn’n!” he exclaimed, repeatedly.  Further investigation revealed a water line had ruptured and was spraying water all over his kitchen.  In his excitement he communicated his need for help as effectively as he could.  We got the message!  🙂

I have often wondered what event from his boyhood was recalled in his excitement over the ruptured water line.  It sounds like it must have been a pretty exciting moment in his young life.

Yesterday morning, I heard the wind pick up and rain start to fall.  I stepped out on the front porch in time to see the horses run into their shed (aka The Equestrian Pavilion) ahead of a curtain of hard rain sweeping across the pasture.  I smiled watching them run for shelter, then stepped back inside my own nice, warm, dry, cozy house.

A few minutes later I glimpsed a horse’s rump round the barn… outside the fence.  Uh-oh!  😮

I hurried to the back door where I slid on mud boots, drovers coat, and oilskin hat before hurrying out to investigate.  All six front-pasture horses were wandering loose.  They had somehow opened the gate at the Equestrian Pavilion.

The freedom rush combined with the wind and the rain had them full of themselves… running around with heads high and tails lifted.

I grabbed a couple of flags and started trying to coral them back toward the pasture gate.  I got in a good position and applied some very gentle flag pressure.  They took off running straight for the gate and I smiled at how easy that was.

But then our stallion realized how close he was to the mare pasture, and it started falling apart.  Archie ran to the mares.  The others followed him before splitting up in different directions.

Realizing I would never get them to regroup and move together now, I put the flags back and grabbed a halter instead.  I haltered Archie and led him back.  Then I haltered Knockout, with Modelo following after, and got both of them back in the pasture.

By this time, the other three horses had run thru another fence into our cow pasture.  As my father-in-law started pulling fence back together, I haltered Buck and led him back where he belonged, before returning for Sonny and Cinch.

By this time Sonny and Cinch were running wild.  The wind was blowing the rain nearly horizontal as those two ran from one end of the cow pasture to the other and back again.  Each time I approached they just ran off.

Watching them run wild in the wind and the rain, I smiled as I recalled Grandpa’s words, “The water’s a rage’n and the horses are runn’n!”

Yes, Grandpa, they sure are.  The wind and water are sure rage’n and those horses are runn’n like crazy!  🙂

I stayed calm and spoke gently as I approached the horses in a corner of the pasture.  Cinch was the wildest, so I focused on Cinch.  I approached him casually, while positioning myself to head him off if he started to leave.  I petted his withers, and slipped the halter over his head.

Sonny was pretty easy to catch after that, and I put the last horses back in their pasture without any more issues.

Sometimes life is that way.  Sometimes we are caught in the storm.  The wind and water are a rage’n and all we want to do is run wild!

But the Master’s voice calms us.  We calm because He is calm… and because we know we can trust Him.  We look to the Master, and all of a sudden the raging storm doesn’t seem like such a big deal after all, as our spirit is flooded with His peace.

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:37-39)

Your thoughts?

Trusting thru Concerns

Riding the back fence line at Lazy Colt Ranch

The first Sunday afternoon in November, I loaded Knockout in our 3-horse trailer and carried him to a friend’s ranch.

Since we mostly ride on our own farm or down the gravel roads near our farm, I wanted to carry Knockout somewhere else to expose him to riding in different locations.

I was pleased to see Knockout was calm and relaxed as we unloaded from the trailer and saddled up. I swung into the saddle and set out to follow my friend’s instructions to explore and have fun.

We left the yard at an easy trot, headed toward the back pasture. Passing thru the open gate, Knockout acted a little concerned, but I just asked him to keep going and he did.  He eyed the sorting pens warily as we rode past.  He pushed thru my seat cue to step left and avoid a scary looking mud puddle…so I turned him to ride back thru it.  The third time around, we calmly rode straight thru the puddle.

We passed a big black bull on the left…no different than the bulls in our own pasture. Bulls in other people’s pastures look scarier, apparently.  Knockout tensed a little and kept a wary eye on the bull until we were past.

The first fifteen minutes of the ride went like that. Water troughs, gates, salt blocks, even trees were cause for extra wariness.

Knockout never panicked…never spooked…never balked or bolted. He was just concerned about everything.  Everyday objects no different than what we see every ride somehow looked more ominous when seen in unfamiliar surroundings.  Yet he still trusted me through it all and continued to respect my cues.

When we reached the back fence line, we stopped to do a few exercises intended to help Knockout focus on me. We did some backing on light cues, practiced turns both directions on fore and hind, side-passed and counter-arced.  Then we rode into a strip of woods where we wound a path between trees, circled trees both directions, and backed circles around trees.

By the time we rode out of the woods, Knockout was relaxed and focused. The wariness had all disappeared as he focused on listening to me.

Tuesday, I had a PET-Scan. There was no specific concern other than it had been two years since my last scan.  Although all checkups were going well, my doctors felt it would be prudent to do another scan just to be sure.

I was surprised to realize I was concerned. For over two years I’ve been going to doctors’ appointments every couple of months for checkups and scopes.  I’ve never been concerned by any of it.  It’s just another checkup with expectations of a good report.

For some reason, the upcoming PET-Scan was more concerning to me. It was a break from the usual routine.  It felt less familiar and a little more intimidating.  I didn’t expect any issues…but then that is what the scan is for…to see if there are any issues.

Much like Knockout riding in an unfamiliar pasture, ordinary things are just a little more concerning in unfamiliar circumstances.

Wednesday, a nurse from the ENT doctor’s office called to tell me the PET-Scan showed a small uptake at the base of my tongue and they were going to schedule a CT-Scan to investigate further.

I’ve had CT-Scan’s before…but not recently. And what about that small uptake?  I knew it was quite likely a false positive…but it was enough of a concern for my ENT to order a CT-Scan.

My level of concern was elevated. Much like Knockout, I was still trusting the one who directs my paths.  I was not panicked.  But I was concerned and a little wary.

Friday, I kept my appointment with my Oncologist, who reviewed the PET-Scan, scoped my throat, and performed a thorough examination of my mouth, throat and neck. All looks good!  He believes the small uptake was reflective of a minor throat infection.

I’m still keeping the CT-Scan appointment just to verify. But you know what?  I no longer feel the elevated concern.  I feel relaxed and confident…focused on listening to The One who directs my paths.

Jesus is such a good horseman to me!  He is my friend who will never leave me.


Your thoughts?