Bucked off: Now What?

About two months ago, my horse “Uno” threw a hissy fit and bucked me off. We had been getting along pretty good up to that point. She wasn’t perfect and I was still pretty green myself. My confidence in my ability and my horse were shattered. You can read my article about confidence here. I had high hopes of riding all over the Nebraskan prairie, chasing cows, and enjoying the bond of man and beast. All that changed when I landed flat on my back on what felt like concrete. It was just really hard clay, but boy howdy did it sting. That’s why they groom those arenas in the rodeos; it makes the landing a bit a softer. Everything hurt for weeks, but what hurt the most was the thought about what to do with a horse I couldn’t ride.

So I went to work. I asked every person I knew about what to do with this mare. I got expert tips given to me, I got books from the library, and I asked truck loads of questions. Part of me had given up on my ability to ride her. Honestly I was scared. What if the next time I got on her was worse. Her body language was telling me that she would be worse. She got to the point where I couldn’t even saddle her. So I made the decision to sell her. I don’t know if you know this about horse sales or not, but I have found this to be true. 1. It’s real hard to sell a horse you can’t ride. You’d be a fool to buy a horse without saddling them up, unless you aren’t planning on riding them. 2. Horses are stupid expensive when you are buying them, and you cannot give them away when you are selling them. Go figure. I got questions for days about this horse, I prayed that God would sell her for me, and I have still have her.

I believe God had a lesson in here for me to learn. Maybe there is a lesson in here for you too. Letting a horse spoil in the pasture is wasteful to the resources God entrusted me with. So letting this horse off the hook wasn’t an option. The problem was that I really didn’t know what to do. Step one: I had to learn. Everything I thought I knew led me to the place I was at. To go further to reach the goal; I had to go to school so to speak. I read, I picked the brain of knowledgeable men and women. I read books. I watched videos. I read blogs. Man did my world open up. It was incredible. I learned a pile and it had begun translating into steps forward for sure.

Maybe you feel like you got bucked off in life. You were hit with hard times or difficult circumstances. How did it feel? It hurt bad didn’t it? Maybe you question some or all of your life decisions. It left you with more questions than answers. God allows us to get bucked off for a few reasons. First, we were relying on ourselves more than Him. He wants to walk with us and He wants us to look to Him for our strength. He has a path for us, He will light that path with His word, and He wants to walk that path with us as friends. We walk alone when we are in our own strength. He lets us fall to the ground so we will look to Him. Second, He wants to remove pride. God hates pride. Our attitude is generally that we are going to do something on our own, come Hell or high water. We are walking in pride and their is no room for Him when we are filled with pride. He wants us filled with His Spirit walking in good works, not pride. Pride needs to die in us. We can take it out back and choose to shoot it; or He let’s us get knocked down hard to mortally wounds our pride. Either way, He loves you and I so much that He wants pride removed from our heart. The bigger the fall, the deeper the pride is rooted. Do play with pride, kill it. Lastly, God wants us to learn and grow. We have not arrived no matter where we are in the journey. Learning and growing is a mark of maturity. Pride and dependence on self will ruin our ability to learn and grow. God wants good things for us and the only way He will show us them is if we will choose to learn and grow.

So how’d it go with my horse? I started doing groundwork with her. I bought a new saddle that fit her better. I rode her a couple weeks ago and she acted up for like 2 seconds, then she was fine. All the while, my wife and kids have made it their personal mission to turn her into a giant pet. She will follow you for days for a treat or fresh grass. Two days ago, I lunged her on both sides while discovering she has a wilder side and a gentler side. Come to find out, this horse may be more like me than I realized, lol! This morning, I saddled her up, lunged her for a little bit just to be sure, and got on. Guess what! No funny business. Everything went the way it should. It did my heart good to through the experience and make progress. Where would I have been if I had quit or God let me sell her? God is good and I know that He knows what is best, so I trust Him.

Grace and Peace to you as you get bucked off and saddle back up again. God is with you and wants to teach you something through the pain. Get back up again.

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