My Horseman and Me: Turning Point or Point of No Return? Part 12

There are moments in life that are turning points. Sometimes those turning points are also a point of no return…

Little Miss B was about 4 weeks old. I had pretty much figured out my ranch wife role and was getting a handle on motherhood.

Our ranch hosted a horsemanship clinic with a clinician from California. Clint knew who he was but had not seen him in person and certainly hadn’t had a chance to ride with him. And now, he was coming to our ranch for a few days.

* I’ll remind you here of what I said before. The horseman in Clint was surfacing. He wasn’t as content as he had been with all around ranch work. He wanted more         horses to ride. He was yearning  to be around other horsemen and soak up their   knowledge. He was craving more.*

The clinic was splendid. The clinician was an incredibly gifted horseman and teacher. Clint rode a handful of different horses throughout the clinic, including my 3 yr. old filly, Sadie. He was saturated with new information. He pelted the clinician with questions. He had found his new mentor. And he was hooked.

There were two turning points in Clint’s life, and consequently, my life, in those three days.

They both came after the clinic was over. The day after the clinic had wrapped up; Clint was saddling up to take a colt out for a trip on the ranch. The clinician, who was still there, happened along and said, “Mind if I tag along?”

Now, just for a moment, put yourself in Clint’s boots. Someone you admire and would love to pick their brain clean but don’t have one-on-one access to, walks up to you and asks to “tag along” with YOU! Can imagine?

For the record, that’s usually the way God works in mine and Clint’s lives.  And it surprises us, amazes us, and pretty much knocks our boot socks off every time.

On that ride, Clint was pelting this poor clinician with every horse question he could think of. He had to make use of this gift of time. You have to understand that Clint is an intense guy and a perpetual student. So, when you’re on the subject of something he’s passionate about – Look Out! He can be relentless in his quest for knowledge.

At some point during this ride, the clinician turned to Clint and said, “You know how I really feel about this horse deal?”

Clint readied himself  – here it comes, the key to the mint…

“This is just something to do until I get to heaven.”

And for the rest of that ride they talked more about the Lord than horses.

In the following year, Clint read the Bible cover to cover for the first of many times.

You want to know something funny?

We’re now friends with that clinician and his wife. Years later, when Clint recounted that story to our friend, he had no recollection of that part of the conversation. It’s fascinating how God uses people to speak to us.

That was turning point one.

Turning point two came as the two of them were unsaddling after that ride.

Clint was telling the clinician how he wanted to improve his horsemanship and asked what he could do to get better.

“A guy never got any better riding broke horses,” the clinician answered. “You gotta ride as many different horses as you can. You gotta ride the rank ones nobody else wants to ride – those’ll teach you the most.”

Now, I can’t be sure, but my best guess is that Clint heard something more like this, “Get off this cushy ranch with broke ranch horses and a good salary, a nice house, beautiful scenery and all the perks. Don’t stay in Colorado where you’ve made your home. Go where the horses are.”

Like I said, I can’t be sure what Clint heard. But I know that from the moment he walked in the door after that ride, our lives changed.

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