Well, I've been practicing up for a ranch roping in billings. For the last week I saddle up and trot a mile or so over to the arena at Saddleback, here in Victor Idaho. I have been going to swing a long rope with a couple of good friends in preparation for competition in Billings Montana at what some have referred to as the "supperbowl of ranch roping", the Nile. And for a week every day my 7 year old girl asks to go with. Finally the day before we leave it warms up just a touch and I slow down just enough to realize there IS more important things in life than making it somewhere in a hurry. Rea loves to ride, she don't care if it's cold. And so what if it does take a little longer to get there, it was worth every minute. Yeah, practice was good, but the getting there and the ride home were better. We talked all the way and we laughed and smiled a lot. When we got there Rea asked her horse for a lope and got one. She may have loped on a horse before, but this time it was her idea. When it was time to head for home Jerime offered us a ride. He had a horse trailer hooked on and the truck was worm. It was dark, and a bit cold, but Rea said she would rather ride home. There was a little star light (not much) and when we got out of the light of the arena parking lot it was a bit hard to see. As our horse walked out, I taught Rae one of those things my dad taught me. (Without these kinds of opportunities sometimes we forget to share the lessons) I told her to close her eyes tight, "do you have your eyes closed tight" I asked? "Yes" she said. "Keep them closed tight, can you smell the sage"? We didn't actually stop. "OK open your eyes. Can you see better now?" The yes reply she gave me was with an expression of astonishment, like she had just seen her first baby rhinoceros. We were chilled by the time we made it back to the home place. The ride strengthened our relationship, the sage smelled good, and to think, it was hours before that I made the decision to slow down enough for what maters the most.
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