Michael's Monthly Column "Throwing My Loop"
Throwing My Loop…
By: Michael Johnson
Trailer With The Broken Heart
When we last left Michael, he was sitting in the trailer with his head in his hands wondering if Blue would ever load in the trailer again. He was at that place in life where we all are sometimes. When we are on the edge of the precipice - certainly not wanting to jump off…but wondering if there is any other option.
I’m staring at Blue and he’s
staring at me. We’re at the back door of the trailer.
Nothing on him but his halter. I’m sitting on the floor of
the trailer facing him with my feet on the ground. He’s in
front of me staring back. His head is low and even with
mine about a foot away, and we are staring…looking for all
the world just like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef in one
of those old spaghetti westerns. Standoff! All we need is
some strange music in the background. We’ve been out here
for days. (Well, not straight. Actually, while it has been
days, it’s more like three or four hours most days.)
And I thought about…
When the horse won’t load, we
all do the same thing. We get nervous. Our mind turns to
fear that we might now be late because of this delay. (We
get in exactly the same frame of mind we do when the plane
is going down.) After all, we must be on time for the
(insert here) barrel racing, cutting, team penning, roping,
or trail ride. We must arrive before the event starts.
Even if we are finished with the event and the horse won’t
load, we might – God forbid – be late getting home. The
moment we see the horse failing to load…we get in a hurry.
We need to load that horse right now! And that is
all we think about. That creates resistance.
And then the most painful
thought of all came – and it really bothered me.
“Let’s go the barn, Blue,” I
said to him. Once there, I filled the bucket with feed.
Back to the trailer we went. Standing. Staring. And I
said, “Blue Man, if you will put one foot on this trailer
floor, I will give you a bite of this feed.” For 27
minutes, Blue stood still as a stone. I knew he was
coming. I knew it in the bottom of my soles and in the
bottom of my soul. For the whole time, I knew he was
coming. How? Why? Because I stopped trying to load him,
and made sure he wasn’t afraid - like I did long ago. I gave
him all the time in the world and just wanted him to know I
loved him so.
I looked outside. The sun was
shining. Kinda’ warm for January.
“But what do I do?”
“I don’t know. Use all that love you have for him.”