My View From The Country

Opinion: Look Up, Drop Your Hand & Trust Your Horse

Sometimes the most valuable lessons we learn are the ones we try to teach our kids and get wrong in the process.

The comment, “Look up, drop your hand and trust your horse,” was made to one of my kids this week in what would be best described as a disgusted tone. I’ll admit it – I was the one who said it.

I’m sure we’ve all done it; we want the best for our kids, to succeed, to have fun, to utilize their talents, and to discover those life lessons we’ve either had difficulty always applying in our own lives, or wish we had learned much earlier. Yet, despite all that, there are times when we come across in perhaps a less than patient manner. 

I will never forget how I came home after my freshman year in college and discovered that my dad was just a really good guy. In my mind, he was some combination of perfection and hardworking robot before that.

I was blessed, as I had great parents and always knew they loved me. In fact, I was always a little amazed at how much they would sacrifice for me and my brother. Yet, it wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I realized that I had no idea how much they truly loved me, and how much they truly were willing to sacrifice.

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When it comes to raising kids, perhaps it is impossible not to make mistakes. I was sitting there kicking myself for being too harsh, and not saying things in the right tone, and replaying the words in my head, when I heard a voice of my own, say “look up, look toward the goal (don’t focus on the past), drop your hand (relax, enjoy, and be willing to give them their head, and give them the opportunity to make a mistake), and finally trust in God (put your faith and focus on where it belongs, keep in mind that they are great kids and have survived your past foibles; if you are focused on what’s important, your mistakes will heal).

I think I will quit here and go call my mom and dad and tell them thanks. I didn’t appreciate the job they did until I tried doing it myself.  And that will probably not be the last time.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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