Our Rural Roots

Stop and Ride the Horses

Image by Tiffany Dowell Lashmet

It seems there is always more to do on our farm. We have sheep to sort and fields to irrigate; fences to fix or cows to gather. Rarely do we have any down time. It’s tempting to blow and go, put your head down and just keep moving. That’s the way things are usually done for a farm family and ours is no exception. Many days we work sun up to sun down and still never seem to get caught up.

A couple of weeks ago, we were all sitting at my parents’ kitchen table eating breakfast. When I asked my dad what was on the agenda for the morning, his response of “ride horses” took us all by surprise.

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“We don’t have time for that, do we?” I asked, somewhat confused because I knew we had plenty to do. “We are making time,” he said firmly. I could tell his decision was final.

So that morning, we stopped working. Nothing was checked off the list. No hay was baled, no tractors were worked on and no irrigation water was changed.

Instead, three generations spent time together riding our trusty old mounts: Lou, Big Jake and Katie Elder. My kids learned the difference between prickly pear and choya cactus from their Granddad that day. We made plans for the future of our operation by talking about things like bulls to use and stocking rates for pastures. We talked about favorite breeds of cattle. I was soundly outvoted when my children and dad chose black baldies.

We made memories that will last long past that one day. I can’t wait to do it again.

In the meantime, I’m so grateful that Dad gifted us such an important lesson. He showed us that there are times where the best thing you can do is spend quality time together. Sometimes, like smelling the roses, you simply have to stop and ride the horses.

Tiffany Dowell Lashmet balances farm, farm children and a career in ag law from the Texas Panhandle. Follow her blog at littlehousebiglifetx.wordpress.com and on Twitter @TiffDowell.

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