Don’t Shut that Door! (Down The Line, Stran Smith)

Some time ago Clif and Tuf invited me to go to Brazil to help them with some clinics. I really didn’t want to, but an opportunity to spend some time with them was worth the trip. Consequently, I absolutely fell in love with Brazil.

The people were so welcoming and hungry for the knowledge we had to share. Their passion for calf roping was unbelievable. It was rejuvenating and created a stir in me that caused me to wonder.

While in Brazil, at one of the jackpots, I rode a really nice little horse and tried to buy him. His owner, hosting one of our schools, said, “No, I can’t sell him, he’s part of my family.” I made another attempt to buy him on our next trip to Brazil while teaching at his house. Again, the answer was no.

I also met a nice young man while there, named Marcos, and invited him to the United States to rodeo. Marcos took me up on the offer and suddenly my “stir” was a full-blown passion to rodeo again. Marcos went back to the man with the horse and told him, “Stran said he would leave you alone after this, but he wanted me to ask one more time if you would sell your horse.”

He asked Marcos if we really needed the horse, and Marcos told him we did. He then sold me the horse and we started the long process of getting him shipped to the United States. I don’t know of anyone in rodeo who has shipped a horse over, but I honestly believe you could smuggle just about anything easier than shipping livestock in to the United States.

Now, I’m as excited about hitting the rodeo trail as I was in my twenties. I have a great guy to rodeo with and two of the best horses I’ve ever owned.

Amazingly, the entire chain of events would not have taken place if I had not made that first trip to Brazil that I really didn’t want to do at the time. This is a good reminder not be so quick to shut a door and or give up on a commitment. I know God has a plan – not just for me, but a plan for everyone and is constantly working in our lives. I could have stopped the entire flow of events with just one “no.”

So, think twice, or even three times, before you turn down an opportunity.

Until next time, God Bless, and I’ll see you down the line.

Stran Smith – July 2014

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