I have come to realize that the Lord in his wisdom has given each of us many gifts and talents. Most of them are unique to each of us. If we have the same talent as someone else that talent or gift is our version and different from anyone else's talent or gift. Isn't it wonderful that we are all different yet so much alike in our basic needs and basic desires.
A chorus or choir would not be as harmonious if all of the voices were the same. The Orchestra would be rather boring if all of the instruments were the same. Our families would be much less interesting if all of our children were the same. I am so grateful to our Heavenly Father for giving us each different gifts, talents and blessings. It is a great mistake for us to desire to have gifts like someone else. Instead we must work and develop our own individual talents and gifts.
In all of God's wonderful creations He has prepared each plant, animal, each species and everything that He has made with different abilities and adaptations and commanded them to fulfill the measure of their creation.
When I was the Director of the Dublan Grade School I told the Teachers the following story to emphasize the fact that each child is different and learns different things in a different way. They each have different abilities and talents.
The Animals were invited to come to school. The following subjects were to be taught: Running, Swimming, Climbing and Digging. The Eagle, the Duck, the Badger, the rabbit and the Monkey came to get their education and make their parents proud of them. The eagle was top student in flying barely out doing the Duck in this important subject. The Eagle failed the swimming course, he was afraid to go into the water and get his flying equipment wet. He barely made a D in running and flunked out in the digging test. The duck took the highest honors in the swimming class and was a straight A student in the flying class. He out ran the Eagle but only managed a C in running. He failed miserably in the climbing class and lost interest and quit the digging class. The badger was the star digger with the rabbit coming in a slower second. The tables were reversed in the running class. The rabbit easily was the best runner with the Monkey a much slower second place with the poor badger trailing third. The Badger the Rabbit and the Monkey tried to ditch the swimming class and had to report to the Principles office. When it came to the flying class all three decided that the flying class was for the birds. When it came time for the climbing class the Monkey excitedly left his delinquent pals and was the star climber the best the school had ever had. The Monkey tried to get his pals the Rabbit and the Badger to come and climb with him but they were too busy digging. We cannot excel in all things but we can do many things well if we put forth the effort to learn and progress.
When we had the ranch we had many horses to do the ranch work with. They all seemed to have different talents and abilities and were used for different things. I broke and trained black horse I named Indio. He had a very sensitive mouth and a light reign and loved to work cattle on him especially he was a good rope horse out on the range. He would place a fast calf at just the right distance and the right position for me to rope it. He would dodge quickly and carefully always keeping his feet under him. When I had roped the animal he would ease to a stop and easily hold the animal even if it was a heavy cow or bull. Many times when stray Brahman cross Bulls would get into the Heifer pasture we would go over and riding Indio I could get them to running and throw a loop over the bull's back and catch his two front feet. Then I could dally my rope around the horn and turn Indio off and jerk that bull fizzle end up and hold him down until my partner could get his rope on the bulls two back feet to stretch him out. While working with the rope Indio was calm and collected and a very good rope horse but when just riding the range when we would turn and come toward the ranch house he would get anxious and start to dance and want to run. This would result in a choppy gait and was unpleasant.
I bought two black Colts from Dave Spilsbury they were good quarter horse colts and were three years old and ready to break and train. One was a picture perfect pretty well built colt the other had a pretty head and was very alert but was hog backed and was not as pretty as the other one. The pretty one was dull witted and negative and didn't want to learn. The hog backed one I named Masai after the Masai warriors in Africa. He was very alert and quick to learn and willing in every way. The pretty one I named Spike because he had a white spike in his forehead. He did not want to learn to lead finally after patient days of working with him and he still wouldn't lead I asked Don Marcial de La Cruz to get behind him with a pitch fork. When I would try to lead him and he would hang back Don Marcial would poke him in the hind end and make him jump forward finally he got the idea. Even then after learning to lead he always led like a borrowed dog.
Well, that was the way he was in everything he was tame to ride but he didn't have a gait only a slow walk or a little mincing trot that jarred your ancestors. You couldn't get him to gallop or run in a straight line he would either pull to one side or the other. He never would pay any attention the cattle or watch what you were trying to do. I finally traded him off for a little skinny Roan Colt that turned out to be a very good rope horse and general ranch horse.
The hog backed colt quickly learned to rope and we used him to rope in the rodeos. He was very fast and like to run so you had to hold him tight to keep him from running over the calf.
One day I roped a Heifer out on the range and dallied around the horn. The Heifer went around a Mesquite to the left and Masai went around to the right and didn't want to stop. When he hit the end of the rope that was around the Mesquite with a heavy Heifer on the other end the rope was caught around the horn and down under his neck and across his breast. He went to bucking so violently that he through me over his head . every time I tried to get up he would come down on top of me. He couldn't buck away because the rope held him back. After a few times of trying to get up I just rolled out from under him. He finally stopped bucking and I went and released the calf. I decided that I had enough for that day and went back to the ranch and unsaddled him and turned him out to pasture. I didn't use him to rope on anymore because he was so fast that when he took off after an animal it felt like you were being pounded in the rear end with a 2 x 4.
I did find his talent and used him for roping wild mares that got into our pasture. Our Neighbors the Carrillos were trying to clear the Ejido pasture of the many wild mares and colts that ran there and ate up most of the grass that they wanted to use for their cattle. They would try to run them along our south fence line and into their corral. Many of them would jump our fence and get into our pasture.
Carlos Quintana and I decided to have some fun and get them out of our pasture. I would saddle up Masai and Carlos would Saddle up Cariño. Cariño was not real fast but was very good on the end of a rope. I would go up into the corner and start the mares down the east fence then when they would get off the rocky hill onto the level straight away along the fence I would let Masai use his talent as a fast runner. He would run up on the mares and they would start to ring their tails trying to get away from my whirling rope. I would usually rope the lead mare and pull here down to a stop and hold her until she choked down. Carlos would be waiting down the fence line and come out and rope another mare. Soon we would be dragging and leading them toward the corral with most of the other mares and colts following. When we would get them corralled we would send word to the Carrillos to come and get their mares which they were grateful to do.
I later gave Masai to Emilio Burgos. He wanted to race him up in the towns of the mountains. Masai displayed his talent of running and won many races where ever he went.
I learned from experience that we need to use horses and mules for what ever their talents and training has prepared them for. I remember one trip we were taking a big group of Dublan explorers on a pack trip into the Sierra Madre Mountains. I didn't have enough animals up in the mountains for all so we asked some of the boys to borrow horses to ride on the trip. I remember that Chris Bowman borrowed a horse from his Uncles Larry and Fletcher Memmott. He was a good ranch horse but had never been in the mountains.
A truck load of horses and equipment was sent up to the little Mesa at the end of the road on the Lonja. We all gathered there and camped that night. The next morning we got all of the mules packed up and the each boy on his mount. I went on ahead a little with some of the pack mules. I stopped at a little creek at the bottom of the hill to let the Mules drink. Chris came running down to tell me that his horse had fallen down and couldn't get up. We went back up to where the horse was. I saw that he had panicked on the steep side hill and had fallen down. His hind hoof was caught in the soft dirt under a root that was holding him down. I cautioned Chris and the others that were watching to move up hill because when the horse struggled to get up I was going to try to release his hoof. I got all ready and spoke to the horse. When he struggled to get up I pulled the hoof out from under the root and the horse went rolling and flopping down the steep hill to the bottom about fifty feet away. We all went down and helped the horse up but he was pretty well beat up and was standing on three legs. We took off Chris' saddle and bridle and he carried them back up to the truck then came on down saying I guess I will have to walk. We traveled on toward our chosen camp over on the Chuhuichupa River at a beautiful camp we called the "Venado". As we lined out along the trail brother Chato Bluth got Chris up behind him on his big black mule which could carry them both easily all day.
On another trip when our boys were hosting the Explorers from Sacramento Ca. We had along a few flat land horses also. We got into camp on trout creek and belled some of the horses and turned them all out to eat up the hill where if they came back to try to find their way home they would have to pass through our camp and we could hear them and catch them.
The next morning three horses were missing. They were the ones that had been brought from down in the valley. We searched the back trail and could find no tracks going back. The cowboys that we had along to help with the animals searched all that day and could not find them. We let the boys whose horses were missing ride some of the pack mules for our trips around the country. The last morning when the animals came in the three horses were still missing. They had not been able to locate them not even their tracks . Kiko and Leland Robinson gave up their mounts to the visitors and walked up out of Trout Creek to the Amarillas where we had the trucks.
Yagui our cow boy stayed one more day to search for the horses. He said stubbornly that he was going to find them. Emilio's cowboy,. Who had come with us from the ranch went with him to find the horses. They found them on a little ledge with a deep canyon on one side and a high cliff on the other. One of the horses had fallen to his death into the canyon below. Probably trying to climb out on the steep rock that sloped up to the mountainside. They had probably come down onto the shelf in the darkness of the first night and could not get back up. They had been there four days and were weak with hunger and thirst. The Cowboys got them out by putting a big strong rope around the horses neck with the other end secured around a tree. Then with another rope around the horses neck Yagui pulled the horse up by wrapping his rope around the saddle horn and dragging and helping the horse up the incline of the rock. They got them both up and took them down to water and let them feed and rest for the rest of the day before bringing them on down to Dublan. As I remember the one that fell to his death belonged to Max Jones and when he asked me about his horse I could only tell him of the tragedy of his death. Any horse or mule born and raised in the mountains would never have gotten into that situation.
I bought a little mule from Pat Keenan. He was buying mules and shipping them to sell down south at that time. We were passing the corral of the Empacadora where there were over a hundred mules waiting to be shipped to the south. We saw a young cowboy riding this little mule driving the mules to water. He would turn and run her to the other side of the herd to head a mule that wanted to get away then run back to the other side. We were impressed by the good reign and the speed and agility of the little mule. I went to see Pat and he sold her to me for the price he had paid for her.
She had been raised in the Sonora mountains and had been broke and trained under a heavy pack. She had also been used for riding over the rugged trails between Sonora and Chihuahua.
We named her Golondrina because she was black all over except her under parts were lighter like a swallow. She was about four and one half feet tall. She was well built but did not give the impression of being heavy. She was easy to pack because she was not very high of the ground. She could carry easily the same load as our other pack mules and took good care of the pack and would never hit a tree or a projecting rock along the trail. If she calculated that the space between two trees was too narrow for her pack she would go around, I never had her knock my knees on a tree or a rock while I was riding her. The little kids, Anthony and Claudia could ride her and even without a saddle she would take good care of them. I was hunting once with Uncle Harvey up on Las Playas where Don Agustin Chinolla had his ranch at that time. The first morning I told Uncle Harvey that I wanted him to ride Golondrina. He protested that she was too little for his weight and heavy saddle and wanted to ride a big beautiful mule that had been given to me. I insisted that he ride Golondrina at least half a day then if he wanted to change I would change with him. We wound down into a deep canyon and up the other side. About half way up Uncle Harvey stopped and looked around to see my big mule puffing and wet with swear he reached down and rubbed his hand on Golondrina's neck and found that she was not even sweating and she wanted to continue on her steady climb. When we reached the top Uncle Harvey laughed and said I would have never believed it if I had not seen it. She is not sweating and not even puffing or breathing heavy. My Mule had been too long in Don Baldomero Payan's stable.
Many times I went hunting on Golondrina and with me, my heavy saddle
and with a rifle on one side and the Shot Gun on the other she would go quietly along in the roughest side hills where I was looking for Deer. When ever I would kill a big buck I would load it on the back of my saddle easily because she was not high to lift it on. I would tie it there and go on and hunt the rest of the day. She would come off the steep hills and climb the steep trails without slowing her pace or stopping to rest. Then when we would come down to the level ground she would hit a nice little trot for camp.
I have had other little Mexican Mules that were very good in the mountains and the rough trails but none as small as she was and they did not have the strength or the endurance of that little Golondrina. I never tried to use her to rope on at the ranch because that is not what mules are for.
Dad Haynie gave me his pet mule Chihuahua. I have movies of me roping the fast calves on the ranch around the lake on Chihuahua. He was truly and all around Mule Good to ride on the ranch or in the rugged mountains. Dad Haynie used him for packing and he would follow his horse wherever he went without having to lead him. I have had him take us back to camp in the dark of the night. He was a true and loving companion when I was riding him. I was never hurt or even scratched when I was riding Chihuahua.
I began taking our family on pack trips into the Sierra Madre Mountains and gradually increased the groups with friends and neighbors. Then I had the opportunity to organize pack trips for large groups of Explorer Scouts. With this service I developed the capacity to organize every detail that goes along with taking a big group into the mountains for a week. I learned to make a check list of every little thing we were to take. I acquired saddles and Aparejos and all of the equipment that goes with them. We gathered tents and sleeping mats and camp kitchen equipment that would go on a pack mule. We bought army surplus ammunition boxes for good pack boxes. I learned to balance a pack and pack a mule with a Diamond Hitch so that we didn't have to repack it until we got to our camp. We slowly acquired enough good mountain bred horses and mules to take groups of up to eighteen people and all of their camp equipment. I would tell them just bring your sleeping bag and personal things and we will furnish all of the rest including the food..
I also learned to carefully observe the country I went through. After going on a trail through new country it would be pictured in my mind so that I could go back and find the trails and the places where I had been. I consider that I developed this ability and learned all of these things because I wanted to serve the people we took on the many trips. We as a family enjoyed helping others enjoy the mountains as we had learned to enjoy them.
The good useful talents of horses and mules are developed by willing obedience and service. The more they are used in service the better qualified they become to serve. So it is with us, our talents and gifts are better developed when we use them to serve. Especially when our service is given only to help others and not for our own purposes of gaining fame or popularity. The Lord has given each of us Talents and Gifts so that we can develop them in the service of others. The more we use them in service the more refined and developed they become and we become more qualified to serve.
The Aparejo was developed centuries ago to use on mules so they could carry heavy loads in very rugged country. Mules are built wider and higher in the back than in the front part of their bodies. The saddle or the pack tends to go forward especially on down hill slopes. The aparejo is built with a heavy tail piece that holds it in place even with heavy loads going down steep inclines. The Aparejo does not need a breast strap because the shape of the mule will not allow it to go back even on steep climbs.
The horse is shaped just the opposite with high withers and broad chest and shoulders. The saddle will not usually go forward on a horse but it will easily go back so the breast strap is used on a horse. I have never used an Aparejo on a horse because it is not made for a horse but was made especially for a mule.
The Lord gives each person different gifts and Talents then if we are willing and obedient he calls us to positions and callings and gives us assignments that will develop our Gifts and Talents and prepare us to serve in other ways.
When we are given a calling in the church we are not usually qualified or prepared for that calling. The Lord is giving us and opportunity to develop the qualities and talents that go along with serving in that position. If we are willing the Lord will equip us with an Aparejo or a saddle so that we can carry the burden more easily even if the going gets rough.
When I was called and set apart as a Branch President I was given the (Aparejo ) Authority to serve the people in that branch. I could authorize them to baptize their children and name their little ones and help them bless their sick and represent the Lord in that little branch. The Lord's work became easy and His burden became light. I received joy and satisfaction in the work and I was able to develop in the work and carry the burden carefully and develop my capacity to love along the way. Each calling through the years has been different and has better prepared me to serve in different ways.
When I was ordained and set apart as a Patriarch I was given the equipment that was necessary to give Patriarchal Blessings. Without that Authority and the setting apart I could not have given any Patriarchal Blessings.
As we serve others willingly our capacity to serve is increased our joy and capacity to love grows and our talents are developed. When we are in the service of our fellow men we are only in the service of our God.
We each have many unique ways in which we are prepared to serve. When we are called to a position we are the only one that can do that job while we are in that calling. If we obey willingly the Lord will help us to do His work in our own Unique way with our special Talents and Gifts.