If ye love me, keep my commandments.

These words of the Savior indicate to us the purpose for obedience. Oh what joy comes to us when we obey freely and willingly and our obedience becomes a labor of love. The world becomes joyful and beautiful and our hearts fills with love when we obey with eagerness. If our obedience is grudging and unwilling the world becomes a place of darkness and toil to be endured and suffered.

I remember the joy and belonging I felt when I was permited to help mow the lawn. Our older brothers were pushing on the handle, while Wesley and I stooped down to push down and forward on the bars that joined onto the mower. The lawn was thick and tough Bermuda grass so it took plenty of muscle and sweat to get it mowed with that old hand mower. I remember even to the sweat and aching arms, how I felt at being included in the work with my brothers. I learned the joy of working if you consider that work a privilege and a labor of love.

Many years ago my father in law, Grandpa Haynie taught me many useful things about horses and mules. He told me how to pick a colt that would be easy to train and eager to obey. He talked of choosing one with intelligence and curiosity. He told me to put the colts in a corral, and let them settle down and become calm and aleepy. Then to go into the corral quietly and squat down to one side and watch the colts. After awhile he told me to flip a little rock letting it roll across the coral. The colts that watched the rock with alert eyes and ears would be ones that were intelligent and curious and eager to learn.

The time came on the ranch when we needed some new horses. I decided to go look at the colts that Dave Spillsbury had for sale on his ranch up the Juarez river. When I made arrangements with Dave to go see his colts. When I arrived he had a dozen black three year old colts in the coral. They were all beautiful well built colts from the same stallion. He had brought the stallion from the RO ranch in Cananea.

I went into the corral and squatted down in the shade of the fence. I sat watching the colts and saw one with his head high and his eyes and ears alert watching my every move. After awhile I flipped a little rock across the coral. That one colt with his head held high, ears and eyes alert watched that little rock as it rolled across the coral. He was the only one in all of those colts that was alert enough to watch my every move. I got up and told Dave that he was the one that I wanted to buy. Dave disgustedly told me that I had picked the ugliest colt in the whole bunch. He said that he was hog backed and not as pretty ass the rest. I insisted that he was the one I wanted to buy. Dave then grabbed a rope and went into the corral and said that he would show me how to pick a colt. He threw his loop on a beautiful well proportioned colt and snubbed him up to the snubbing post in the middle of the corral. The colt fought furiously. After choking down a couple of times he finally stood without fighting the rope. I roped the other colt with the hog back and after dragging me a little ways, he turned to see what I was going to do. I approached him slowly speaking softly to him. Soon I was rubbing his neck and he had accepted me. After about l5 minutes working with him he was leading very well around the coral. I led him to the back of the pick-up and after some coaxing we got him up into the pickup, where he stood quietly, respecting the rope I had around his neck.

We went back to the other colt. After shusing the same methods I gave up on teaching him to lead, because he resisted every attempt to turn him around or lead him. Finally, with Dave behind him with a double rope we forced him over to the truck. With the rope around his neck sequired so that it would not chjoke him, we put it around the bar in the front of the truck. Then we rigged a rope around his rear end and through the bars through the end of the truck, so that we could force him into the truck, by pulling on his neck and pushing on his rear. He hung back with all of his weight and strength, but we finally forced him into the truck, beside the other colt. We got the end gates closed. But the colt was still fighting , falling down and getting up, fighting all the way home.

We unloaded the stubborn colt in the corral at the old Bowman home, where we lived. The other colt we took out to the ranch and left him with the other horses. The next two weeks I petted and washed that colt with the hose and he became very tame. After much trying to teach him to lead, I decided to use force. I told Don Marcial to get behind him with a pitchfork, and when I tried to lead him, he would poke him with as pitchfork in the rear end. That sharp pitchfork causued him top jump forward and finally he got the idea that he was to lead. Even at that he always led like a borrowed dog.

I petted that colt and washed him out on the lawn and Naoma came out and took movied of me holding up his tail showing off his muscled hind quarters. I was soon riding him trying to teach him all the things he needed to know. He resisted everything that I tried to teach him. I had tamed him enough that he did not buck, but he did not have a good fast walk, only a choppy little trot. If I tried to have him gallop he would veer to one side then the other changing leads making the whole process rough and difficult. In the meantime, the other colt was doing very well. He learned quickly and eagerly. He was especially good with cattle. He had a good fast walk that was smooth and even . Soon I was roping on him in the Rodeos in Casas Grandes. In his eagerness he would come out of the roping chute very powerfully and fast. I felt like I was being hit in the seat of the pants with a tube-by-four. I used him roping on the ranch for quite s few years. I used him to rope wild mares that got on the ranch, because he could run right into the bunch and let me rope anyone I chose. I named him Massai after the African Warriors. They could jump and run and had powerful leg muscles.

The other colt, I named Spike because he had a white slash in his forhead, that reminded me of a railroad spike. I finally gave up on Spike and decided to trade him off. Carlos Quintana-s brother-in-law, Rodolfo, was breaking a little roan colt. When I saw that little roan colt with a pretty head and alert ears and eyes, I knew he would be a good horse. I took Spike out and told Rodolfo about him, and asked if he would trade him for the little roan. Rodolfo looked him over and saw that beautiful well proportioned quarter horse and knew that he could sell him for a much better price than he could get for the little roan horse. We made the trade and I took the little roan to the ranch. We named him Rocío. He developed into as wonderful rope horse that all the family used on the ranch and in the High School rodeos up at La Mora.

Massai became a beloved pet and a wonderful working horse on the ranch because of his willing obedience. He learned quickly and remembered to be obedient and willing. Spike, even after he was tamed and trained, did everything grudgingly and made everything into a very hard task. He was put aside because of his un-willingness to learn and obey and traded for another that was willing and eager to obey and learn.

If we obey grudgingly and are unwilling to learn then the world becomes dark and unhappy. Then we are left to pick against the pricks. Then we miss the purpose of our lives. May we all be eager to learn and obey eagerly and willingly so that our lives will be filled with joy and love.