Readers weigh in on gettting back on that horse


By the flood of email, I found out I am not the only one who lands in the dirt in a rodeo arena and has trouble getting back on the horse (figuratively speaking).

Raised on the ranch I live on now, I heard those words “If you get bucked off a horse you need to get right back on” from a young age. Honestly, me getting bucked off my horse was most likely me falling off. Once with a loose cinch and a few times of not paying attention to what I was doing.

In the arena of real life, one of the most difficult times I had “remounting” was after my battle with breast cancer in 1992. I shared that experience last week along with my new arena dilemma — facing challenges since He-Who-Took-Long-Steps went to heaven 645 days ago.

You can land in the dirt in the arena by getting bucked off or falling off. The first happens when it’s not your fault. The second could be your fault. The horse could be illness, financial or relationship woes or other crisis we face in life.

However, the real issue is how we make ourselves get back on the horse — or in reality, break the barrier that has us stuck. Often the only way we make it through tough stuff is hearing how God gave someone else the ability to make it through. I asked this letter writer for permission to share her story.

“Boy, did your column hit the nail on the head. Our youngest son, now almost 29, suffered from horrible life-threatening health conditions for 10 years starting in high school. It progressed to drug and alcohol addiction. We traveled all over the country trying to get help with his medical issues. Used all of our savings and retirement. He finally ended up in jail with DUI’s. He discovered that wasn’t much fun, and he then began the long process of getting off all of the drugs and alcohol.”

“He did rehab, the Lord kept him alive, and he is now a strapping 180-lb. man. (His top weight when sick was 100, he is over 6 ft. tall). What an ordeal. He has a job, 2 jobs actually, has a probationary license, and is holding his own. In the aftermath, I apparently forgot how to get back on the horse. And being a horsewoman, this was, and is, particularly troubling. I sold all of my horses, and my trailer to pay for his medical needs. I had to quit work. I had to spend hours making him food he could eat, which kept him alive.

“Now I need to get back on the horse but feel paralyzed. Have been taking baby steps. I did a triathlon last July (used to do quite a few). Bought a new puppy, and went to Hawaii with my husband. I still need a lot of peace and quiet. And prayer.

“I am a champion of my son getting back on his horse. He still suffers from his medical issue, so is limited by what he can do. But he isn’t letting it stop him. He is off disability and is planning on going back to school. Am just so thankful that getting back on our horses is even an option and so thankful how God was with us the whole time! It can be an enormous and overwhelming struggle that for some situations really never ends. Thanks for your column.”

Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. Please know you are encouraging others by showing that victory often comes in small steps. And be assured that you will have a host of new Time Out “prayer partners” from around the world praying for you and your family.

God bless you and all the others who wrote. Let’s saddle up. My Christmas cards are on their way as of today!


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at or visit