Sunday, March 03, 2013

Western Slang: Ketch My Saddle!

Cowboy saddle, hat & boots by fence post
Stephen Bly (1944-2011)


No one likes being bucked off a horse. Especially a cowboy or cowgirl.

In the Old West out on the range, when the broomtail you forked decided to break in two, hop for mama, jackknife, swap ends, take you to church, chin the moon or wrinkle his spine ... your face ended up plowing the ground. And you had a more serious problem than cuts and bruises.

You must catch the horse. That meant calling for help. But seldom did a cowboy shout for someone to corral his pony. Instead, he would holler, "Ketch my saddle!"

cartoon cowboy bucked off horseTwo reasons for that slogan. First, cowboys rode $10 horses and sat on $40 saddles. Second, on many ranches the horses belonged to the brand, but the saddle was the property of the cowboy. About the time you slammed into the dirt, rocks and cactus, you didn't care if you ever saw the horse again. However, you certainly didn't want to lose your good saddle.

Maybe you've never been bucked by a horse ... or tried to catch a beast whose sole purpose is to stay 30 feet beyond your grasp. But you may have gotten your face mashed in the ground.

There are social, spiritual and emotional wrecks that can batter your total being. It might even "shipwreck your faith" (1 Timothy 1:19). You may feel like a failure:  I should have known better. I should have been able to hang on. That trail shouldn't have thrown me like that.

Perhaps you hope no one saw you fall. Yet you need help if you're going to get your life patched up and get back on the trail. You need to holler, "Ketch my saddle!" ... that is, "Give me a hand," "Don't let me lose my valuables!"

There are times to cry out, "Catch my marriage!" "Catch my kids!" "Catch my faith!"

Don't be too proud to call on others to help you save your true treasures.
Have you ever been bucked off a horse or other animal? What was the result and your response?
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