Saddle Up and Ride

May 09, 2020

The ubiquitous quandary of 2020 -- what to do when you don’t know what to do.   

As our country struggles with pandemic concerns what I have seen from most Montanans and Americans is a desire to lend a hand.  The application is different by everyone; however, when analyzed what it all comes down to is people helping each other out.  In reflection I believe that is core to the success of our country, our businesses, and our families. 

It made me reflect on the history of our store.  Since 1912 Connolly Saddlery has been lending a hand. That yearning is what started the store; it’s what has sustained the business; and it’s why we continue to do what we do.  The effects of that strategy never disappoint. 

Early in the 20th century, when America needed harnesses, Connolly’s built them.  When horses were no longer considered essential transportation, Connolly’s understood that working ranches still needed saddles, so they built ranch saddles modified to accommodate the needs of Montana cowboys.  It’s remarkable to me when I think about how over the centuries a horse’s worth has changed, but never diminished.  Modern technology has changed the way we do many things, but even its influence has not distorted the value of a horse. 

Horses are cherished by people for many different reasons, but Teddy Roosevelt’s heartfelt words are as true today as when he said them, “There’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.”

The past few weeks of pandemic uncertainty have stretched our faith and beckoned us to stay positive, use our time wisely, and be ready. 

The effects of what felt like a bad dream, awakening us in the night, can now be employed to project us forward redirecting momentum to a positive charge. We must plan, scheme, and calculate according to the reality that we are in. The past is past.  It only provides valuable experience to learn from. The future lies ahead.  Let’s move on.  Let’s Saddle Up. 

Riding a horse has all the applicable actions of the very things we have had to do the past few weeks and represents what we will continue to do:  be confident; figure things out; keep the main thing the main thing. 

Cowboys know this instinctively.  They do these things intuitively every time they saddle up.  Cowboys know that where you look is where you go. That’s what I love about riding.  The knowledge and understanding it builds in you is invaluable for life in general.  All of its lessons are life-lessons.

A horse brings out the cowboy way, which offers a treasure to the world, that will leave it poorer if ignored.  When these values are not woven through the everyday cloth of normal life, then the fabric of life is weak.  Cowboys are strong.  Cowboys use creative ingenuity.  They cannot sit back and wait for someone else.  That is not part of a cowboy’s DNA.    They're optimistic and the future is exciting because cowboys Saddle Up and Ride! 




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