$100 Saddle on a $100 Horse

“A $1000 Saddle on a $100 Horse”

This favorite story was told to me by my friend Diann Cain Norris.

Diann’s family has always been active in rodeos. Her parents, “Junior” and Anita Cain made sure their three daughters, Diann, Dena, and DeAnn were busy with horses and basketball.

“Junior” Cain said that a neighbor asked him, “Why in the world do you spend so much money on those girls?”

His reply was succinct but wise, “Well, I believe I can pay now or I’ll end up paying later.”

I like his child-rearing philosophy: keep them busy doing positive things and you can usually avoid paying for it later.

Diann Cain Norris told of returning from a rodeo in east Texas. They stopped at Dairy Queen in DeRidder to get some late-night ice cream on their way home to Pitkin.

When they returned to their truck and trailer, one of their saddles had been stolen. It was an expensive engraved saddle that one of the Cain girls had won at a recent rodeo.

The Cains were disgusted that someone would steal their saddle in the Dairy Queen parking lot. They made a theft report to the DeRidder Police Department, unsure if they’d ever see the saddle again.

That week Diann received a call from Detective Jimmy Smith. He asked a few questions and then said, “We will find your saddle.”

Diann was more amused than hopeful at Detective Smith’s confidence.

However, about two weeks after the theft, Detective Jimmy Smith called again. “I’ve got your saddle, and you can come get it when you’re ready.”

Diann was thrilled and asked, “How in the world did you find it?”

Jimmy Smith chuckled, “We just kept patrolling the neighborhood until we saw a $1000 saddle on a $100 horse.”

It’s one of my favorite quotes.


I think of it when I see a man giving up his family . . . for a short affair or shady financial dealings.

It’ll cost him for the rest of his life.  He took something very prized- trust and integrity- and placed them on something cheap and temporal.

He (or she) put his saddle on the wrong horse.

It’s easy to get one’s values mixed up.

There is no way we should take the precious things in our lives and place them on something worthless. The “$1000 saddles” of our lives are the things that really matter.  They don’t belong on a “$100 dollar horse.”

Our challenge is keeping these priorities in order in our lives.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
-Jesus speaking in Matthew 6:33

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