This is a follow up to a post that I wrote yesterday entitled Finish Strong. I spoke briefly about the accident I had involving a green horse, although we did not know at the time that this horse was green. I have been warned about “horse people” and how, unfortunately for us, not all are honest. However, I try to see the good in people and take them at their word. I learned a very valuable lesson here after the accident. As much as I want to see the good in people and believe that what they say is true, not every one is going to be honest. It’s sad, really, that any one would feel the need to be deceitful and to betray you … this could have cost me my life. Thank God it didn’t! And, within a few months of the accident, I’m back in the saddle again.
Today was a victorious day for me! Why is that, you may be wondering? Because I conquered my fear! Allow me to explain.
As soon as I was able to get around pretty good again, I wanted to get back up on a horse. I did not want to let much time pass at all before I got back on because I knew that the longer I waited, the more fear would set in. The likelihood of me getting back on a horse again would be slimmer and slimmer with each passing day as the post traumatic stress set in of holding on for dear life as the horse took me for the ride of my life (read: NOT an enjoyable moment!), then threw me off! I’m blessed to have only had the injuries that I sustained (a concussion, a fractured hand, and a fractured hip). It could have been much worse, but God was definitely protecting me!
The first time I tried to get back on a horse, I had overwhelming anxiety that slammed into me. I tried to calm myself because I know that the horse can sense my anxiety and become anxious themselves. Finally, I was able to just sit on the horse, and I was happy! I didn’t need to do anything more, just sit there. My husband became a little anxious himself when I leaned forward on my horse, Sugar. He wasn’t sure if I was falling off or what was going on, but I simply leaned forward to hug her with every fiber of my being. I love this little horse (no she was not the one that threw me – we no longer have that horse!) I just allowed myself to lay against this massive horse, to allow the love to flow from me directly into her beautiful reddish-brown and white patches on her muscular body. I just took a moment with my horse to show her nothing but pure love. I didn’t expect a single thing from her at that point. I just wanted to show her some love and appreciation!
The next time, I went a step further … until it brought me to the present day.
Today we went to our new friend’s house. They have a ranch where they break and train horses. We met them through a group specifically for animal lovers. They posted a horse, and we fell in love with this beauty. Within a few weeks, we were bringing this baby home! We purchased another horse from them after that as well.
My girls have really bonded with their twin 16 year old daughters. They are precious little red-heads that love horses – they live and breathe horses! My 17 year old daughter looks up to them while my nine year old daughter wants to be JUST like them. These young ladies have so much knowledge and skill for their age. It is quite impressive! They rope and barrel race, and they have a grand time doing it, too!
Today my family and I went to their ranch with two of our horses. We all saddled up and rode together in an arena until everyone felt comfortable enough on their horse to go on a trail ride. While we were in the arena, these young ladies really encouraged me to try to trot. Now, since I had been in the accident, anything with speed scares me. I was not sure if I could actually trot without fear of being taken on a wild ride like the one I had just recently recovered from. These young ladies offered me such encouragement, as did my family, and so I decided to at least try! And you know what? Not only did I trot, but I then got enough confidence to lope the horse – which means … speed! Was I nervous? Yes! Did I find courage within to just do it any way? ABSOLUTELY!
I rode their horse, Reno. This horse was not one that I was familiar with, so it took a lot for me to get on that horse not really “knowing” him or his behaviors. I did initially try to get my horse, Sugar, to trot, but she was just too lazy. She prefers to walk, which has been my preference up to this point as well! However, today, I had to try it. I had to conquer my fear. I had to put those flashbacks to bed and put them behind me so they no longer held any power over me. These flashbacks and this post traumatic stress was holding me back. It was preventing me from doing something that I had such passion about; riding horses! So, with my little group of cheerleaders gathered around, I hopped on Reno, took a deep breath and kicked the horse into a trot … and then into a lope! I did have a moment while in the lope that I felt some anxiety come over me, but I quickly dismissed it and carried on.
And you know what? IT FELT WONDERFUL!
These young ladies will never know how much their encouragement meant to me. They believed in me and my abilities when I did not believe in myself because of this fear that I was now carrying around with me. They stood on the sidelines cheering me on with smiles on their faces as I trotted … loped … and stopped with the biggest, widest smile spreading across my face!
One of these young ladies took a short video of me trotting. While it may seem like something small to a lot of people when they view this video, it is HUGE for me, especially considering the accident that I had! I made progress today. I found the courage deep within me with the help of God above, and I kicked this fear to the curb. I found such joy and happiness today, and the encouragement that I received touched my heart far more than they will ever know.
I left that ranch today with a new appreciation … and a sense of accomplishment! This one small step is opening the door for me to be a more confident rider and to live my dream again! Yes, Lord … YES!
My point in this is never ever judge another. I posted that video on Facebook, of all places, where I am sure to get raised eyebrows and maybe people are rolling their eyes as they watch it thinking it’s no big deal. Well, to them, it’s not. To me, it’s huge! So never judge another person as we truly do not know their story unless they open up and tell us. Unless they allow us in and share the details with you, you’ll never know what a person has gone through or is going through, so honestly, who are we to judge? Instead, stand on the sidelines of their life and cheer them on. Encourage them … and you never know what might happen. They just might be able to live their dream … you might be the one person that they needed that encouragement and support from to have them conquer their fears … and you might just get to witness one of the greatest moments in their life!
Yes, one small step … but perhaps, also, a huge turning point in one’s life!
My proud moment trotting Reno is here. Next time, we’ll get a video of loping, too!
I feel the need … the need for speed! ~Top Gun Quote~