Some girls just love horses.
I was one of them!
"Marvel the Mustang" was the first horse I ever loved.
He was given to me for my 4th or 5th birthday. I can't remember now, ....and
wish I could count the candles on that cake!
A couple years later, I got a bigger horse: a propane tank that I named "Old Silver."
He was corralled in our new backyard in South Dakota; behind a long row of pink and yellow hollyhocks that just buzzed with honey bees. My best friend Susie and I would gallop him together bareback and pretend we were being chased by wild Indians. Arrows would zing past our heads and we were ....fearless!
I believed Silver was the fastest horse around.... until years and many moves later when I met my first "real" horse: "Lightfoot." Circumstances of my parents divorce had brought my Mom and I to live at my Aunt and Uncles dude ranch in the Black Hills. It was there; I learned to ride and looking back I see so many blessings I was given even though the world as I knew it was turned upside down.
During the summertime, girls would come from all over the United States to live at the ranch for two week sessions. My Uncle would pair the campers up with a horse to ride and call their own basically for two beautiful weeks. -- And he let me do the same!!! Living there, I got to know all the horses really well. But Lightfoot was special. He was all white with beautiful, black spots on his butt. He stood around 14 hands high and had a beautiful mane and tail for an App. My Uncle wouldn't let me ride him because he wasn't a "beginners" horse. He was spunky. He was a little Appaloosa with a whole lotta zip!
We rode twice a day, every day. Two long trail rides through the Black Hills all summer long. I rode Sparky and then as time went on several others. It was so beautiful, and my Aunt and Uncle were so good to us. We had a place to be. My Mom got a job as a maid in the Custer state park, and I stayed on the ranch. We shared a bedroom off one end of the dining hall. I remember getting up early and helping my Aunt fix breakfast for all the campers in the kitchen. Closing my eyes I can almost smell the bacon and hear the sizzles on her old cookstove! But most of all-- I'll never forget the day my Uncle let me ride Lightfoot for the first time. Just getting to ride him meant so much to me. He was a leader and would lope in place with excitement. I know my Uncle kept a close eye on me and then as time went on... Lightfoot somehow became my ride. He was a blast to ride and we bonded so tight! I'd always have to hold him back because he just wanted to run. I remember on some rides, my uncle would stop the whole group, and make me ride Lightfoot in the opposite direction as hard as he'd go, because he'd get so wound up wanting to run. I felt like I could fly on that horse.
Until night time. --
Because come dark;
Lightfoot was afraid of his own shadow.
Have you ever been in the woods at night?
Coyotes howl, critters prowl, and some nights you can't see your hand in front of your face.
It is very creepy not knowing what's out there.
Since Lightfoot was white, other campers liked to follow him because they could see his big
rump in the dark. But he was dangerous in the dark. His confidence and running at life full speed ahead changed after sundown. On a black trail he'd spook at everything. Especially rocks. I could never relax on him and had to hold tight with my legs because I never knew which rock might set him off. His ears would go back, and his muscles would tremble beneath me as we'd approach something he was unsure of. When he'd shy; ...I never knew what to expect. He might dart to the right, left... sometimes he'd even rear up.
All because of fear.
Fear of shadows and rocks.
Things that never even posed any danger at all.
I loved that horse so much. And my Uncle really did give him to me.
My very own horse... for real!
Funny the things that come out of us when journaling. I hadn't thought of Silver or Lightfoot in years until I answered this question today:
"In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?"It's a hard question and I've given it so much thought.
To "really GROW" means we have to sometimes look at what's real and what's not and face our biggest fears. Like my "scared of the dark" horse- I tend to worry what could be next on my journey. The not knowing ... sometimes spooks me. When I allow fear to set in, I usually lose my focus and sometimes shy away from people and things. But God's word tells me I can trust Him no matter what.
I want to fly like Lightfoot did in the LIGHT.
And gallop "fearlessly" as I did on Silver.
I need growth in confidence.
And growing in confidence, finds even more grace.
"Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16