Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)
Ten years ago this weekend, I bought my horse, Trucker. He was only three, and I was a new rider with only three months of lessons under my belt. There was a lot wrong with that scenario of matching a green horse with a green rider. Someone should probably have told me to stop. Or maybe they did, but I wasn’t listening. After leaving him with a trainer for only ten weeks, I decided I needed to bring him closer to home to the barn down the street. When we tried to load him in the trailer, he would not get inside. That should have been my first clue to leave him with the trainer a while longer, but I wanted to be able to see him every day and the hour and a half it took to go to and from the trainer’s ate into my family time. It was just a short walk to groom him and check on him. Sometimes, I would just go down there and lay my head on his side and breath. I needed to breathe a lot in those days with a teenager just learning to drive and a preteen with anger issues. But, he still really wasn’t safe to ride and a series of accidents left me with a broken neck. We did not get off to a good start, Trucker and I, but I take the blame. He was just being a horse, a barely broke horse with a stupid, inexperienced rider. Oddly, though he was furious with me, husband knew how much I loved to ride, and talked me out of selling Trucker. He helped to find an excellent trainer who worked with horse and rider on nothing but ground work for an entire year. By this time, I was more than patient and willing to wait. Once we finally started riding again, Trucker and I had a bond that was solid and secure. I trust him and more importantly, he trusts me. Over the ten years, we built a barn in our backyard. I can look at the window anytime and see him. We have ridden many miles and my love for riding is just as strong. But, in the last year or so, other things got in the way of my riding time. When I heard a phrase about our possessions that said “Use it or Abuse It,” I immediately thought of Trucker because six months had gone by since I rode him. I considered selling him, but I cannot be sure he would go to a good home and besides, I really do love him. So, rather than “Abuse it,” I have been trying to “Use it.” Tonight, we rode with my friend, Andrea and her horse, around the island at sunset. It was a beautiful night, and we had a great time. I am so blessed to have my horse and to live somewhere so beautiful. All that is required of me is use it.