Saturday, October 03, 2009

So Much Fun!

I've had this thing that holds me back. FEAR. Over the past couple of years, I've been pushing myself more. Doing things I'm afraid of. Yesterday, I decided to take another step. My son's friend Brittany started teaching me to ride horses. I rode a 24-year-old Arabian named Debar. Brittany said his color is called "flea-bitten gray." Nothing about him looked flea-bitten. He was gorgeous--smelled so good too. Outdoorsy. Strong and clean.

Brittany said, "Don't be afraid. Horses can tell if you're nervous around them."

I wondered how I'd fool Debar. I prayed, God, help me. I want to not be afraid.

She told me how to mount--to always get up on the left side of the horse. Grabbing hold of the saddle, I swung my right leg over. I did it!! I didn't go flying off the other side or anything. I decided to go ahead and pat Debar--like Brittany was patting her horse. So far, so good.

Brittany showed me how to hold the reigns--right at the top of the saddle horn--and loosely. Kind of like when you're walking with your dog you don't want a tight leash. I know about training dogs so it made sense. Brittany said the two animals are similar--horses and dogs. They know people--they can read us. She showed me how to kick at his sides. "Don't worry. You won't hurt him," she said and smiled. I copied her and kicked him (nudged him) to start going. He did! We started pretty slowly with me following behind Brittany.

Feeling more confident, I told Debar to move alongside Brittany and her horse. I kicked him gently and he moved quicker. Soon, we were riding side-by-side. Brittany said I'm a natural!

We rode for about 45 minutes. I asked her tons of questions. She answered each one patiently.

I did some thinking as we rode, writer that I am.

I thought about how I'm almost 50 and Brittany's not even 20, but she's an incredible rider and teacher.

I thought about how I've let fear hold me back. And the thing is, once I put my foot in the stirrups and swung myself up, the fear was gone. I trusted that Debar knew what he was doing. And he did.

I thought about life. How sometimes you have to humble yourself, ask for help, trust God and others (even a horse).

When I'm aware of that Still, Small Voice saying, "Don't be afraid. Do what's on your heart. I'm with you and will lead you with my righteous right hand," I need to listen more often. And trust.

My love to you all.
Anything you think God may be leading you to do?



Lisa Buffaloe said...

I'm so proud of you, and I Love the visual on trusting God. Thank you, Julie.

Julie Garmon said...

Thanks. Who knew I'm a cowgirl! Brittany said I can learn to gallop too. :-)

Catherine said...

Jewels, this is just awesome. And I love that your first real ride was on an Arabian!!:) I can imagine you are a natural; well done. Horses are a major source of fear for lots of people. I'm the biggest fear baby anywhere but for some reason have never feared horses. This small facet of my life has helped other insecurites and I just know God put them in my life to help me feel strong. Kudos for facing your fears girl. Next time, you ride with me!

Julie Garmon said...

Wouldn't that be something--us riding together. It could happen. You inspired me to want to learn. So glad you wore off on me. :-)