Today I felt profoundly thankful. It was a lovely fall day and the sun was out at the farm.
Not too long ago I was struggling with the fact that I simply cannot have a horse right now due to the financial burden. That didn’t stop me from obsessing over every new horse available through New Vocations and actually evaluating them as if I could get one. (Sidebar: if you’ve never looked at their horses, do it now. I’ll wait. Done? Okay cool.) The result was a lot of frustration, especially given how much fun I have had riding this summer and how much more I thought I could have with my own horse.
Anyone else been there? It’s one of the pitfalls of choosing the most expensive hobby ever.
But I recently had a big shift in perspective, brought on by reading – of all things – Growing Up Duggar by Jana, Jill, Jessa and Jinger Duggar. I have this weird fascination with the TV show 19 Kids and Counting. Cannot. Stop. Watching. Anyway, a friend at work said it was a good read so I checked it out from the library.
Now, the Duggar family clearly has some ultra-conservative values that I don’t necessarily share, but what I took from the book was the message that a life of fulfillment comes from trusting and serving God. A lot of the time I shy away from being super open about my faith but it is a big part of who I am. Growing up, I saw many examples in my family of how God takes care of us if we just trust Him.
So, I reset my perspective. My life should not be about whether or not I have a horse. My life should be about being a good person, serving others and being less self-centered. Because honestly, I was being very self-centered. So I changed my prayers from “please help me find a way to get a horse” to “please show me what You want me to do.”
And you know what? It feels like He is showing me how to continue down the path with horses by providing tons of opportunities. Just last week, Leanne asked me to start working with a young horse named Drifter. I have been working with a friend’s horse named Lydia, while her owner is home with a new baby. I am riding and showing Admiral through this season, and then I will get to ride and show Twinkle next summer, likely over higher fences than this year. I have the opportunity to occasionally ride an older Dressage horse for a student away at college. I may have the opportunity to ride some horses for an elderly woman at another nearby farm.
My cup overflows. It’s wonderful.
Today I worked four horses. Drifter got a nice long session of groundwork. Lydia got a shorter longe line workout. Rook got a nice little ride, and I got to take the first spin on a brand new potential school horse, Tucker, who arrived at the farm today.
It was a beautiful fall day, the horses were on the grass pastures and the sun was out. Lydia even cantered up to me in the field! If anything, I expected her to run away because why would she want to come off the grass? As I walked through the field, I pulled out my phone when I was still quite far from her – I just had to snap a picture as she grazed among the wildflowers. It was too pretty! She caught me at it and came running over, while I snapped some action shots. She went past me and then turned around and walked back with this look on her face like, “what are you waiting for? Aren’t you coming?”
Normally I wouldn’t talk so openly about my faith like this. It’s something that is difficult for me, because I never want to push my own beliefs on others. But I felt this story should be shared! It’s in my nature to be a planner and a bit of a worrier, but I’ve seen it time and again: when I “trust in the Lord with all [my] heart and lean not on [my] own understanding,” (Proverbs 3:5-6), things just have a way of working out.
So, do I have my own horse? No. But I have something that is probably even better: several excellent horses to work with, great friends at the barn, and way less frustration in my life.