Lady and the Tramp(ling) Horse
When we first allowed Ashley to get a horse, I overheard someone tell her that everyone who owns a horse ends up with at least one broken arm. I pretended not to hear, but knew in my heart that I was not going to allow it to happen.
However, what I seemed to fail to take into account was that we allowed our daughter to buy a horse that was not yet broke to ride. Someone was going to get broken. I was voting for the horse.
Ashley purchased every book and video on the market to help her learn to train her horses. Here is a great product for learning to train your horse like a pro.
After several months of groundwork, it was time for Ashley’s first ride. She had written the date on her calendar and talked of nothing except riding Diamond on this particular day. She was excited. I was scared to death!
I reminded her to put on her helmet. She had grown quite fond of Diamond and was quite certain Diamond would obey her every command. She called me out to the round pen to watch the first ride. With excitement and anticipation, followed by gripping fear, I watched Ashley put the blanket on the horse. She then put on the saddle. Now, it was time to mount.
Ashley, being a bit shorter than the horse needed to use a bucket to reach high enough to get on. As soon as she placed the bucket near the horse, the horse would move about two feet away from the bucket. I watched this comedy routine until I was feeling quite comfortable that Ashley was not actually going to be able to get on the horse. It was in that comfort zone Ashley finally arrived, perched on top of Diamond.
As I watched, my little girl (who was 13 at the time) was taken at a full gallop heading straight for the fencing. I bit my hand as I watched the horse suddenly stop, and Ashley flew into the fence, over the head of the horse. Slowly she got up, went over and picked up the bucket, putting is beside the horse, she again got in the saddle. I thought to myself that my child had more courage than I did. Here I was scared to death watching from a distance, as she courageously got back on the horse.
I waited for the horse to once again take off running. Instead she stood still. Ashley kicked. Ashley said, “giddyup!” Ashley said, “Go you stupid horse!” Maybe that was me who said that?
Diamond stood still.
Ashley climbed down. Rubbed Diamond’s nose, gave her a carrot, then came over to me with the biggest smile I had ever seen and a bit of a limp.
After a thorough inspection I decided Ashley was all right.
Every day Ashley worked with Diamond, and every day they grew to love one another even more.
One day upon returning home from shopping, I noticed a pained look on Ashley’s face. Not wanting to worry me, she said, “Oh, it’s nothing, I just fell off of Diamond today.”
Christi piped up, “You should have seen it Mom! Ashley was loping in the pasture, when Diamond slipped. Ashley went around under her belly, then when Diamond tried to get up she used Ashley instead of the ground.”
As Christi was relaying her story in a more than colorful way, I became increasingly worried about Ashley. She kept assuring me she was fine. I gave her some Tylenol and told her to rest.
The next day she was still pained, so I asked to look at the injury. If there is one thing that embarrasses thirteen year old girls, it’s pulling their shirt up so mom can look at the hoof mark that had embedded itself into her rib cage.
We figured she must have broken a couple of ribs. It was difficult for her to laugh or even for her to breathe out. We had her rest for several days.
When we would talk about her injury all Ashley could say is, “I couldn’t get back on Diamond. I have to get back on her so she knows I’m all right.”
Again I was afraid of Ashley’s courage. I relented and allowed her to go outside and get on the horse. She got on, patted Diamond, told her how much she loved her, then got off the horse, and went in the house to lie down.
My kids’ courage amazes me all the time. It seems like when they are the ones who are sick, I’m the one who gets upset. Their faith is so incredible. Perhaps this is what is meant by, “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” Mark 10:15.
Ashley is all grown up now and owns a 6 bedroom house on nine acres with her husband Joel and son Hunter. Visit her website at http://valiantarabians.com