Although I am not a horseman, we do own several horses and I do enjoy working with them. Do not assume this means I know much about horses…I don’t…but I enjoy learning. 🙂
One of our horses is a little buckskin we bought for our grandkids to ride. He’s named Buck…I know…not very original…blame it on the previous owners… 😉
The great thing about Buck is that he’s small enough for the grandkids to feel comfortable riding yet big enough for me to ride. This allows me to warm him up before the grandkids ride, as well as riding between grandkid visits, to keep him conditioned.
I recently started riding Buck on woods trails around our farm. Buck was clearly uncomfortable in the woods, so I patiently worked with him. It took a couple of tries before he would enter the woods, and we started with a very short trail. The first day, I took him through two short trails. Next time we started with a short trail before moving to a longer trail.
About half-way through the longer trail, we jumped a deer…and Buck came completely unglued! He spun 180 degrees and tried to run back, “Easy boy!” When I stopped him, he spun a full 360 degrees and tried again, “Easy!”
Moments later he was reasonably calm, but remained very tense. “Easy, now. Calm down. I know you’re scared. It’s okay.” As we resumed the trail, I continued speaking soothingly. “Trust me. I won’t take you anywhere you shouldn’t go. Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.”
As we completed the trail, I realized I was simply repeating what the Holy Spirit tells me daily, “I know you’re scared, Joe. It’s okay. Trust me. I won’t lead you anywhere you shouldn’t go. Don’t be afraid. Just trust me.”
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a)