Thankful Today for the Horse I’ll have at Forty-Five.

Photo courtesy of US Eventing/Jessica Duffy

I haven’t posted on this side of the blog in a while. I’ve been so busy, and maybe I haven’t had enough emotional fests to bring me to write about it. But, in other news I think a part of me feels really guilty writing.

Of course my favorite part of New York was meeting a real police horse.

So many of my posts have been about what I’ve learned from the difficult stuff. But, right now I’ve actually had a rather tame time. I go to work, then I ride.  I’m trying to save money, but I’v been able to do some really rad things. I don’t want to write about that, right? Who writes about how great their life is? First that is not interesting, and second I would detest being the envy of anyone. Then, and lastly, part of me is really worried that something terrible may happen to interrupt  this acceptable lifestyle I’ve found myself in if I actually type it on my keyboard.

I was reading in Luke this week, and Jesus had been healing a while, and then he goes and plucks some guys from boats to be in his close-squad. To me, this passage has always been about how any normal person “can be a chosen one.” Whether a fisherman or a tax-accountant, the Lord can choose you.

But this week as I read the passage I felt as if I related so much to the age-gap of when these men were chosen. They’re full adult men with careers. These guys weren’t given scrolls at birth announcing they, even though from humble means, had made the cut. No, they had no idea what was going to occur in their life until adulthood.

I wonder if any of them ever wanted some sort of adventure. I truly do not understand men. But, my small perception of them feels like there was probably at least one who wanted to make something out of himself bigger than where he was. I definitely would relate to that. Maybe he kept trying different avenues to feel fulfilled or moving these different horses up the levels and getting only-so-far? Not a Biblical disciple? Oh yea, that was only me. And in the end, Christ picked him one day off a boat. That was it, he was chosen all along.

That’s not to say I don’t feel like the Lord used me when I was younger. Didn’t little Queen Esther rule a kingdom at fourteen or fifteen? No, but how much worry and envy could I have avoided had I had just a little crystal ball to see where I would be later in life?

Introducing the newest member of the team, Doonhill Dancer, an imported 4-year old connemara stallion owned by the Keane Family

One of my favorite young riders at the barn, (She’s my favorite because she says my horse is pretty.) was asking me about the shows I had planned, and admitted to one day wanting to run a 1* herself, which my little Frye has entered to compete in April. I didn’t sense any envy, but more of a solemn longing and a little tinge of doubt that would occur for her.  Rather than give the older advice, I bragged that her own horse would be there in no-time. I’m not sure if she believed me.

Entry has been sent for Pretty Like Me’s first FEI event

But, you see. Right now, she is exactly where she needs to be. Having just started riding in the past few years, she is in one of the best programs with an exceptional coach. Despite her horse’s inexperience and youth now, he’s actually quite nice. He’s the kind of horse I wouldn’t mind calling my own. I’d possibly have chosen him over my beloved Frye on Day 1 had I had the chance. I have no doubt that in a few years, she can cross that 1* goal off her list, and she’ll be much much younger than me when I sent in my first FEI entry.

I’ve been friendless, and the mean-girl. But today, I have friends I wouldn’t trade for the world.

But at the time, you don’t know what’s going to happen. Two years ago, I did not see myself in Atlanta. It is so bizarre to me that the horse I’m competing possesses a stellar cross-country record, because only a few short years ago I was completely ruining a previous young horse. If any of my previous relationships had continued, I might not be right where I’m at right now. I have so many more goals, and things I want to do. I’m so excited and maybe a little fearful of failure. But, I’m not in a rush or doubtful of what I can accomplish with the Lord on my side. It even makes the risk of losing what I do have less frightening. Each morning I just kind give what I have to the Lord, it’s His anyways, and just say, “hey I love this, and this is what I want, but I’m going to give it to you to use.” And in this mindset and acceptance of the things I can’t change, it’s totally renewed my hope and excitement for what I do have.

28168217_2034509249912175_1354067723498781071_nI never want to preach that the Lord delivers horses in return for good acts.  That’s not how it goes.  He’s delivered goal accomplishments even when I did not deserve it.  And even tomorrow, something could happen to my dear Frye or the lovely new stallion we have in training, or myself! But I can’t be envious or rush faster than what the Lord has planned for me to do right now, because it’s preparing me for what I’m going to do tomorrow, or two years, or for the saddle sponsorship I’ll snag at forty-five?

Confession: I really yearn to be an ambassador for a saddle-maker. To have soft leather saddle custom-made to my horse’s backs, while I use my funds for competitions and more lessons? It’s a guilty dream, but there nonetheless. Maybe one day, but if it’s not today, I’m ok.

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