A Horse, Of Course

I have never been a horse person.  In grade school, some of the other girls had pictures of the shiny brown mammoths on the cover of their Trapper Keepers, the eighties in-vogue binders with the velcro flap.  The horses had perfectly straight hair and were frolicking in a pastoral scene of rolling green hills.  I suppose it was designed to inspire students to organize their notes, which much like the attraction to horses, was a concept lost on me.

But all that changed with Ruby, a horse I came to know through a friend.

She and her family move every couple of years because of her husband’s career.  She handles the challenges with such remarkable grace that it would be easy to assume that it’s as simple as getting back up on that proverbial horse after an unanticipated fall.

But it’s not.  It can be hard and lonely like I imagine a cowboy’s life while meandering trails that snake toward undiscovered territories riding his lone companion.  So, when she told me she took up horseback riding after a move out west, I was excited for her despite my general disinterest in horses.

I was inspired by my friend’s willingness to embrace her new adventure.  At the time I had started blogging again which felt like the beginning of my own journey.  After my first post, I received an email suggesting I was “on my way to hell and in a spiritual coma.”  It also remarked on the “abysmal title of my website.”

Mercy me! I found that really offensive.

I shared the bewildering email with my friend as she shared about her new friendship with Ruby.   It reminded me that beginnings can be hard but they can also be rewarding.  So, like a horse in its final lap, I learned to look for the rewards along the way.

As the months passed I looked forward to updates about Ruby.  On the day before Valentine’s Day, I learned that Ruby’s boyfriend had left her for a new mare.  The timing seemed particularly cruel, even for a horse.  Meanwhile, I hadn’t received any more emails telling me I was on the highway to hell but I was navigating a hard road of frustrating technological challenges.  Ruby gave me the strength to hold tight despite the rough ride.

Sometime during the Lenten season, Ruby befriended a donkey named Tallulah Bell.  My friend sent a picture of them in the stall together and it was the perfect reminder to love everyone, even those we tower over and especially those that are different than us.

A short time later, I learned that Ruby was recovering from injuries.  I could relate.  Although physically fine, I was limping along, unsure of the future and frustrated with my pace.

Still, every time I heard about Ruby and the struggles she encountered, every time I thought about my friend with her own unique challenges of vacillating between pulling up roots and laying them down, I felt less alone and more hopeful.

None of us have figured it out, we are gripping the reigns, holding on despite what can be a treacherous ride.  But knowing I am not alone, that I can persevere like Ruby and embrace change like my friend, makes me realize that while riding off into the sunset is the goal, we can find some real gems along the way.  And, like Ruby, sometimes their shine is as bright.

Miss last week’s post?

Here I am with Jose, a mule I met a few months ago.  Maybe I should introduce him to Ruby?

6 thoughts on “A Horse, Of Course

  • June 26, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    I think we all have times we feel alone. Moving to a new city is so hard, especially as an adult. When I moved here, I didn’t know anyone. It was then that God sent me an angel! Knowing that I was not alone on the path, that I had this special friend who took me under her wing, changed my life here. I think we need to know we are never alone, and that God sends us angels when we need it most!!

    • June 27, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      I lived out of state for a while and it was hard for me too. Everyone was already so ingrained in their families and communities. In some ways, it was good for my marriage because we had to really rely on one another but in some ways, it was just lonely. I am glad you were sent an angel and I am sure you are as much a blessing to them as to you.

  • June 26, 2018 at 12:14 pm

    That’s a pretty cool mule! I love the analogies!

    When I did my very first event with Hopefilled Art Gifts, a man stopped by my table and said, “What Bible is it?”

    I don’t think well on my feet so it took me a minute to realize he was asking what translation of scripture I was using on my cards.

    “NIV,” I said.

    Then I proceeded to get a lecture about how inaccurate that version is and he went on his merry way.

    I believe there is always going to be someone who points out what they think are gross problems. I know I’ve been like that before and I pray and thank God for his mercy when I become the one who wants to throw the first stone.

    Keep up the good work, Laura.

    • June 27, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Maybe it’s good for us to get those stones thrown at us sometimes so like you said, we can know how to avoid judging others. A message of critique should be delivered with some tact and tenderness to have any weight. I can relate to not thinking well on my feet so I guess at least I was told I was going to hell in writing! But ultimately, I decided a comment like that doesn’t warrant a response 🙂

  • June 26, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Awesome article Lara!
    Such good analogies!

    • June 27, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Thank you!


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