In college, one of my electives was “Horses and Horsemanship”. I was from Texas. I wore boots. How difficult could this be for me?
I thought I was going to be riding and enjoying the beautiful, flat, tumbleweed rolling land of Abilene. Well, it was sort of like that. We did clean stalls. We fed the horses. I met some fine cowboys. I made some fantastic friends…and tutors!
Here’s what I did not imagine. It was the most difficult class I had ever taken. Not only was the class work challenging, the terminology was exasperatingly difficult! Then, we had to dress the horse and ride the horse. (God help me.)
After 3 weeks in class, we finally got to ride! I was excited. My “friends” I met in class promised not to let me down and they did not disappoint! They helped me back up on my horse as many times as I fell off that horse. When my horse broke into a gallop with the hint of a race from another horse, I hung onto that baby for my LIFE!
The Professor called me aside after that class. She said she’d never seen someone with such determination, as she helped pull the grass out of my hair and my teeth. I was so proud…until. I was so proud until I finished that grass filled, teeth grinning talk and realized I never…tied…my horse…up. Where was she?! (Later, and I mean hours later, I found that my “friends” had hidden her from me.)
In conclusion, I finished this course. I met some cowboys and cowgirls with heart. I tore muscles I never knew existed. I learned that when you don’t ride correctly, you are actually doing consecutive leg splits, when galloping. (I didn’t know I could do that many splits at once! No one said I wasn’t talented!)
So, what do I do with this now? I take this determination decades later and I write. I do my watercolor illustrations. In fact, I’m writing about a barrel racer in my next book…right now. I admire the sheer talent, drive and determination they have. I’ve met some of the PRO barrel racers and they’re encouraging me! (Imagine that!)
The lesson I’ve learned: Find the lesson in anything that you do. I may not be a barrel racer, but I’m determined, with grass in my hair, to get up and move towards my goals. I will paint. I will write. I will make it and I will achieve great things, even if it’s not on a horse, and it will be for God’s glory..not mine.
Now, Keep MOVING!