A Lesson Well Learned

19 Jun
Jenna and Freckles, a team built on love

Jenna and Freckles, a team built on love

Jenna had not slept through the night, fitfully she saw herself riding the hunt course on her beloved pony, Freckles. Over the jumps, she felt his muscles propelling her through the air. She heard the applause of friends and family cheering her as she rounded the course. Then her alarm sounded and the day began as it usually did, thinking of Freckles. Her father drove as fast as a supersonic jet, he sensed her urgency.

They pulled up to the farm. She tied her shoes tighter and straightened her shirt. She grabbed her back pack, full of all the things necessary for her to be successful in the ring. Her grooming brushes, her favorite purple saddle pad, tiny carrots, apples sliced and diced, her list of “To Do’s,” her black padded shipping halter adorned with sheepskin to keep her horse comfortable, and of course her small plastic bag full of hoof clippings, and silvery hair cut from Freckles mane for good luck.

She tacks up Freckles, he is restless. He shifts from side to side. He can feel her excitement and he absorbs it and expels it through his feet. He shakes his head and stomps his feet. She gets very nervous; he has never done this before. I walk over and place my hand on his shoulder and my other hand on Jenna.

“He feels your nervous energy, just relax. He is responding to you, his best friend,” she shook her head in acknowledgement. She was disappointed that she had let Freckles down.

She put her left foot in the stirrup and started to warm up by getting into two-point position. Freckles responded by picking up a trot. Then she sat deep and he halted quickly.

The first division was jumping. He entered the ring in a canter, and then broke to a trot. Jenna was rattled. She broke concentration and he stopped. He turned around, trying to get out of the riding ring. His buddy was not ready, he was scared for her and tried to take care of her by taking her out of the ring.

Escalating downward, she missed jumps, cantered some and trotted others. Her frustration grew into tears. Her friends gathered around her. The judge complemented her on her tenacity. Her mother feared for her daughter’s life. The team of Freckles and Jenna was broken. Jenna had a lot to learn.
Never once did she consider getting on another horse or bowing out of the ring. The judge gave her a second chance to complete the course. Freckles weaved and bobbed. She was giving in to the feelings of despair. Then she rallied, petting her beautiful flea bitten gray, she whispered to herself that she could do all things through Christ.

She finished the division. What she had learned was that sometimes the best lessons in life are learned on the back of a beautiful pony named Freckles.
She learned that winning a ribbon is nothing compared to learning a lesson. That being frustrated and disappointed can whip many people, but people with true character just dig deeper and work through it. Jenna learned that sometimes your personal best may not be good enough.

After the show was over, Jenna was fawning over her pony, kissing his sweet face, feeding him the baby carrots and sliced apples. She was talking to her friends and family about all of his personality quirks. She scratched his belly and he lifted his lip in the air making a comical face. They all laughed, but Jenna laughed the loudest, her pony is her life. She was not disappointed, she was proud of what she had accomplished that day in the ring.

Some of my most painful lessons were learned on the broad back of my noble horse, Raise Your Dreams.

Have you ever learned a painful but necessary life lesson on the back of your horse? Please share!

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2 Responses to “A Lesson Well Learned”

  1. billgncs June 19, 2014 at 8:14 PM #

    yep, there’s flying – and then there’s soaring on the back of fine steed 🙂

  2. amylk103 June 20, 2014 at 11:43 AM #

    Jenna is an amazing horse woman. she learned so much that day, about herself and her horse.

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