The following was written guest blogger, Yolonda Walker; a retired math teacher and my dear friend. Thank you, Yolonda, for sharing this story.
What a beautiful day; beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, and a group of five people enjoying it all while on a trail ride! Three of the riders are ladies; friends who still enjoy riding now that they are in their retirement years. The other two riders are a young teenager and her grandfather. The young girl has very limited riding experience, and her grandfather, well, he barely knows which end of the horse to face. However, this grandfather is more than willing to risk bodily harm in order to share in his granddaughter's riding adventure. The day just got better!
One's eye couldn't help but be drawn to the pair of the young girl and the giant of a horse that she was riding. The mare was somewhat over 16 hands tall (that's at least 5'4" for lay people). The young girl and the horse rode along in perfect harmony. The girl was completely relaxed; her body gently rocking back and forth to the rhythmic stride of the mare. It's as if the mare was aware that the cargo she was carrying was precious, indeed. The mare had an unusually smooth stride. It could almost be described as soft--as soft as the young girl's voice as she engaged in minimal conversation. The horse appeared to be listening for any verbal and/or body signal the young girl might give her: back, turn, walk, or the most important, "WHOA."
Our ride ended. The young girl began her dismount, needing some assistance. Helping her mount the horse had been ever more of a challenge. The dismount safely accomplished, the pair exchanged an affectionate "thank you" and "so long." Yes, horses do communicate their feelings to their riders. Sometimes, it's a "get off my back" as they propel their rider through the air!
I am blessed to have been a part of the touching event. It calls to mind Hebrews 13:2, which was referenced in Dale Evans' book, Angel Unaware. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (ESV) You might say, "What's the big deal? A young girl on a horse?" Maybe it will mean more if I share with you the fact that the young girl was autistic. Can you see it? Can't you feel it? The trust the young girl and the mare had to had for and in each other! Truly inspiring! The picture these two made that day will be forever engraved in my mind and on my heart--an angel of a young girl riding on a gentle giant of a horse!
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