The hardest thing for me to admit to anyone, especially myself, is that I am afraid.
As one who is a Christian, I am supposed to have no real fear in this world. I serve one who is greater than all other.
Yet, today as I stood at a barrier, I was gulping down heaps of fear and almost shaking in dread. Have you ever been there? Standing at a moment where you are going to have to rely on faith alone?
The stallion, Amadeus and I had a run in about a week and a half ago. I was alone in the pen with him and although he had always been docile in our brief meetings, he took it upon himself to get aggressively playful.
I’ve been around horses for a long time. I got thrown from a horse. I’ve been stepped on, bit and kicked. I always got back on.
But it’s been a long time since I was around horses.
In that time without horses; I learned I was small. I learned I could be hurt. I learned fear.
So although his intentions were nothing more than playing with me as a horse plays. When I found myself pushed into a corner, facing hooves and nipped on the leg. I ran out of fear, because I remember I am small and can be hurt.
Since that time I keep a barrier between us. Although our meetings have been over food or brushing over the fence and have led to him greeting me warmly with a nicker as I approach, I still felt that disquieting moment of respectful fear.
I’ve entered the pen accompanied by my oldest stepson and husband. I’ve watched them subdue him when the play gets rough. But that’s them, not me. I shy away. Remembering the moment of fear.
Today I made up my mind that I would enter the pen and lead him out so I could clean up his poop. It’s my job since I wanted the horse and one that I have been put off because of my fear. I got all supplies needed and made my way to the gate.
As has become our custom, he galloped to it and called out his greeting. I leaned over and put on his harness with no incidents, but then it came time to open the gate and remove the barrier between us.
All I had to do was swing the gate open. I couldn’t.
My heart pounded and my hands began to sweat. I paced back and forth talking out-loud to him about my fear. He simply watched me pace.
All I had to do was swing the gate open.
I reached for the gate and noted his ear pricked.
Have you ever stood there in that moment? Consumed by both fear and purpose? Knowing that you are small and can be hurt? Knowing you have been weak and damaged? Knowing that you have to face it and overcome it?
I prayed for my safety. I prayed for peace.
I opened the gate.
Trembling I clipped the lead rope on and led him to the post. Hands shaking I secured a knot and backed away. Amadeus then dropped his head and began nibbling at the grass. Sighing in relief I stood a moment, then walked back up and scratched behind his ear. He tossed his head and I scurried back in fear again.
No, my fear wasn’t removed, but I faced it with respect. I will continue to work towards removing my fear until the day comes that I ride him across the yard.
There was a day when I got thrown and got back on.
Then there came a day when I was hurt by someone I trusted and I learned fear.
Have you been hurt when you trusted? Did you come to a place where you lost trust in others and yourself?
…and frankly…are you willing to open the gate to face it again?
Categories: October Diary Entry