I was searching through my storage stuff for a certain picture and unexpectedly came across some old journals I forgotten about. As I opened the pages and started reading, I found a journal entry about my horse Dusty Painted Duke and one of our rides together. I was so excited to reminisce about what was going on during that time in my life.
Duke has been a Godsend. “From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another”. John1:16 (NLT) We have been through a lot together and have a bond that I don’t know I will ever find with another horse. He was my happy pill while I was in a tough un-healthy marriage. By the way, he wasn’t treated well during this time either. When times were tough and I had a heavy heart, going to ride Duke was a glimmer of light shining in the dark depressed places I was in. We acquired such a bond that while riding in familiar territory, I could literally drop his reins, close my eyes, and pray…and no, I’m not making this up!
Duke has been a joy to pleasure ride and barrel race on. He’s made my heart smile countless times. And no, I did NOT do the eyes closed thing while barrel racing in case any smarty pants people are reading this. The only time I did this was while riding in a very familiar place I had at the time down an irrigation ditch road, and the road was out of the public eye…it was just me, Duke, and God our Creator. I have just recently been moved by the Holy Spirit to share this experience.
The following journal entry was written in July 2006:
I was getting close to the end of my ride loping down the last stretch of ditch road. I decided to explore the rest of the time with my senses. I closed my eyes letting Duke take the lead and keep on loping down the road…he knows the way. With my eyes closed, I let the sound of his hooves take me to another place. Each hoof beat was loud and I could feel them in my heart. I could hear the water flowing down its path in the irrigation ditch, and I could hear the hum of the environment around me. With eyes still closed, I could smell the sweet alfalfa hayfields…their life smells so sweet. Then the rain started to lightly sprinkle. I felt the rain hit my body. It was the most awesome feeling. The air was warm and the rain sprinkles seemed to kiss me when they touched. I could also feel my saddle under me and Duke’s movement all in sync with what I was taking in. When I got on the other part of the road, I opened my eyes and took in the deep green color of the alfalfa hayfields, it was a deep nourished color of green and the fields looked happy. A breeze started blowing and a symphony of grasses and weeds touching and blowing amongst each other sang to me, the crickets serenaded me. The air was warm and smelled sweet with alfalfa.
I wish I would have taken the time to journal about our rides more. If you’re wondering about Dusty Painted Duke, he is enjoying retired life now. He gets to be fed and petted every day! I have a newer horse that is just awesome too. No, I do NOT have the closing of the eyes type bond with her, and it doesn’t really matter because we are enjoying each other in different ways.
I have to say for me personally, during my pleasure rides with Duke I felt close to God most of the time. It filled me up with the joy of the Lord. Riding him was a respite from a rough and tough marriage with someone I was so unequally yoked with in more ways than one that I should not have chosen that path in the first place… lesson learned from the school of hard knocks!
I credit God for my family and Dusty Painted Duke getting me through those times. Time spent in the saddle renewed my thinking and refreshed my spirit and I believe it contributed greatly to me not giving up on life. “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day”. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT)
ASK FOR PERMISSION Heather Britain and Blessed At All Times, April 2015.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of written material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.