A Christmas Story Part 3 - Mastery Horsemanship
A Christmas Story Part 3

A Christmas Story Part 3

December 28, 2021 6 Comments

To read part 1, click here: " A Christmas Story for You and Your Horse"

To read part 2, click here: " A Christmas Story for You and Your Horse"

"Hope," the rider standing next to the tall grey mare announced. "We named her Hope because she inspires a brave new world. Would you like to ride her?"

The young girl, whose dreams were coming true right before her eyes, bobbed her head up and down with enthusiasm. She accepted the helmet the rider handed to her and reached for the reins. With the riders encouragement the young girl climbed the mounting block and leapt onto the horses back with the ease of an athlete. 

"Before you start..." the handler on the ground continued, "Remember, this horse doesn't know you. These first few minutes are important. This is where she gets her first impression of you. Are you going to be kind, rude, strong, weak, graceful, tactless, patient, hurried, happy, or grumpy? It's important to decide right now. What impression do you want this horse to feel? How do you want her to remember you? And... What is your intention while on her back?"

All the questions gave the young girl a sense of trepidation. She'd never thought of horses in that way. She always knew she loved horses but she never considered whether the horse loved her back. The new thought of having a horse that was more than just a tool or toy gave her pause at first, but as the thoughts soaked in, they gave her a new sense of inspiration for an even deeper partnership and brighter future. She beamed with hope and smiled when she realized why they had given her that name. She took a deep breath and allowed her mind to clear. She focused on her intention of giving a great first impression. She thought about her goals and what she'd like to experience during this first ride. She thought about big dreams of galloping through fields, jumping, and riding with friends. Then she narrowed those big dreams down to smaller and smaller things until she felt certain that this new potential partner of hers could confidently perform without hesitation or fear. The handler on the ground noticed her new sense of inner peace and power and let go of the reins, giving complete control to the new horsewoman atop the majestic thoroughbred. 

Twenty minutes later the young girl beamed with pride as she slid off the horse's side, landing next to her father. "What do you think?" he asked, already knowing the answer. "Should we take her home with us?" The girl didn't hesitate to answer, and in that moment, as if the horse could hear the question, the young silvery mare reached around to connect with the girl in what seemed to everyone a sign that the partnership was off to the right start. "Let me handle the paperwork here while you cool down with your new horse," her father suggested. And with that, she wrapped her arms around her horse's neck for a heartfelt moment, then took off the saddle and walked about the arena with her horse close behind the whole time. Over and over in her mind she kept thinking how magical and impossible this all felt, yet here she was, walking in the sand with six feet instead of two, as her dreams turned to reality. 

A few hours later, she and her father cracked the truck doors open once again, stepping up into the cold cab for a long ride home. As the truck started and the heat began building up in the cab, the trailer attached to the truck, rocked back and forth and a whinny came from inside. The pretty young mare standing alone in the trailer began to sense a big change in her life. Her father noticed the commotion too and looked to his daughter saying, "Not to worry doll. Horses always get a bit excited with transitions from one place to another, it's part of the process we just have to be okay with." Sensing his daughters concern for the horse, he added, "She's a good horse, but she's going to need a good leader more than ever these next few weeks. She's going to wonder why she has to leave her family, where she's going, all those things. Do you think you can give her the reassurance and clarity she needs?" His daughter sat up tall, cleared her mind and nodded with confidence. In her heart she made a promise to her new equine friend that no matter what happened, she'd always be there for her, making sure she felt valued, loved, and never without a strong, thoughtful leader.

At that moment her father knew she'd be okay. Not just the horse, but the young horsewoman in the making as well. No doubt they'd need help along the way but the long drive home gave plenty of time to talk strategy. This day had shaped up to be everything they'd hoped for and more. 

The old ford pickup with trailer in tow, shined brighter than it deserved, reflecting the bright, Montana winter sun and blue, cloudless sky. With smiles and waves from the homeowners, the truck and trailer bounced happily down the dirt road where the highways widened and a brave new journey was about to begin.

Author's note: Horses spark something magical inside us. People come to horses for many reasons. Among those reasons, is the heart to heart connection horses offer. Stories of that first horse always inspire the memory of that connection and can bring us back to why we started in the first place. Comment below and share your story. When did you get your first horse? What was it like? Do you remember the feeling? Do you still feel that today?

Thanks for reading, be sure to comment below. Sincerely, Don Jessop, Mastery Horsemanship

 Don't delay, click above soon: expires: 2 Jan 2022



6 Responses

Dawn Jennings
Dawn Jennings

December 31, 2021

Beautiful story that we can all connect with. I literally cried when I took my then 10 yr old TWH on the trail for his “test ride” and knew immediately he was the one for me after a few failed attempts with others… He will be 29 in a couple of months and still looks and acts like he’s 10. He has a lot of energy and still loves to go on the trails. We have become amazingly connected over all these years – it’s something we feel inside and can’t really describe – and that connection is extremely comforting.

Cynthia Nelson
Cynthia Nelson

December 30, 2021

Beautiful! I always loved horses in all forms. Remembered getting a stuffed horse toy when I was 8 years old and I still have it. I always saved my money and bought Breyer horses. My first one was a Magical white Arabian. And lo and behold when I was 13 we moved to a place where I could have a horse. Our family got one for all of us, a grade bay horse but then I had the opportunity to work after school at a Arabian place helping clean stalls. I ended up getting a grey Arabian 3 year old and broke it myself at 16, named it Reno. Amazing. I also got a Animal Science degree and took that Arabian to college to ride it more. Got married at 20, took the Arabian to San Antonio and met and helped train and breed Arabians there with Margo Shallcross, lead trainer of Cass A Olea, “The Black Stallion” horse, She campaigned him all over the US. Lots of stories of the movie industry she told me. Met Cass A Olea live, who at that time was retired. Lovely experiences. I lost track of Margo for many years, but then 2 years ago I connected briefly with her through facebook. And we still connect through facebook for the holidays. She ended up being a judge for Top Arabian shows and the for top Mini pony shows! I was so happy to connect with her last week, she is still doing ok despite all this insanity the world is in now. Anyway, Love hearing your stories and this one tops it all for me. I truly believe we connect with horses in a very special way and they help us be authentic and loving! Happy Holidays to you and your Family!! So Thankful to be a part of your Group. Stay warm, From Chesaw, Wa!!

Dawn
Dawn

December 30, 2021

thank you for that wonderful story and the reminder that we need to work on ourselves more than our horses. They are perfect as they are, we are the ones that many times “mess” them up.

Lyla
Lyla

December 29, 2021

I certainly have to comment on this wonderful story Don, and I too am happy I didn’t have to wait for Part 4. I had to reflect for a moment on the importance of the first impression we want our horses to feel each time we mount or play with them. Horses were an important part of my young life as a rider. I lost my mother at the age of 8, horses were always there to comfort me and let me know everything would be okay. I still enjoy the connection I have with each of my equine friends, they are valued beyond words! May 2022 be a wonderful year for all of us.

Alison
Alison

December 29, 2021

Thank-you for the wonderful heart lifting story. The journey is not always as easy, but the reward it the same. Happy New Year everyone!

Fay Seltzer
Fay Seltzer

December 29, 2021

Great little story. I loved the part about the first getting to know-you ride!
And I was relieved that I didn’t have to wait for part 4 (and disappointed)

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