What’s on your “Bucket List”? Are you working on fulfilling your life goals? Now is the time!
This year, I found myself walking down a dirt road, to a horse stable in Denver, Colorado. I crossed two wild turkeys, a labyrinth I didn’t know was onsite, endured thin air, and several inclines, before reaching my destination.
I approached the stable office and walked in, signed a waiver, and waited for the tour to begin. I sat on a wooden bench, next to a friend who’d also be on my tour. As Truman, my horse walked up, I was excited. They said he was a great choice for a new rider. He was warm, brown, and gentle in nature. I climbed into the saddle and received instruction about:
Once I figured out how to comfortably hold on, a staff member snapped a picture before the ride began.
We climbed up a steep mountain and the steps narrowed. The woman who was part of my group was in front of me. She’d owned a horse once and instructed me as we rode, waning my fears. A friend had warned that if a horse felt fear from it’s rider, it may throw the rider off. Talk about pressure!
I closed my eyes, and breathed. A lot. I prayed, too. A lot.
I faced the mountains instead of the spectacular views the other riders reported. I also looked at my watch. I wanted to know how much time was left. When I realized we weren’t doing a loop, I fainted in my mind. The steps we’d climbed up, then higher, were the same ones we’d use to return to the stable.
Just when I was getting used to the ride, the horse in front of Truman and I began slipping on the loose rocks located on the stairs we were climbing down. Truman stopped and my heart did too.
I was supposed to kick his side, but did nothing. A friend who was riding in front of me stated that if I let go of the reins, the horse would know what to do. He too wanted to arrive home safely. I breathed and let go. He followed behind when he was ready. We eventually arrived back at the stable, safe and sound. I happily climbed out of the saddle and happily put my feet on the ground. Then I said another prayer for my friend, Truman.
It didn’t dawn on me that a horse ride in the Rocky Mountains would include being on the edge of those mountains. I signed up for the shortest ride, thinking it would be a ground level tour. In one hour, I experienced more excitement and fear than I care to remember. This adventure, was “once and done.” I’d love to ride a horse again, just NOT along a cliff. I’ll also ask more questions before my conquests in the future…
Rocky Mountain Life Lesson: When a slippery moment on my journey induces fear and I’m not sure how to handle it, let go of the reins and trust life to guide me back home.
When is the last time you faced a “mountainside moment”? I would describe it as a time you were along for the ride, but it no longer felt safe. How did you handle it? What advice do you have to offer someone who may face a similar experience in the future? Share your thoughts in the comments below, thank you!