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A Spirited Horse, Please!

The rest of the day was for us to relax and do what we wanted. One option available was to take horses out on a trail ride. I hadn't ridden for over thirty years and before that it had been only a handful of times, but I was eager for the adventure. Many of the women were asking for gentle, quiet horses but something in me wanted one that was more spirited. I wanted to ask but was afraid of what people would think. Finally I overcame that and decided I had as much right to ask for a spirited horse as those who were asking for something more gentle. I was given the horse immediately behind the trail ride leader.

Truthfully, I wasn't sure if my bad knee would allow me to get up on the horse and ride, but I wanted to try. I was given a milk crate to stand on but I was still so low I had no clue how I'd get into the saddle. The girl brought a small step-ladder and that was better but my mounting skills are seemingly non-existent. While one girl behind me tried to push me up on the horse, a girl on the other side was trying to pull me up. I'm a heavy woman so it wasn't easy for them--nor for me. There I was, one leg partly over the horse, but unable to get the rest of me where it should be. So much for my dignity!

Then the girl behind me noticed something. "Put your left foot into the stirrup." Oh! Yeah! Duh! How did I miss that? In a moment I was seated.

I loved the ride! The trail was pathetically short so when the girl asked if we wanted to go around a second time, I enthusiastically agreed. When she asked if we wanted to go faster, I don't think anyone else heard her but I did. Yes! Let's go faster!

By the time we dismounted, a much easier task than getting up, I was so pleased I declared, "I want to do this every week if I can!" I may not be able to take riding lessons, but I could join trail rides that nearby stables offer. The only hitch is allergies. My eyes were watering very badly and I couldn't keep one of them open. Tying what I was wearing into a plastic bag, washing my hands well and having a second shower kept things from getting worse. I still want to ride often if I can.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …