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Uneasiness. Apprehension. Heart pounding. Panic. Horses are very large and powerful, and for some, can be very intimidating. For those who participate in Gates of Grace, it is unusual for one to choose not to ride. But this young woman opted to just lead the horse around inside the arena.
At the rear gate, away from watching eyes, she stopped. Apprehension. Heart pounding. Clearly yearning to make an emotional connection with this beautiful and mysterious creation, she moved closer and began to speak softly. Slowly she reached out her hand in hope and apprehension. In that moment of uncertainty, the horse lowered his head to meet her. This loving acceptance drew her in even closer, expressing her affection in this gentle kiss.
She was given 3 timed obstacles to complete with this high-spirited mustang: to cross a tarp, to jump a 1.5’ obstacle, and the most difficult, getting the horse to walk between two barrels 3-ft apart. With many of her own emotional obstacles swirling around in her head, she still pushed forward supported by her loving family. With obstacles #1 and #2 behind her, she worked diligently to move between the barrels, but not before the buzzer sounded.
In her disappointment, however, she did not respond with frustration or defeat. Instead, she reached out to her equine partner, “whispering” and stroking his neck. And though the obstacle test had not appeared successful, it was clear she had made a connection with this wild horse.