“Challenges are what make life interesting.
Overcoming them is what makes them meaningful.”
My Aunt kept horses and ponies at her property when I was a kid. She had a pretty big barn and an even bigger corral that my cousins and I would ride in. Being the youngest, I was the worst rider of the bunch.
The horses were a bit big for me, so often I would end up on Twinkle, the meanest pony that ever lived, or at least he was in my mind. If you walked near him, he’d try to bite you. If you walked behind him, he’d kick at you. My sister was a good rider though, as you can see from this picture showing her making him rear for the photo in front of our house around that time.
Well, one day we were all out riding around in the corral at Aunt Janice and Uncle Gordon’s house, and I was on Twinkle. I hadn’t noticed that someone had left the barn door open a few inches, but Twinkle noticed and he took off for it like a lightning bolt. It must have been near feeding time, and, in seconds, we were at full gallop heading straight for the crack in the door.
Try as I might, and I tried with all my might, I could not slow Twinkle down or change his direction in the slightest, and I was too afraid to jump off. Before I knew it, we blasted through the door with me still on him. I felt like my knees touched each other in back as we crashed in, and I just barely stayed on.
Twinkle calmed down quite a bit once we were inside the barn and Bill Fain, the much loved ranch hand, quickly grabbed the reigns and brought him to a halt. I was about to burst into tears when Bill said, “Wow, you are some kind of rider to stay on him while flying through the knot in the door! Not many people could do that!” And a funny thing happened, my fear and tears, dried up as I felt a sense of pride well up in me.
I’ve often thought of Bill’s words that day. He instantly assessed the situation and knew how just a few words of encouragement at the right moment can make all the difference. I have always remembered that day as a victory. Bill passed away just a few years later, but I’ll never forget his kindness to me that day and how it’s all in how you look at it and the meaning you give it.
Thank you, Bill.