Wednesday, July 23, 2019, 7:40 p.m.
A Jewish friend of mine from church suggested I ride for God should I ever get discouraged. My beloved husband Ed passed away two and a half years ago, leaving me scrambling to preserve my hopes, dreams, and lifestyle.
I ended up having to sell a piece of property neighboring my home which for years has been the canvas on which I practiced my riding. Below are a couple of pictures.
I was heartbroken. Then I thought to myself that I can Ride for God anywhere. I can ride on a soup plate, and I have just the horse who can do it. I’m referring to the incredible ability of P.R.E. horses to collect, enabling them to accomplish a pirouette around their hindquarters virtually in place as if they were performing on a soup plate.
As it turns out, I was able to sell my property to a couple who made a down payment and who are financing the rest by making monthly payments over several years. These are interest payments; the rest of the principle will be paid at the end. This is good for me financially by giving me monthly income. I am also able to continue riding on the property until the buyer eventually pays it off.
The concept “Ride for God” now governs everything I do with my horse, including my writing about experiences with him on this website.
God exists in relationship, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is also love. We were created in his image, meaning we are his representatives, not reproductions. As such, we are obliged to act according to his will.
In accordance with his will, riding the horse for me is a discipline, a spiritual practice.
So riding the horse and working with the horse must be done with an eye towards creating a relationship in love as we were created by God to do. This means firstly that the horse must be better off from having made contact with us than if he had not made any contact with us at all.
As a side note to all this, I believe the horse was purposely created to carry the human being.
The way a horse’s body accommodates a human rider is just too convenient to have been left to chance.
Thus, the human being is obliged to bring out the best in the horse. This is a worthy partnership, if you will, amplifying and embellishing on the characteristics of one another – -both parties, horse and rider, growing as a result of their relationship.
I also believe that horses are already trained. I am not alone in this view. It is thus up to the human rider to determine and bring out in the horse what he already knows. This is what dressage helps us do. It helps us make the horse more beautiful.
But it is not just the skill of the rider in applying effective dressage communication which is necessary when riding for God. This brings me back to the concept of love and what it means. It means learning everything one can about the nature of the horse – – – his conformation, society, diseases, behavior, strengths, weaknesses – – – what makes him tick. It means making every contact with him an honest one, a just one, one which has his well being in mind as well as our own.
Ride for God means to me a commitment to the struggle one finds oneself in when building a relationship with an “other,” a creature completely different from ourselves. God is afterall the ultimate other.