“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyways” John Wayne.
As my horse pursued down the first steep hill in the mountains of West Virginia, the thoughts were quickly running through my head. For you see we had never ridden through terrain of such depth. Our very flat open fields of Ohio were not quite any comparison to the rolling brushy thick trails we had set out on.
When asked to join two of my dear friends on this ride, shear excitement flowed through my body. The anticipation for the day to arrive was almost unbearable. I stumbled over the contemplation many times as to if I should take my horse or not. Would he be able to handle the long day? Would he spook and jump off the edge of a steep hill? Could he get hurt? Could I get hurt? Basically, I had role played anything and everything that could go wrong.
Now how silly is that! All negative thoughts, all thoughts of FEAR. I suddenly realized that I was letting fear take the driver’s seat in my life. Now, I am not here to tell you what your faith should or shouldn’t be. For me though, it was easy. I had to give careful thought to a recent teaching I had learned. Did you know, the Bible states “do not be afraid” 365 times; one for each day of the year?
Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. Do you get my point yet? I was suddenly shaping my courageous mindset which was a product of faith, positivity and self-confidence. So as we stepped foot on to that first big hill while it may have not gone as planned with my horse nervously taking matters to save his own life whether he plowed me through the tree limbs or flipped over backwards, that didn’t alter our entire ride. I wasn’t looking for the closest spot to bail or running through all of the negative thoughts I had already played out. I had long determined that no matter what I was going to be a confident leader with soft hands and a relaxed reassuring seat. I had determined that life is too short to worry about your next fall. So why not try to be the best possible me to make the best possible Tucker he can be. After all, don’t we all need a little reassurance and guidance sometimes, none of us are perfect!?
I could not be more grateful for my wonderful friends who offered me this opportunity. So next time when you get an opportunity big or small, be confident, be courageous and be bold. You see, the next mud puddle you cross on a trail might be quite disappointing after conquering the hills, the logs, the spooky deer and playing in a river! And maybe your mud puddle is still my river and that is quite alright, but believe in the power of positivity and dig for courage within yourself.
Written by Michaela Gannett, Equine Marketing Associate