Childhood Lesson

His name was Shorty.

Not the most creative name for a pony. But I was eight, and the name was fitting for this stocky, chocolate Shetland whose eyes were hidden by his shaggy mocha bangs. It was love at first sight.

He stood patiently as I climbed into my new saddle. I took the reins and listened to my dad’s instructions—I think. How hard could it be? I had ridden big horses with my Papaw many times. I was scared of real horses, but not my Shorty. He was my size.

I don’t know why I was riding in the alley behind our home in town rather than the farm. Maybe my dad thought the confined straight path would keep the horse in check. But as we trotted back and forth, up and down the dusty alley, Shorty decided to stretch his legs. I think he felt a little claustrophobic and needed to breathe. My pleasant ride soon became one of terror as my pony dreamed of being a race horse galloping for the proverbial finish line. I panicked, let go of the reins, and landed hard in the red Oklahomadirt.

I thought I was paralyzed or dead for a moment. But neither death nor paralysis visited me that day—only the embarrassment of falling off my horse and the shame of disappointing my father. I was ordered to the showers while Dad chased the delinquent pony all the way back to the farm.

How I wish I could do it over again. If I could go back in time, I would ask to ride Shorty again. I never asked, so I never had the chance.

Years later I was knocked off another horse, but this one didn’t have a shaggy mane or mocha bangs.

This horse was named Faith…..

(Stay tuned tomorrow for the rest of the story.)

What childhood memory has become a spiritual lesson for you?

Much grace needed!

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