Lord willing and weather cooperating, Randa will be riding again today with a friend of hers. The plan is for them to rendezvous at Honey Creek, a heavily wooded and definitely hilly Missouri wildlife sanctuary or recreational area or whatever it’s called, a bit north of Saint Joseph. The weather should be much better today than of late, a few degrees cooler and several decibels lower on the relative humidity scale.
This must be, like, the tenth or eleventh time she’s gone riding with a friend this year, which is about three or eight times more than she went during the whole season last year. Make that more than the previous two years combined. It’s not just that she finally has a truck to pull the horse trailer. It’s not that she finally has a saddle that fits her and the horse. The key difference is that she finally has a horse that can go from A to B without spooking at everything it C’s.
Apparently, having a horse that can go up and down hills, across gullies and ditches and through running or still water without jumping at every tree, shadow, sound or twitch of a gnat’s ear is not only considerably safer than the other type of horse; it’s also more enjoyable. In trying to relate this to something I actually understand, I’m sure my wood-working hobby would have languished considerably if every time I fired up my table saw, it shocked me, kicked out random pieces of two-by-four or if the blade frequently turned in the opposite direction I wanted it to go.
Gospel Ryder’s Lil Journey, known to friends, admirers and owners simply as “Journey,” is working his way pretty quickly up the Randa Scale of Equestrian Value.
Her previous Rocky Mountain gelding, Cisco, had Brad Pitt’s good looks and Charlie Sheen’s behavior. The one before that wasn’t too bad; the one before that was “looks like Paul Newman and acts like Pee Wee Herman.” Journey (who is pretty much on the George Clooney/Denzel Washington scale for looks) has aced a number of field tests, including recently calmly gaiting past a bloodhound and its buddy who were trying to use sonic energy plus a direct assault on the chain link in order to break their way out of their kennel. “He didn’t even turn and look at them,” Randa exclaimed, with the look you’d see on a mother’s face when she announces that her daughter has just won an Olympic gold medal, saved a boatload of refugees from drowning and been nominated for President.
With his smooth gait, winsome personality, sure-footed manner and confidence in various settings, Journey is earning Randa’s trust, respect and appreciation. It doesn’t hurt anything that he’s also just a fine-looking horse. It makes sense that she wants to spend more time with him and put herself in situations that let the mysterious bond between horse and equestrian deepen and grow.
It might be that folks, churches and families that want to build stronger relationships could learn a thing or two from a good horse. I’m taking notes…