Solomon and I spent many years together. I once read Alois Podhajsky’s book, “My Horses, My Teachers.” He was a rider and trainer at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria. He considered the horse his teacher. Sol was mine. As I have shared in the past, he taught me to ride and jump. He was feisty and eager to please me. When I called him, he came like a dog. He would hear my voice, whinny loudly, and run in the direction of my voice. He did this each time I came to the barn or called him while he was out in pasture.
Sol kissed me for apples and was the best friend I ever had. We made it through everything together. He loved running full speed over the river and through the woods with me clinging to his mane. Being a student for eleven years after high school meant we did not have much money, but we always had what we needed. Not much extra though. I considered myself quite wealthy to have a horse and go to college too.
We seemed to move a lot until I bought my own farm. One particular time we moved I decided to ride him to the new barn because we were unable to find a trailer ride. Not really my brightest idea ever.
We started out great. We trotted and cantered along the path in the woods. After a while, Sol became tired. I dismounted and walked him. He was fine at first and then after a while, he began walking slowly- obviously more tired. Occasionally he would stop and look back. It seemed he was asking me if we weren’t ready to turn to go back to the barn soon.
I felt awful. I misjudged the distance from one barn to another and had not anticipated his fatigue. I would have been glad to let him rest, but he wouldn’t lay down. As I talked to him, I assured him it was shorter to keep going forward than if we turned back to his familiar barn. That best horse never refused to keep coming the way I was asking. We finally arrived at the new barn. He took a long drink of water, laid down, and rested until morning.
I have learned this lesson in life myself. Sometimes I have walked a long way in one direction pursuing one goal or another. I get tired and discouraged. I think it would be better to back up and reconsider things I have decided to do. I have learned that I need to keep plugging along because it has ended up being a shorter walk to keep moving forward than to look back to return to a familiar place in life.
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