On Christmas Eve I had the privilege of having two very special seven-year-olds over to ride: one a confident, well-loved first born and the second a well-loved but not as confident broken little girl.
Girl one was on her favorite horse, Sahalie, and likewise girl number two was on her favorite, Birdie. Now, keep in mind that at this time of the year, these well-seasoned little mustangs get a bit of an “I don’t want to work and if it is a kid I won’t listen” attitude. Well, true to form, Sahalie conveniently interpreted every cue to mean “Go stand by Jeanie.” Birdie, however (also true to form), was as good as gold. This normally cranky little grulla has a history of somehow knowing when her rider needs her to be good and when she can just let her hair down and be a stinker. Birdie knew she had only one job to do: make this broken little gal feel confident.
I knew the Lord had set out to bless the little gal on Christmas Eve not only because Birdie was perfect but also because the little girl on Sahalie was so encouraging. At one point she grabbed the reins and said, “I guess me and Sahalie will just have to work hard so we can be as good as they are.” At an age when jealousy should dominate, this little gal was genuinely proud of Birdie and her rider.
The smile on Birdie’s little friend grew bigger as she shivered to hold on to the reins in the cold.
“Are you ready to get off Birdie?” I asked.
“No, I don’t ever want to get off, ” she replied. “I wish I could ride forever.”