Saddle Up

Photo by Annie Spratt

Photo by Annie Spratt

My very first “riding” horse was given to me on my fourteenth birthday.  She was beautiful!  Solid white. Her name was Princess and she was an American Saddle Horse, which means she had a beautiful and easy gait.  If you knew how to get her into the saddling gait, that is.  

When my dad presented her to me, she had a rope around her neck and a bridle, blanket, and saddle next to her.  Then he went inside.  I’m sure my dad was watching out the window as I tried to figure out how to put those on her.

After much effort, the bridle, blanket, and saddle were on.  I put my foot in the stirrup and pushed up.  The saddle and I slid right under her belly.  Thankfully, she was gentle so she just stood there.

My sister saw this pitiful sight and came out to teach me.  I didn’t know that horses extended their bellies to prevent the girth from getting tight.  Once I learned that you have to tighten the girth significantly, up into the saddle I went.

Not too long after I began riding, I thought I knew more than I did.  And so I rode someone else’s horse which was not trained like mine.  This horse did not respond to anything I tried.  Before I knew it, I was lying across the horse’s neck! When she finally stopped, I toppled right over and landed on my back in front of her front hooves.

After that, I was terrified to ride!  Every day my brother would stop by and ask me to get back on the horse that I fell off of.  For a long time, I wouldn’t do it.  Finally, my brother won out.  He showed me other ways to control a horse.

So, back in the saddle, I went. Once I maintained control over the horse and rode a while, my confidence was back and I began riding all the time.

Isn’t our spiritual journey like that sometimes? I needed my sister to teach me how to saddle up and we need someone to lead us to Christ.  We get saved and soon think we’ve got this following Jesus down pat but then something happens.  Just like my brother showed me how to keep riding, we need a brother (or sister) to show us how to be a follower of Christ.

If you’re a disciple of Christ, take a new Christian by the hand and teach them how to follow Jesus.  If you are new in the faith, find someone who is following Jesus to teach you how to be a disciple.

I don’t know where you are on your journey with Christ, but if you’re afraid to get back in the saddle, let me assure you, Jesus is holding the reins. So…

Saddle up!