CFN – This Column of “Spirits in Unity” is being published by CFN for the community of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry.
Thanks to all those who have approached me to say that they enjoy reading this column. Knowing that someone is reading the column encourages me to keep writing about my learning experience with horsemanship.
A Christmas Story
Recently a young student of mine was lamenting that her wish for a horse this Christmas had not come true in spite of three letters to Santa. Maybe this story will help with your disappointment.
It began on Christmas Day, 1952 with another young hopeful preparing for Christmas and wishing for some cowboy stuff to go with his new found interest in Cowboys and Robbers. That Christmas a special package arrived all the way from Winnepeg Manitoba. It was a leather bound copy of Anna May Sewell’s Black Beauty. It was written on rice paper and the edges of each page were painted in gold leaf. It was an elegant book and felt rich in his hand. He remembered his mother reading the story to him and how he hung on every word. At the end of the story he just knew that he wanted to save all the unwanted or abused horses somehow, although he didn’t yet know just how.
The next year during a family vacation, the family stopped at a group of cottages to spend the night and as it happened, the owners had a black and white pinto pony. To him that pony was a mighty steed worthy of any cowboy just like his cowboy hero Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger. He dreamed of having his own horse someday.
The next Christmas he wrote to Santa in hopes of getting a pony just like that little black and white pinto, but alas a check in the garage and the back yard revealed no pony. Maybe next year, he thought.
Later that spring a travelling photographer stopped his house to offer take photos of the neighbour kids on his pony. Most of his friends got a photo, but his parents said it was a waste of money and wouldn’t purchase a photo. He was envious of his friends who had their photos and he had none.
The next Christmas he wrote to Santa again. This time he wrote several times, but again no pony appeared.
Undaunted by not having had any luck with the Santa route, he decided that he would pray to the big guy in heaven. Maybe that would have better results, he thought. But again there was no answer or was it that the answer was ‘No.’ He wasn’t sure.
As time went by he stopped wishing and praying for that special horse. Life went on as he grew up, got married, had children and eventually grandchildren.
Almost 50 years later he finally got a horse of his own and soon started teaching young children how to create a bond with horse somewhat like he had dreamed of when he was a child. As it happened it came to pass that he needed more horses for his stable to use with his growing number of students. He always wanted a couple of buckskin horses. He didn’t search long until he heard of a broker who had two buckskin quarter horses for sale, so he went to his ranch for a look. He immediately fell in love with the two buckskins and decided to buy them.
As he approached the paddock he noticed one little horse by himself at the far end of the paddock some distance away. He approached the gate to get a better look. He whistled to the horse who came running over to the gate with curiosity. As he got closer and closer he could see that it was a black and white pinto pony and the memory of that pony on that summer’s day long ago that had inspired his prayers over 50 years ago came rushing back to him.
He stepped inside the paddock and the pony nuzzled up to him and a tear rolled down his cheek as he realized that his prayers had been answered. For a moment he was a young child again, but this time the dream had come true. So he went home with three horses that day, two buckskin buddies and a little black and white pinto named Poncho. He decided that he would train Poncho for his grandson and with the help of many loving kids, many dreams and prayers have come true for more than just that little boy.
So don’t despair if you think your prayers have fallen on deaf ears, keep your hopes and dreams alive. Someday you may be surprised by the answer to your prayers.
That little boy was me and it was worth waiting 50 years for the joy I receive today when I see that little pony and all his young friends playing together.
For all those people who give horses loving homes, and for all those kids who are wishing for that special partner, may all your dreams come true also.
Whether you are just a horse lover, have dreams of owning a horse someday, or already have one, I hope these columns will give you some insight into the true nature of these magnificent creatures. I hope you will find them both informative and inspirational.
Be part of your horse’s dreams, not his nightmares.
May all your dreams come true,
Garry “Horsetalker” Meek