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  • Writer's pictureJen Henry

A Little Bit To Guide Our Way

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Hello amazing and treasured friends, I hope you are enjoying this lovely weather and planning some fun and relaxing activities this summer. It is important that we push ourselves to get out and enjoy things that bring us joy and rejuvenate our mind, body, and spirit. If you are in a funk, or experiencing some tough situations in your life, this is especially important to do. God has a way of speaking to us through nature if we are open to it. Just pray and ask Him to talk to you through His Holy Spirit and He will. If you can't physically get out, open the blinds and the windows, get some fresh air, and partake in an activity that brings peace and joy to your spirit. It can start as easy with turning on some of your favorite music and that will get it all started. We are all given gifts and talents that feed our souls when we do them, so go for it and a smile will follow!


This past week I had the opportunity to not only get out and enjoy nature, but I got the chance to do it on horseback up in the mountains. Actually I was not just riding a horse, I was given the opportunity to ride a very handsome and intelligent mule. The second I got on him, I had a feeling I was in for a ride like never before. They actually told me he was a very smooth ride and after being on him for two hours, I can definitely concur. He was a smooth ride, but I now know first hand, where the saying came from, "stubborn as a mule"

Let me take you through my journey on Mammo.

I would say I am one that feels pretty comfortable riding a horse and being around them. I am by no means an expert, and now realize even more I have much to learn about these spectacular and majestic animals. I have been riding many times in my life, and I am blessed to now be able to spend time around horses grooming them, and assisting in horse therapy sessions for the disabled. For the last six months, I have been involved in volunteering at a Horse therapy ranch, and becoming more educated and experienced with horses. I have always loved even the smell of horses and just being in their presence. When I talk about doing things that feed your soul, I mean just that. Get involved in healthy things that make you happy, I am so glad I did!


Back to the story about my experience riding Mammo the Mule. Just after I mounted Mammo, his owner came over to us, give him a pet, and have a chat with me for a few minutes before the ride. The minute she began to walk away from him, he began to walk after her and was making the move to step over a one foot wood horizontal log between his owner and us. I knew right off the bat it was going to be interesting morning lol.





They placed me and Mammo right behind the leader and the other 8 trail riders were behind us. We set off on a two hour ride, into the big green yonder. It was an early morning ride in the most gorgeous setting with tall trees and spectacular wildflowers growing everywhere. There was also fresh mountain water flowing in the creek beside the trail. I was in awe and loving every minute of it. The leader who was right ahead of me, was giving me the names of the wildflowers as we rode by them and enjoyable information about our surroundings. It was such a peaceful ride up until "Mr. Smammo Pants" feels the reins loosen as I reached for my side bag or maybe he heard me start to reach in my bag to get my water bottle. At that moment he decided to make a quick exit from the pack, and start to head down the slope to get to the yummy growing snacks that were in season. Before I could take back control, we were several feet down the slope. He got to the yummy morsels that he was after and began to take a nibble at them. Well, you can only imagine the look on my face. I was in a predicament and had to get him turned around and away from what drew him down there in the first place lol. I am laughing now, but I surely wasn't then! I knew my work was cut out for me. The leader stopped the ride to lend assistance after she heard me trying to deal with the situation. Mammo had not an interest in the world of getting back in line. He wanted what he wanted and that was it, hence the saying, "stubborn as a mule!" I wasn't used to a trail horse giving me much issue, and also having such an incredibly strong neck. I began to try my best to get him back up on the trail while still on his back, with everyone watching me, as I am sure they were thanking God, it was me and not them. I continued to try and get him turned facing up the trail. I put into action what I knew form my past riding experience, but it wasn't working well, so I began to take verbal instruction from someone who knows Mammo much better than I do and who is much more experienced than I am in these situations. I know there are many of you out there that have been in similar situations and can relate to feeling, a bit out of control and needing assistance. The trail leader began talking me through how to get Mammo back in check. After a minute or so, I finally got him turned facing the right direction, but he still had no intension of leaving the yummy treats that were around him. I decided to turn a sticky situation into a funny one and said in a loud voice, so everyone on the ride could hear, "Come on Mammo, you are making me look bad!" After giving him a few stronger kicks and following the advice of the leader, Mammo decided to join back into formation, to continue the trail ride. From here on out, I knew I had to be on my guard. I realized even more I had to get to know Mammo a little better and head off any more sudden brainiac ideas he had to partake of the tasty treats off trail, calling his name.







We proceeded with the ride, and I was so thankful we were back on track. We saw incredible scenery and even crossed over some very shallow water flowing down the mountain, into the creek below. Not more than a half hour later my sweet handsome young boy, decided he was going to pull that spontaneous stunt again. I couldn't believe I was in the same situation. This time she talked me through how to get him to better respond. She verbally instructed me to reach down further than I was doing on the last episode, closer to the bit in his mouth, and make a wider half circle motion with the reins to get him turned back to the right, up the slope. She also instucted me to give him a harder kick, that's when I raised my voice louder to say, "It sure would be nice to have a pair of spurs about now!"

I finally got him turned around but he was not budging any further and continued to snack. There were so many bushes around me, I didn't even know how he navigated us spontaneously down through them. I couldn't budge him no matter what I did. After giving me a chance to work it out, and not succeeding, the back trail leader had to make her way on horseback over to me, through the bushes, and I think she said, " I'm gonna have to help him a little bit." I said, "OK" and she whipped him lightly on the butt as she sat on her horse, and I concentrated on staying on him as he quickly made his way back up on to the trail. As you can only imagine, I was on my guard and doing my best to let him know, I now had his number. I began to tell him through the firm control I had on the reins connected to the bit in his mouth, and the serious tone in my voice, I was going to do everything I could, to not allow that piggy fest to happen again. You will be relieved to know Mammo was a good boy the whole rest of the way home.


As I thought back later on the ride, I became very humbled. How can you not! I realized even more, how quickly things can go sideways, how much more I needed to learn how to deal with something so large and mighty. I was reminded, of the importance of being better equipped. I was so grateful for getting through the situation unscathed, and for this amazing experience. At the same time, I was also proud of myself for keeping it together, for persevering and not crumbling, for sticking with it, for seeing it through, for the assistance of others when I was in a predicament, and for God allowing this experience in my life to help me grow in my horsemanship skills and also apply this life lesson in other areas of my life.






Later that evening, I actually was partially struck with a slight bit of fear, as I had time to recap my morning, while laying in bed. I said my prayers and gave any slight bit of fear I was experiencing to God and went to sleep. I refuse to let fear keep me from my love of horses and riding. I know God was with me in that situation and in many others I have experienced in my life. I actually had quite a lot of peace through it all, even though I was in a challenging situation that got my adrenalin pumping. Thank you Mammo for ultimately being a sweet boy and getting me back safe, for helping me to experience an incredible morning ride in the beautiful mountains, and for also helping me to learn some valuable life lessons.


God pointed me to a scripture many years ago that quickly came back to me after this experience. This scripture can be found in the Book of James in the Holy Bible:

James 3:2-18

2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check 3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts...

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.


I hope anyone reading this can cultivate something from my experience and the scriptures I am including. For me, my experience taught me much, and I am so grateful for that small bit in my 1000 pound mules mouth, that actually had the power to turn my situation around. It also helped me navigate my way with ultimate success when all was said and done. I am also thankful for the assistance that was given to me by the amazing and experienced trail leaders. Their words were so helpful and encouraging. I am reminded that applying an invisible bit in my mouth, isn't a bad idea as well :) The scripture below shows the power of our words. They have the ability to bring negativity or life.


Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body.



(Me and Mammo working it out)





If you want to read the entire Chapter, I will include this link to read more. There is so much to learn from the Book of James.


As I sign off, I invite you to explore more on my website www.intoyourgrowth.com The "About" section will help you to learn more about my inspiration for writing this BLOG. As you choose to spend some of your valuable time on this site, I would like to invite you to click on "BLOG" to see all of my posts, as only a few are shown on the front page. If you view this on your cell, you can click on the brown square menu button at the top of the HOMEPAGE or you can use the arrows below under the most recent posts, to find more. If you are encouraged by what you read, I invite you to "SUBSCRIBE" to this Blog (if you have not already done so) and you will receive notification via email when I publish a new post. I usually try to post on Mondays :) I would love to hear how your are doing on your journey, so I welcome any comments in the Comments Section. Be well and God bless you all,

Jen


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