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This is Why We’re Here

On this particular Friday, twelve pairs of eyes looked down at Onyx and I from the arena grandstands. As I sat on Onyx’s sturdy frame, I looked back at the twelve campers. My mind flashed to Monday, the first day of camp. There was one camper who had been scared to get on her horse. However, after some reassurance and coaxing she had said she would try to ride. “I am so proud of you for pushing through your fear! Do you know what that’s called?” I asked. She smiled and said in a quiet voice, “being brave.”

One unique thing about horsemanship camps is the chapel speakers use horses in their sermons. On this particular day, Onyx was helping me – the chapel speaker of the week – talk about trusting God when we are scared, in pain, and/or questioning why God allows hard things in our lives. Several minutes earlier I had asked the campers to jump and yell – something Onyx was not used to, being a younger horse. As they made a ruckus, I reassured Onyx those sounds might seem scary, but they would not harm him. He didn’t know why I was asking him to do something that, in his mind, was so hard. Yet, I knew that if he could push through his fear and trust me, he would be able to face yelling and jumping people in the future and be secure in the knowledge that he would be okay.

Now, as I looked up at the same camper from earlier in the week who had been so scared and quiet, I noticed she was smiling and yelling as loud as she could. In fact, she was probably the loudest one! She had gone from not wanting to ride to riding every day with a smile on her face. She was no longer scared and quiet. Now, she was brave and joyful.  “God, thank you that I get to be a part of this,” I thought. I smiled and leaned forward, whispering to Onyx, “because this is why we’re here.”

-Shelby Janes, Summer Horsemanship Program Director
Warm Beach Horsemanship

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