You may recall that when I joined the Benefice in August 2016, one of my first services was the Horse Blessing Service at St. Ippolyts - a great start for someone who was terrified of horses!! I managed it though and came away feeling quite chuffed that I had not only coped but that I had also managed to conquer my fear enough to feed the horses a carrot or two!
Deciding that horses were not quite as scary as I had first imagined, I undertook the service in 2017 with gusto, confidently stroking the horses, and even making the local paper which ran an article on the service. Such was my euphoria at managing to make great strides in overcoming my fear that my mouth seemed to run away with itself and I boldly declared that ‘next year I will be taking the service on horseback’!! Well, next year is now this year and as I am never one to run from a challenge, I will do my level best to do just that this August (oh why, oh why, do I say these things!)
Anyway, I have actually had my first horse-riding lesson! I say ‘riding’ but it was more ‘sitting terrified on a horse that was walking’, but it was a start! Thanks to Jackie at Courtlands Riding Stables, who promised not to let go of the reins, I found myself on top of a moving horse and I lived to tell the tale. Dear Ringo, the horse, was very tolerant and stood quietly whilst I desperately tried to clamber on. I thought I heard him sigh a little when I whimpered ‘how do I make him go’ and then shrieked when he slowly ambled forward. It felt a bit like sitting on top of a wobbly step ladder when you think you are going to fall at any moment and have nothing to grab hold of - and I really was so glad to get off!
I did manage to lead Ringo back to his stable though and found myself gently running my hand through his mane and marvelling at how beautiful he was - so
I think I’m getting better. I plan a few more lessons before the Horse Blessing Service on 12thAugust and I’m really hoping to be able to do as I promised and lead the service on horseback.
Please put the date in your diaries - Sunday 12thAugust 2018 at 3.00pm. in St. Ippolyts Churchyard - the service is very short and there will be tea and cakes afterwards for humans and carrots for the horses! If you have a horse of your own then you are more than welcome to bring him/her along for a blessing or if you prefer two feet to four, then come and see the 15 or so horses that Courtland’s Stables bring.
All the money raised in the collection goes directly to Riding for the Disabled to enable people with disabilities to experience the joys of horse riding. It is a fabulous charity and one which is greatly supported by Courtlands Stables - plus, you may just get to see your Vicar on horseback which has got to be worth a giggle!!
With love - Ginni