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A Happy Trail
By Margo Hendricks
I was never one of those teenaged girls who papered the walls of her bedroom with pictures of horses. So I was bemused by the dream that visited me one cool night last March.
I dreamed of a horse that I rode with abandon. There was such oneness between the horse and me that when I wanted to dismount, this sleek bay would lower his great head to the ground so I could slide off with ease.
I awakened feeling a little like Guinevere. But I didn’t dismiss the dream as a fairy tale. Instead, I felt sure it bore a message for me. You see Eckankar, my spiritual path, believes that dreams are like a window to heaven. And over the years I’d gathered ample personal evidence of this – as time and again a dream guided me in a more joyful direction, showed me the next step in my daily life or even protected me with a warning.
But the meaning of this dream would remain a mystery for several months. One afternoon, I listened with mild interest as a coworker described her horseback riding lessons. Suddenly, a pocket of stillness seemed to envelop us.
Whether you call it a hunch, a gut-feeling, or guidance from above, I knew I was about to receive an inner nudge. The message was delivered with the warmth of an arm about my shoulder. “You need to do this. You need to learn to ride a horse. Now would be good.”
That same day I was able to connect with an excellent riding teacher. When she asked why I wanted to learn to ride, I paused.
“The truth?” I thought. “Because once in a dream I rode a horse with abandon, joy and oneness – exactly the way I want to live. That’s what I want to learn.” But of course I couldn’t say this. So I responded, “I want to learn more about the partnership between the horse and the rider.” We agreed to Thursday and hung up.
Before my lesson, I began to imagine all the spiritual skills I might hone with this horse. Like, being in the moment. Responsiveness and trust. Soul-to-Soul communication.
But my first lesson was to be about none of those things. When I arrived at the barn, my teacher introduced me to Sonny, an enormous bay gelding with an alert gaze. She explained that today she would be teaching me how to groom and take care of him.
There was a reason for this, she said. Many years ago she had worked as a groom at a fancy stable. Owners would call and say, “Have my horse ready at 3 o’clock.” When they arrived to ride, the horse would be groomed, saddled and waiting outside the stable. Afterwards, the owner would simply hop off, hand the horse over and leave. She’d observed something interesting, she said. These people never seemed to develop real, true relationships with their horses.
So that day I learned to brush Sonny until he gleamed, to detangle and comb his long tail. I learned how to ask him to bend his knee, propping it against my leg so I could clean the dirt and stones from his enormous hooves. I learned how to saddle him and put the bit in his huge mouth. My teacher had me do these things over and again until I began to understand them.
As for Sonny, he made it clear that he was tolerating my clumsy, rather hapless efforts only because he was a gentleman. But I persisted – and when he was finally groomed and saddled, we rode. Afterwards, I began the process in reverse, unsaddling and grooming him once more.
Leading Sonny back to his pasture, I caught an intelligent flash from his big, lash-fringed eye. The horse was looking at me differently. Something was beginning to build between us. Something had come alive.
But it was not until I got home that evening that I realized my first lesson had been about service. The horse is tremendously willing. But until I am just as willing to enter that circle of giving, there can be nothing real between us. From that golden place, we may do something together that neither of us could do alone. From that charmed circle, we may discover everything we need to ride together like the wind.
Margo Hendricks is a long-time member of Eckankar. A writer and speaker, she lives in Sandpoint, Idaho. For more information about Eckankar visit www.eckankar-idaho.org or call 208-344-8137.
December 3, 1:00-4:00pm
Stress Release Health Spa Retreat
Orchard Studio, Moscow, Idaho
Experience an aromatherapy facial steam, footbath, and instruction with Dr. Linda Kingsbury Certified Aromatherapist. April Rubino will provide guided meditation, yoga, and movement. $35.00
To register call The Orchard Studio at 208-882-8159
January 28 Saturday , 10:00-5:00
Dolphin DNA Activation Workshop
Earth Wisdom Healing Center
106 East Third St. #3A ~ Moscow Idaho
Enhance natural ecstasy, direct revelation, and intuitive abilities.
Immerse yourself with the sounds and sights of hawaiian spinner dolphins to enhance cellular transformation. Movement, meditation, and breath work
that will change your life.
Register early for this popular class. $88.00.
Pre register at 883-9933 or email email@example.com
for more information.
Wednesday nights 7:00-9:00
January 25 – February 15
Earth Wisdom Healing Center
106 East Third St. #3A~ Moscow Idaho
Increase your income, juice your dreams, receive support from like-minded people…Learn metaphysical truths, Tibetan, earth reverence and other time tested practices to increase abundance consciousness.
4 classes. $88.00. Pre register at 883-9933 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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