Well… I was trying to be helpful.
It was a beautiful mountain morning as Bruce and I, two teenage girls, and our new friend hit the hill-trails with the expectancy of an excellent ride.
We hadn’t traveled far, when our friend started having trouble with her mare, a young draft horse cross. The mare was cranky so my friend dismounted to walk her for a bit. She led the horse along the trail and through the stream as the mare continued her antics.
We finally came to the short, but steep narrow part of the trail that shot up from the creek bottom to the top edge of the meadow. I knew that it would be difficult, at best, to lead a horse up this path. I offered to pony the mare from my horse.
She gratefully accepted, and I moved Nocona closer as she handed me the lead rope. I no sooner gripped the rope when the mare lunged forward. I tried to pull her back and around but that mare already had her plan of action figured out—and it was on. I remember seeing two huge freshly shod hooves fly at Nocona and me. She missed but, quick as lightning, regrouped and fired off another shot like a Gatling gun. I felt the smack as her hoof landed on my ankle and heard the thud as her other hoof landed on Nocona’s flank.
I vaguely heard a “let her go!”, but was already releasing the rope of that wild-eyed whirlwind as I swung Nocona away from her—but not after she cranked off another one and buried her final blow in Nocona’s stifle.
Immediately my friend was at my side bursting with profuse apologies. But her voice faded as I blocked out everything around me. I lowered my hand to Nocona’s flank and prayed, “No weapon formed against us will prosper, no evil will befall us, no plague will come near us!”—quoting Isaiah 54 & Psalm 91. I didn’t know who heard me and didn’t much care, my first thought was my horse.
Powerful testimonies pepper my experiences when the Word of God is spoken over situations and the miracles spring forth. As I prayed (albeit with heart pounding), Nocona slowly relaxed his leg and put weight on it. At that point, I noticed the intense throbbing in my ankle. I went to praying over it too.
I pulled my attention back to Nocona and walked him back and forth across the clearing—he was solid. I reined him toward the steep incline—the real test. “Let’s do this, Nocona,” I grinned. He sailed up that trail with no problem. Praise God.
When we reached the top, the teenagers stared, wide-eyed, at us. “Are you OK?” “What happened?” they blurted. And, frankly, beyond me telling them, “We’re good,” I have no idea what I said after that, distracted by the stabbing pain in my ankle. I smiled through gritted teeth and headed for Bruce, who was also staring at me intensely.
“How is he?” Bruce asked.
“He’s fine. But we need to pray over my leg,” I whispered. (My friend felt bad enough that her horse had kicked mine, and there was no way I was going to let her know that her mare had nailed me too.)
So, while the rest of the group got horses and riders reorganized, Bruce and I prayed over my ankle. He commanded healing to come and the pain to go in Jesus’ Name.
I moved my ankle around. “Pray again,” I said. He did.
“Are we ready?” our friend called out.
“Yep,” we answered. Nocona and I ended up leading the pack and he stepped out like nothing had happened. And as we rode out, I felt a kind of warm sensation in my ankle, with tinglies. The pain left… just like that.
Four and a half hours later, we finished the ride—no lameness in Nocona or me.
With all my stories, of course, there’s always some kind of epiphany or moral… a lesson to be learned somewhere. So, first off, I learned to not be so quick to offer help to someone, even a friend, with their cranky horse. Secondly, go for the prayer first. Sometimes there’s no time to think, just do it. The Word of God is definitely a two-edged sword and we need to wield it like a weapon… ‘cause it is. And you can’t beat the power in Jesus’ Name!
My ankle should have been broken, and Nocona could have been seriously hurt, but we were fine and finished a ride that turned out to be a very enjoyable one, indeed.
Shara's book: Walk Like a Warrior: Inspirational true stories of God's encouragement on the trail less-traveled: https://www.amazon.com/Walk-Like-Warrior-Inspirational-Encouragement/dp/1512774812/