The Blog

Books on a Bale of Hay: Confessions of a Cowgirl

I adore horses and riding, always have. It’s in my nature.I’ve ridden at Crazy C Stables in Lansing, MI; Chippewa Trails Camp for Girls; taken dressage lessons; went for wild rides in acres of pastures in WV; bareback swimming in a MI lake; galloping on the beaches in Buxton, NC; been kicked & thrown; exercised Arabian showhorses in NJ; went riding through acres of nurseries near Princeton, NJ with “Cowboy Jack” and his Marlboro’s…it’s been going on a long time, this love affair. Unrequited, I suppose, since I’ve never owned my own horse.It all started at age 5 when I asked Santa for a cowgirl outfit and a Marvel the Mustang. Got them both and was in mini-cowpoke heaven. I’d put that outfit on – my mustard and black top with matching skirt complete with fringe, pull on my black boots and hop on Marvel. We had a long, smooth, sweeping driveway that started at the road, went straight for a 1/2 football field then curved sharply to the left into a large parking area.Marvel and I saw a lot of that driveway. He didn’t know it, but we were really on a wide open prairie being chased by thieves. I had to hop on his back – up and down and up and down – to get his wheeled feet to “gallop.” I didn’t know it but I was riding a fake, shrimpy, plastic horse that didn’t do much of anything. I didn’t need to know because my imagination did the galloping and the riding.It still does.Last weekend, Steve and I had the pleasure of visiting Graves Mountain. Cheyenne (a REAL horse) carried me along those magical paths, rock-covered streams and steep trails like a pro. New Tiger Swallowtails flitted around us as we rode past blooming lilac and apple trees. Amazing for my soul. I must say the walking got to me, though. I wanted badly to bust into a trot then a nice, smooth canter. If that were Marvel, I would have let my inner cowgirl loose – the horse and I cantering off into the fields…I’d just take the consequences, smiling with great memories as I sat in court, or jail or whatever. But I’m an adult and I liked Evan the guide and he said insurance allowed only a walk. Geese. Modern day society…so picky.After I dismounted, we watched a couple trot in (on their own horses)- the Palmers. Gene and Claire. We found out they operate a unique ministry – Ropin’ For Jesus. They teach children through an analogy between the horse and rider relationship vs. our relationship with Christ. Interesting and something very easy for me to understand.Before Steve rode out of town (in our car), I placed one of each of my books and my business card on top of a hay bale near the Palmer’s horse trailer. There’s a first time for everything. Today my cowgirl hat is off to the Palmer’s and my heart is still with Marvel the Mustang.