Horse trouble. Horse triumph.

Originally appeared online in the teen series Your Healings -  July 19, 2022

I’m usually up for a challenge. But I wasn’t sure I was up for this one. 

I was participating in a horsemanship program at a summer camp for Christian Scientists. I’ve regularly been assigned one of the more difficult horses because my counselors know that I embrace challenges and can handle them. This particular year, though, I was given an especially troublesome and skittish horse with whom I had not worked well the year before. 

At the beginning of our two-week session, I struggled to bond with her and quickly grew agitated when we could not complete simple drills. It seemed she was too afraid to do the drills properly, and we were also having trouble communicating. While I’ve struggled to connect with my assigned horse before, this year it was starting to feel like it was never going to happen. When I asked my counselors if I could switch horses, they told me to try one more day with her, and then if we were still struggling, I could make a change. 

While I’ve struggled to connect with my assigned horse before, this year it was starting to feel like it was never going to happen. 

I’d done almost everything I could to work effectively with my horse, but I knew there was one other thing I still needed to do. So, that night I prayed with an idea I’d learned about in Christian Science Sunday School—the idea of one, divine Mind. Mind is a name for God that you can find in the Bible and in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. 

This idea really stuck out to me because, while it might have seemed like my horse and I were working as two separate minds that were incompatible, praying with the fact of one Mind gave me a different perspective. I saw that divine Mind, expressing peace, harmony, and intelligence, is really the only Mind there is, and that therefore my horse and I were fully capable of working together. 

After praying with this idea, I was so filled with excitement. I couldn’t wait to demonstrate what it means to know the reality of one Mind. 

I saw that divine Mind, expressing peace, harmony, and intelligence, is really the only Mind there is, and therefore my horse and I were fully capable of working together. 

The next day in our program we played polocrosse—a sport that is very similar to lacrosse, but played on horseback. Since polocrosse has constant distractions and things flying through the air, it can be very frightening for some horses. However, now confident in God’s constant protection and the harmony I knew I shared with my horse, I was able to enjoy the game with my horse without any challenges. 

For the rest of the session we worked as one harmonious team, overcoming fear and new obstacles together. We also competed very well in our end-of-session rodeo and were awarded first place. My best take-away of the summer, though, was knowing that through prayer I can triumph over any challenge that seems insurmountable.

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