Today is my birthday. Despite the fact that media pushes onto us the idea that such events should be spent being pampered and relaxing, there were things to be done – horses needed caring for, paddocks needed “mucking out”. As I walked towards our paddocks I was, as I am almost every time I go, greeted by each of the horses. First is Charlie – our spotted Appaloosa – our once tense, uptight, nervous anxious Appaloosa – but now very much relaxed. Gone is the reservedness that he once showed, replaced instead by a soft look in his eye and a willingness to extend his head and greet you. Next is Smokey – our very small grey pony, who despite his short stature, is not held back by the lack of height, nor suffers any sort of self-esteem issues, for in his mind he only knows one thing – that he is a horse – and no one can take that away from him. In the next paddock is Flynn – our funny, inquisitive, courageous horse. My greatest joy, despite at times my bumbling attempts, has been to see the potential that lies within this horse come to light, knowing, that there is still more to be discovered and released from within the bright bay gelding. And finally there is Spark – there is so much that can be said about this gentle old soul. Though he is now getting on in years – with increasing amounts of grey fur testament to the advancing of years, there still beats within him the blood of Derby winners mixed with the toughness that comes from his Irish heritage. He, as always, approaches life with a quiet confidence and a willingness to trust that is at times, catching. And as I looked into his big brown eye, and see my reflection looking back at me, I am reminded, yet again, that each of these horses reflect something of me – something that I have learnt, something that I need to learn. And with the weak Spring sunshine pushing through the clouds, my heart is full and my soul thankful for the presence of each of these animals in my life.

four boys

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (James 1:17a)