Guarded Hearts and Trotting Horses

Yesterday, we went to the horses – it’s something that I have done 100’s of times – so much so that it is now very much a routine – we arrive at the gate, greet the horses, give them each a pat and then walk to our shed and begin to prepare for the various tasks that need to be done that day. As we walk the horses slip in behind us following us on the little journey. Yesterday morning, for some completely unknown, random reason, I started to slowly run to the shed, and to my surprise, Flynn, our young Standardbred horse broke into a trot ready to be a part of whatever new thing I was doing. Knowing how Flynn likes to play with the other horses (and not really wanting 450kgs to suddenly lurch on top of me), I quickly slowed back down to a walk, however, I was intrigued at how quick he was to join into the new game…

The next day, as I read a book written by one of my favourite authors, the question was asked – “How do you care for your heart?” The question was asked not in a medical or physical sense, but in an emotional and spiritual sense… In a world of duty, responsibility and obligations, it is way too easy for our hearts to become dull, dry and tired. The routine and mundaneness of life can suck the colour and vitality out of all that we do. Even the things we enjoy can become lifeless, even boring. It is a place that everyone of us can or will find ourselves in – so what is the solution? Some will prescribe a holiday or a favourite bottle of red – however, for many of us this isn’t always an option.

As I learnt yesterday, sometimes the solution is to simply do something silly and to then sit back, take stock and remind yourself of why you do what you do. For someone, who for as long as they can remember, has been entranced by the horse – to see Flynn so joyfully break into a trot because his “human” was doing something silly, was yet another opportunity to be reminded of why I find horses so attractive. So amongst the barrow loads of manure, and hay bales and feet trimming and deworming schedules, I also remind my heart that there is a majestic animal that depends on me and that I am honoured, in deed privileged, to have in my life. Flynn’s antics yesterday reminded me that even the most routine, mundane tasks can be fun – that in the midst of obligations and “to do” lists, that we can break out of the ordinary and have a little fun. And so, with a heart revived, I look forward to the next task, the next job, the next silly thing that needs to be done…


“Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)



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