By Ralphine Major

The photo was taken years ago with my first camera, an inexpensive Kodak Instamatic. As we celebrated my brother’s birthday recently, it was fun to look back on that time period. In the photo, he was in one of his favorite places—in the saddle on the back of his beloved horse, Penny.  We often referred to her as the horse from Grainger County.

In those days we often rode horses for pleasure after school or on the weekends. Riding atop these big, beautiful animals provided great physical exercise and was an excellent way to clear one’s mind. I had not yet heard of using these equestrian creatures for therapy, such as for people who have experienced traumatic events in their lives. Riders often bond with the horse they are riding. Looking into the eyes of a horse and stroking their forehead can have a calming effect. Even the soft nicker of these amazing animals can be comforting. I often thought it seemed that the horse’s eyes were looking straight into your soul. In many of the westerns on television, a cowboy often considered his horse as a team.

Words of Faith: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (KJV).