Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Connection With Horses

So it was, 1968, I was invited to my friend Wendy's home to spend a day hanging out on her farm and staying for dinner.
I had never been to her farm before so I was very excited! We were planning to ride horses and spend time talking about boyfriends and what was going on in our lives. Just an easy, relaxing day.
Wendy was a sweet, tall, beautiful girl who was very shy and didn't have a lot of friends. When I met her I was instantly impressed with her genuine kindness, She and I felt as if we had known each other our whole lives. Like best friends.

I drove over to Wendy's. I had only been driving for a week or two.
I had a little corvair which was so much fun. I pulled up to this big beautiful house in the country in Pinellas Park Florida.
I was over whelmed at how beautiful this home was. I had never known anyone who lived in such a nice home.
I was very impressed. This was all so amazing to me.
We made our way to the barn to saddle up the horses and found we would be riding with Wendy's older sister and some of her sisters friends as well.
I sure didn't mind, because I was just happy to be there and I hadn't ridden horses in such a long time.  I was really just simply elated to be there and have been offered this fun opportunity.
Since we were the younger and later to come alongside Wendy's sister and her friends, we got the horses that the older girls didn't want to ride.  I ended up with a horse called "Christmas".
This was the largest horse of them all. I had never seen such a big boy! Very tall in stature. Very spirited. Just beautiful! He was a bit intimidating. Wendy said he is usually pretty good though and as  long as I knew how to ride, he should be OK.
I felt very unsure about Christmas. And had asked to switch with someone else. They all laughed and said, no way!
So I was the lucky one!
I could feel in my gut that this may not go well for some reason. I kept thinking, maybe I shouldn't ride today at all? This was a really big horse and I am not feeling good about him. There is a strange aura around all this. I thought to myself, I don't want to be a bummer here, so maybe I'll just  ignore my intuition for once and ride this monstrous horse and that will be the end of it.
So, to get up on him I had to stand on the fence he was near to be able to reach his saddle. So, I got up on him and before anyone had left the area, and before I even got my feet in the stirrups completely , Christmas took off like a bat out of hell! I didn't have control of his reigns, I dropped them! I heard Wendy's sister screaming at me "get a hold of those reigns Teri". She was screaming a few other things as well at Wendy , but the sound of Christmas taking off and my heart pounding out of my chest in that instant, blocked some of the chatter from my ears! This horse was running as fast as he could! He was on his own. What do I do now, I thought? So I wrapped his hair from his mane around my hands very tightly  just to hold on, and off we flew. I was bouncing around on this ole boy like a bobber in the water! I knew I had to get in sync quick!  I kept trying to get my feet firm in the stirrups and as he was picking up speed on a full run I was hanging on for my life. I finally with all my bouncing got my foot in one stirrup securely and then was able to get into the other one, WHAT a RELIEF! 
I was now in control, or at least I thought I was!
Christmas ran towards the barn and went right to the lowest part of the roof that hung low to try to push me off his back! I laid on him so low ducking from the barn overhead  I was almost hanging off the side of him! This horse was possessed! He wanted me off of him...NOW! He tried to brush me off of him by inching his body up against the side of the barn as we ran in full gallop alongside it! He was determined it was either me or him! He then after failing to knock me off or slam me off, picked up into a full run, I truly only had his mane to hold onto. I remember thinking to myself, tell him to stop! So I tried talking to him. I said in a commanding voice, Christmas whoa! I repeated this several times. He didn't even slow down for a second. I kept trying to grab for his reign. I could not let go of his mane long enough to reach it, as we were going so fast and I was bouncing like crazy. He was running now through trees on the property and I thought to myself, he's going to try to knock me off again by a low tree limb!
This horse has a mind of his own, and he's not stupid!!
I was so afraid he was going to injure me somehow. So I started to pull back on his mane hard! Telling him to slow down. I inched my hands up his mane a bit and wrapped my hands tightly into his mane and pulled back again, screaming as he ran Whoa!!! It was then that I prayed, GOD please help me!! I kept trying to speak to this horse with mental telepathy, could he hear me? He wasn't listening to my commands to slow down. With that prayer, the horse came to an almost dead stop. He slowed just enough before stopping so I could get a good grasp of more hair! Then we were stopped. Just like that. The others riders were all behind me, catching up to me one by one. Wendy's sister got to me first and was furious with Christmas. She asked me to get down off him, but he was so big, getting down was going to be an issue for me. So she jumped off her horse and grabbed his reigns and walked us back to the barn area. It was a long way back.  Everyone was amazed I was still on the horse! I had travelled  really far with him running at full speed. I was surprised at just how far. The other horses were left in the dust! This Christmas was some kind of a horse. When I finally got off of him with the help from the fence, I walked up to the front of him and said to him, WHY?
I could feel his anger. He had a very mischievous spirit. I felt he was taunted by it. But what could I do?
I walked away from him feeling like it was all so incomplete.
This lesson in my life taught me that not just humans suffer with spirits, but so do animals. I will never forget the fear I felt as Christmas ran towards the barn roof over hang trying to knock me off of him. This wasn't simply a horse gone running, he was being agitated by a spirit who was dead set against me and was going to do me harm. I am so grateful to GOD for HIS amazing protection and for giving me the insight to hang on and what to do to stay on that horse! I know the meaning of "Christmas", in more ways than one now!
Truth is always so much stranger than fiction!


  1. Hello, I met you at Conference in Fellsmere Saturday. I never got to see you speak but had a strong feeling that I needed to but it did not work out. This story about Christmas is so familiar to me. In the summer of 1968 I was at a summer youth camp here in Vero Beach Florida. One day we were going to ride the camps horses, I got a horse named Stovepipe! I never rode a horse in my life and as you stated, no one else would ride him. He was huge, I had to use the fence to mount him as well. From that point on exactly the same ride, except for the barn he used every low lying limb and tree on the trail to try and knock me off. I stayed on eventually screaming to God to please stop the horse. He stopped. I knew getting on that the horse that he had it in for me when we looked at each other eye to eye.

    1. Hi Jim, Yes, it's strange how frightening it can be to be on a determined horse that wants you off, now! Thank you for sharing your story!