For about five years of my life, starting when I was around nine, I was a horseback rider. I adored horses, begged my parents to let me have lessons. So at least once a week for those five years, I got to ride horses...and I was absolutely terrified.
The thing with horseback riding is, you are supposed to fall off... and then of course get right back on. I never fell off...and as time went on, I got more and more afraid of falling. There were times when I should have been thrown, or bucked, or scraped off a horse but I clung on for dear life.
The policy at the barn was that the instructor picked your horse for the week, and you would not know which horse you were riding until you looked up at the little green chalkboard outside of the office window. Those were some tense moments.
There was Galahad who, despite the name, was no knight in shining armor. Instead, he was the oldest horse in the barn, not only that, he wasn't even a horse...he was a "large pony" who I could have mounted standing flat footed. Days with Galahad were safe, but boring. Even I felt a foolish riding around on something that allowed my feet to scrape the floor.
And there was Raindrop, a spirited Appaloosa who left me pining for a Galahad day...I once watched Raindrop toss my best friend over her head smack into a barn door. My friend suffered a broken ankle and I suffered from paralyzing fear every time I got near the beast.
But then there was Ace...just a normal old quarter horse, but big enough not to make me feel like a fool and steady enough so that I was never afraid. I lived for the days when I saw his name beside mine on the old green board.
This Friday is my 28 week doctor's appointment with Gracie. To this point, some of my appointment's have been Galahads...I'm thankful for them, but they are slow and leave me impatient and wanting to know more. There have also been a couple of Raindrop's, appointment where I feel like I am clinging on for dear life and so thankful to be getting the heck out of there. And then there have been some of Aces...big appointments that still managed to make me feel safe and comforted.
Despite my best efforts to cling on, I fell off the horse when Rip died. My pregnancy with Gracie has been my getting back on moment...I just hope this Friday and every appointment after gives me an Ace.