Bye Bye Banner

 It was the third time in the course of the evening Banner had reared up on me, and it was  then I decided I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore.

We had gotten a bred mare for our horse nut daughter (and for me) eleven years ago and Peppy gave birth to a colt we named Banner.  He grew and grew and we sent him off to work with a trainer and in due time we brought him home. It wasn’t long after returning home he developed an attitude and was just rather unpredictable.  Due to his unpredictability we didn’t ride him much as much as we should have. In the course of time  we sent him  for a  refresher course in manners.  He was good to go for a while, but not long after I developed back problems which nagged me for several years and put the kibosh on  horseback riding for quite a while. Track replaced horses in Maggie’s heart and eventually, I had a trainer come to our place and work with the Banner and I. Mary repeated what the others had said, he was a horse you would always want to lunge before riding.  Lunging is when the horse is put on a long line and  he goes around and around to get the bucks and kicks out before you climb on his back.  She explained that he wasn’t a bad horse, this was just his personality.  I get it, horses like people, have their own individual personalities.  Banner had a little stinker in his.

Last year we became empty nesters and one of my goals was to ride more often and this summer I began to chip away at that goal.   I had had some real success with Mr. Banner early on in the summer and then things got busy.  Recently, things have settled and I decided to get back to work with him.  I put him on the lunge line, but this time he wasn’t having it.  Not. At. All.   He weighs about twelve hundred pounds, I don’t weigh quite that much, and consequently it was as he was dragging me around the riding arena  I decided I had had enough. I got him settled down and we respectfully ended our time together. I walked back to the house and called my trainer friend Mary  and told her I was ready to sell Banner, and asked for her help to find a him a good home.

I am a loyal person, so part of me felt like a traitor.  The horse was born on our farm so he felt like a member of the family. We still own his well-behaved mamma which was part of my guilt,  I hated to split them up.  I hung on and hung on to the idea that it would get better.  But it didn’t.   I fully recognized my lack of horse savvy and expertise played a part in our dysfunctional relationship.  I wanted a pleasure horse to ride.  I didn’t want one to train. But the truth became clear as he was towering over me on his hind legs,  I finally realized he wasn’t the  right horse for our family. It was time to let go and it was okay to do so.  I prayed for God to take care of the whole situation.  And true to form He did.  By the next five o’clock the next afternoon Banner was headed for a new home.  It was a long day with lots of tears. But as soon as that trailer rolled off the farm I knew I had made the right decision for both of us and felt nothing but relief.

There have been times in my life where I have been guilty of hanging on to someone or something far too long; to the point where it was no longer enjoyable or in some cases perhaps not healthy or safe.   Here’s my short list, perhaps  you’ve hung on to some of these things too:  A personal relationship; a job;  an organization; an addiction (food can fall into this category folks); an item I couldn’t afford and should have never bought in the first place; a bad habit; self-pity; resentment; unforgiveness; anger; lack of self-respect; lack of respect for others; lack of self-responsibility; blaming others for all sorts of things, and the list goes on.  There are times when letting go and letting God is the best thing we can do.  To say bye-bye to whatever or whoever it may be that keeping us from what God has planned for us. It likely won’t be easy, there may be pain, tears and discomfort involved but letting go can free us up from chains that may have kept us bound. Free us up for the possibilities God has in mind for us when we but give Him our cooperation.

Before Banner left our farm I brushed him and thanked him for the fun times we had, because there were some fun times.  I thanked God for him and the lessons I  learned through him and for the gift he was, even though the time had come for us to part company. We ended our time together well, which is important. Especially when  letting go involves other human beings.  There are times we have to let go to stop the bleeding (I am speaking metaphorically here), which can be painful. But  we must take care not  leave others bloody (metaphorically and literally speaking) as a result of letting go with unkind words or behavior.  And, perhaps our own unkind behavior is what  needs to saddle up and ride off into the sunset. Don’t miss this, the GOD Man reminds us to treat others the way we would wish to be treated  with no exceptions. This doesn’t mean we are a doormat,  but what is does mean is that we can say what we mean, mean what we say,  and not be mean when we say it.

Banner is off to a new adventure and I am trusting him to God. His mamma Peppy and I are off on our own new adventure and have been enjoying  rides every day. Well, I can’t speak for Peppy, at least I have been enjoying them.

Go ahead, let go, let God and  say bye-bye.

Be joy filled always,

Christine Davis