I’d always looked forward to shopping for my first horse but my plans were ruined---in the best possible way.
'race and gratitude
Idon’t know what to say. These were the words I quietly said out loud to my beaming neighbors. But inside my head, I was screaming with anger. How could they do this to me! I had waited my whole life to search for my dream horse and now that opportunity had been taken from me.
Meanwhile, the filly at the center of this scene stood quietly.
My husband and I had recently purchased our first farm. It had been abandoned for two years and required renovation from the ground up. The barn needed a new roof. The pasture was encircled with broken posts linked by drooping barbed wire. The hay field hadn’t seen a crop in 20 years.
We tackled each project in turn, and we told our new neighbors, Dee and Charlie, that we planned on getting horses when the property was ready. All of this took time and money, but we wanted it all done right.
Finally came the day when I walked outside and stared at our completed renovation, and a tear literally rolled down my cheek. This was the day I had been waiting for since I was a 5year-old girl: I was finally going to get to go horse shopping. I couldn’t wait to go from farm to farm, searching for the one perfect filly who would be my soulmate.
My 55th birthday dawned with the sun shining brightly. Then a pickup truck turned into our driveway with a horse trailer in tow. The driver got out, unloaded a beautiful tobiano Paint filly and handed me the lead rope. Then Dee and Charlie ran over from their place yelling, “Happy birthday!” “I don’t know what to say.” Dee explained how she had come across the filly while searching for a horse for herself: “I just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to buy her for your birthday. Isn’t she a beauty?” “I don’t know what to say.” Charlie, meanwhile, was going on about the ranch where they’d found her and how she had been trained. When the chitchat paused and everyone looked at me expectantly, I still could only stammer:
“I don’t know what to say.” husband. “You say, ‘Thank you,’” said my “Thank you,” I said at last. That night I tossed and turned. After 50 years of anticipation, my dream of searching for the perfect horse had been taken right out of my hands. But then I got angry at myself for being angry. After all, didn't our friends have my best interests at heart? They only wanted to give me the greatest birthday gift ever. How could I be angry over such kindness? I decided I needed to just get over it. But how? I started by picking out a perfect name. Zoe has always been a favorite, so I decided to start out with that. Did I do anything to bring her to this farm? No, I definitely didn’t. As I pondered the situation, I remembered that Grace means
“unmerited favor.” She was a total gift. Zoe Grace it is.
The next morning, I arrived at the barn to greet Zoe Grace with a totally different outlook. Nothing changed during the night but my mindset. But that changed everything. I looked into my filly’s brown eyes with amazement. I felt like I could easily dive into those gorgeous, deep eyes and swim all day long.
Seven years have passed, and now I can’t imagine life without my beautiful Zoe. We are absolutely perfect for each other. It’s like she was always meant to be mine.
GIFT HORSE: Pamela Reed didn't actually choose her mare, Zoe Grace, But they are a perfect match nonetheless.