Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Message

Through the daily pace of our hectic lives it is easy to lose perspective on our blessings. A water line breaks requiring immediate repair; working a horse in the arena being cut short even before you get started because a neighbor has a sick horse he wants you to look at; your wife calls from town with a dead battery in her truck;....I could give many examples. But it's important to stop for a minute or two and actually reflect on our blessings. I have many, much more than I deserve, even though I'm found of half jokingly saying "I'm thankful that nobody has killed me yet."

I'm grateful for being born an American. When I was an Army Range Rider, I would go to Middle and High Schools for career day. Why I kept getting invitations to do so is beyond me as I'm sure my job didn't appeal to most people,...maybe it was my horse who always generated interest. Anyway, I would tell those kid's, particularly the high school kids, to be grateful that they too were born or residing in the United States. My travel all over the Middle East and Africa taught me that there is no other country with as many opportunities as the U.S. I also told those kid's not to squander those opportunities....honor your blessings by maximizing those gifts.

I'm thankful for that morning cup of coffee in a quiet house. I'm grateful for every morning that I find the horses hungry, curious and looking for me. I'm thankful that every day my dogs act like they haven't seen me in months and run up to me hoping to get petted. While I am still sad I lost my first wife 19 years ago, I am grateful each and everyday that she left me with a daughter who has become a beautiful, talented and healthy adult. I am thankful for having a second chance with a new wife who is amazingly resilient at besting cancer despite all the poking, prodding, surgeries and radiation.

And even though it may pale in comparison to the family blessings, I am grateful for being physical able (maybe not so mentally able) to continue a journey in developing my horsemanship as best as I can. I am conflicted living in a complicated age with technology seemingly changing every day, but without some of the modern communications tools, many of us would miss out on hearing or seeing what the best horseman have to say or do. So I'm grateful for all those top hands who willingly share their hard earned knowledge. That knowledge was hard to come by a short 30 years ago.

So I guess my message is for people to think about letting themselves be thankful for their blessings, large and small. Let yourself be amazed at all the little miracles we experience each day. I'm thankful that I still find great joy in a horse making the smallest improvement. And like a friend of mine said to me years ago, "be thankful that the horse doesn't hold a grudge!"

Happy Thanksgiving and a hope for continued blessings.

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