Horse Riding – Not a Problem   Leave a comment

The members of the Christian Science community in Canberra share their experiences and thoughts on Christian Science:

A few years ago my husband wanted to give me a surprise for our anniversary.  He knew I loved horses and that in my youth I had gone on a few short trail rides which I loved.  This year he had the romantic idea that escaping our city life for a weekend of riding horses through the bushland in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney would be a good plan.  My husband has never been a horse rider and knows very little about horses.

When he presented me with the gift vouchers I was filled with some very mixed emotions.  I could see that he was trying hard to please me – that was nice.  But, an eight-hour ride through very rugged territory, when I hadn’t been on a horse for about twenty years, seemed daunting in ways he couldn’t imagine.  I prayed about this.  I reasoned that all good ideas come from God and God’s ideas don’t have a downside.  I also know that the beliefs I hold about life determine the nature of this material experience.  I tried to stay focused on a conviction that my true nature is spiritual, not material.  Only matter feels pain, not spirit.

My husband, as a novice rider, was given Fred, an elderly plodder.  However, he had told the stables that I could ride well and I was given Jeda, a young thoroughbred-cross who really wanted to turn everything into a race.   I’d been on the horse for about fifteen minutes when I realised that the saddle was horribly uncomfortable; it had two hard ridges that dug into the bones in my bottom.

During the eight-hour outing we spent nearly seven hours in the saddle.  The countryside was amazing.  We rode across green paddocks with cows, through mountain streams, up and down steep hillsides and along winding forest trails.  It was truly beautiful.  At every point in the day my Jeda wanted to race ahead and I spent the whole day calming her and reining her in.  Even when we were waiting for slow Fred to catch up she pulled and pranced.  She was exhausting! 

It was late afternoon when we arrived back at our accommodation.  I was so sore I felt physically sick.  I fell on the bed and thought I would never be able to move again.  Every muscle in my body screamed and protested.  I thought I had mentally protected myself before the ride but I realised that I hadn’t really given up the idea that this activity could be punishing.  In Christian Science, we are taught that what we let into consciousness, is what we experience.  So while I lay there on the bed I had a mental reassessment. 

A passage from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy helped me to gain some peace.  She asks:  Without mind, could the muscles be tired?  Do the muscles talk, or do you talk for them?  Matter is non‐intelligent.  Mortal mind does the false talking, and that which affirms weariness, made that weariness (p217:31).  I realized that I had given myself permission to be affected by this ride, so mentally I took back that permission.

Within a very short time I was up and getting cleaned up to go out to dinner.  There was not a single twinge anywhere – I walked straight and tall and pain free.  We had a happy night and the rest of the weekend was active and harmonious.  There were absolutely no after-effects.

I am continually grateful to Christian Science which teaches me that I don’t have to give in to material laws.  All right activity can be undertaken without penalty.

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