“As you go about your barn chores, remember that the place God chose for the birth of His only son was not a church or a palace, but a stable.” – Anonymous
In today’s hectic world where hustle and bustle often drowns out life’s most important moments, we need an escape now more than ever. Many people find this in the form of a yoga studio or a good book, but equestrians are a rare breed. We find our tranquility amidst shavings and hay, in the place where our souls are cleansed and our hearts are at ease. The barn is our sanctuary. We often visit to quietly reflect, speaking softly to our horses about our troubles and our worries. We lay our heads against theirs, closing our eyes and reveling in the silent strength of a bond that could only be understood by equestrians. We sit in the barn aisle on our tack trunks and listen to the inexplicably calming sound of horses eating their hay. It is not hard for us to imagine why God would choose a stable for the birthplace of his son.
While there are billions of places on Earth that could have sufficed as the birthplace of Jesus, God chose a stable. He did not choose a stark, clean room full of doctors. He did not choose a glorious place with a stunning view. He chose a simple stable with a small manger. While our barns tend to be much more elaborate than what most nativity scenes depict, our hearts are still drawn to the simplicity that makes our barns the havens that they are. While we all have stunning saddles and fancy horse trailers on our Christmas list, we know in our hearts that these things are not what drew us to the barn when we were young. Most of us had a fascination, and likely a deep connection, with horses. From the first time we sat on a horse’s back, the barn quickly became our favorite place to be. It did not matter if we were cleaning stalls or throwing hay, as long as we were in the barn, we were happy.
We all strive to be incredibly talented riders with successful horses, but we could not do any of this without our deep connection with the barn. We would not dedicate our lives (and our livelihoods) to animals that are truly unpredictable at the end of the day. We would not wake up early to make sure they have breakfast on time. We would not stay up late to check just one more time that all of the horses are comfortable. Our intense drive behind the passion we have for our industry does not stop at just the horse. The barn is where we feel most at home. We are so comfortable there, not just for the great friends and incredible trainers that are at the barn, but because, even if you took all of that away, we all know that our hearts would still be drawn to a horse’s stall.
In today’s world, we are quick to get caught up in the trends. We get so carried away trying to outdo one another that we often forget why we started doing something in the first place. So, tonight and tomorrow as you go about your barn chores, take a moment before rushing off to your Christmas festivities to sit in the aisle and enjoy the calmness of the barn. Give each horse an extra peppermint and a kiss on the nose. Let your heart be at peace and remember that God may have chosen a stable for the birth of His only son for the exact thing you are blessed enough to experience in that very moment.
Artwork courtesy of Ashley Cagle.