by Maribel Steel
My love for these beautiful creatures goes back to my teenage years when my father would take me to a local riding school to hire a horse for an hour (while he sat in the car reading the Saturday newspaper).
Eddie, the 14 year old Palomino, was a popular horse in the stables as he was such a gentle giant. If I was lucky enough to find him available on the days when I went to ride, every moment with him was sheer joy.
His calm and intelligent personality increased my love for these animals and I still seek any opportunity to get close and friendly. Whenever we are travelling by car, and my partner happens to mention he has seen a horse over yonder paddock, I grab his arm: “Stop! I’ve got to say hello.”
In admiration of two special friends, and as a reminder of the bond between the blind and the sighted, I share a heart-warming story with you.
“Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.
If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.
As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting that he will not be led astray.
When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.
Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.
Good friends are like that. You may not always see them, but you know they are always there. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.”
Maribel Steel is an author, speaker, online content writer, mother and peer advisor for VisionAware (AFB). She lives in Melbourne, Australia and has Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). She has been published in several print journals and has contributed over forty guest posts for overseas blogs. To read more about her philosophy in ‘The ART of Being Blind’ you can visit her website: maribelsteel.com Blog: http://www.gatewaytoblindness.blogspot.com