Riding horses was one of their favorite things to do. The man and his young daughter were sharing the saddle on a hired horse, at their family's favorite mountain resort. They came here every summer, and today was a perfect day for riding.
With others in the family riding group, the two rode on through the lush, green forest. Sitting forward in the saddle, the young girl felt the excitement of the ride and the rush of the wind blowing in her hair. Her father behind her felt happy, strong and secure on the back of this steed, similar to the many he had ridden before.
The group of riders happily trotted through the varied and scenic landscape. Suddenly, the man's horse bolted into a terrifying speed. Grabbing his daughter as he tried to stabilize his own position on the saddle, the man tried to gain control of the horse. "Whoa!" he repeatedly cried out, yanking strongly on the reins. But the horse would not obey, as it furiously raced on. Branches whipped them as they held fiercely to the saddle horn.
"Daddy!" the young girl screamed, "Why is the horse running so fast?"
"I don't know!" he cried, losing confidence in his ability to control the situation.
"All we can do is hold on! Hold on tight!" the father commanded his frightened daughter.
Many questions began running through his head. "Why can't I control the horse? Why is he running out of control? How can I stop this? Will this ever end? Will it end badly?" Fear began to overtake him as the horse continued its wild flight.
A few moments later the horse came to a slow pace and then continued steadily forward. The man pulled again on the reins and cried "whoa!" This time the horse obeyed and stopped.
"What happened?", he thought. "What was wrong with the horse? How did I lose control? What did I do wrong?"
Soon they were joined by the others in the group, who had done their best to catch up.
"Are you all right?" was their worried query.
"Yes, I guess so." he replied. "I don't know what happened, something must be wrong with the horse."
"Oh, no." he was told. "The horse is fine, quite normal. He came upon an active hornets nest. It must have spooked him pretty bad. But see how he high-tailed it and brought you all to safety."
On the ride of life we sometimes come upon terrifying trials, where despite all we can do, we lose control. All we can do is to hold on tight and have faith that our horse will lead us to safety.