Lately I’ve noticed a change in Miss P.

There was a time when she didn’t like having any horses at the gate when I put her back in the pasture.

She would kind- of- sort- of tolerate Red or Amigo being there, because they’re members of her herd.

But in truth she wanted a clear shot for re-entry.

She’d get skittish if any of the younger, stronger horses were hanging out by the gate. We’d have to “encourage” them to move along before Pepper would even consider walking through.

But that’s changed.

These days, she marches through the gate, punching a hole through the cluster of horses assembled. She gets this look on her face that clearly states she is not to be hassled. “Out of my way fools,” she seems to say as she slips through even the tiniest opening.

It seems Pepper has mastered her fear.

And it makes me happy to see her acting strong and confident.

She isn’t quite as sure of herself when she exits the pasture. She always works up a head of steam and dashes through the opening as if a predator were on her tail.

But re-entry is another story.

And because of that, I think she’ll eventually feel stronger as she exits.

This makes me happy for a couple of reasons.

First, it seems that as we age, many of us lose power and confidence.

Horse and human.

Old age can bring vulnerability, which never feels good. I much prefer the image of staying strong and confident as I age. And I’m using Pepper as one of my role models.

Second, Pepper’s change in behavior shows me that we can indeed “teach an old horse new tricks.”

I like that.

Because I know that I’m going to want to keep on learning new tricks.

Why should age stop me from learning?

From growing?

From getting better, stronger, more confident?

I don’t think it should.

So thanks Pepper for showing us how it’s done.

Do you have a story about conquering a fear? Pepper and I would love to hear it. Just jot it down in the comment section below.

And thanks!