I led him up to the road and waited for an oncoming car to pass so I could cross.
Instead of passing me, the car stopped in the middle of the road and an old man rolled down his window.
Man: Is that a Qrt Horse?
Me: Yes, he is.
Man: He's beautiful!
Me: Thanks! (to myself: I don't have time for this!)
Man: I love horses and this one looks really kind and gentle.
Me: He is.
Man: (leaning back in his seat) I have a new helmet in my back seat that I just bought. I haven't ridden a horse in twenty years, but I used to be into show jumping. I loved it. My wife got a closed head injury and I gave up riding to take care of her. She recently passed away and now at 72 years old I'm going back to my old instructor and I'm going to ride again!
Me: Wow! That's great! I don’t' show jump but I love to ride. (I really need to get going!!)
He smiled: I had a horse just like that one there once. She was a national champion in reining and she won lots of jumping competitions too. She was something else.
He then went on to name several of his past horses and sung their praises. I was really getting antsy, but I stood there and listened politely. All of this took place in less than five minutes.
Finally, a car showed up way down the road.
The old man looked Bannie up and down one more time, then turned to me. "You have a beautiful horse. Enjoy him and thank you for listening to me."
Before I could say anything he drove away.
As I led Bannie over to the new pasture, I thought about his last words. "Thank you for listening to me." All I did was listen and nod my head, but he thanked me for it! I got the impression that he was lonely and he was touched that someone just took the time to listen, if only for five minutes.
I got to my competition with a little time to spare but even if I hadn't, five minutes wasn't that big of a deal. It was nothing to me, but it meant a lot to a lonely old man who loved horses.
Take time to listen…it could mean the world to someone and you might not even realize it.