A Place for All Women

Posts tagged ‘Trust’

A Walk with Willow

     There is a secret among some equine enthusiasts who desperately desire to own their first horse. One is good. But two are better. Three will love you. Four will thrill you. Five is uneven. And, six will complete you…unless you have room for one or two more.

     We already had five horses when Willow came looking for me.   She’s a six-year-old quarter cross, (half Quarter horse/half Tennessee Walker) seized with several others in a serious neglect case.
Since she was strong enough to survive on her own, rescuers attended to the sicker horses, and let her go out to graze.

     An unexpected email in my inbox asking if I might be interested in this black beauty peaked my curiosity. Since I didn’t go “looking” for her I thought it was safe to say this might be part of a grander plan. So, I put out a fleece like Gideon did in the Old Testament book of Judges. I asked God to confirm for me if I should attempt to take this untrained horse home. In my mind, if she let me halter her, and obeyed a few simple commands, then I had God’s “go-ahead” and Willow was mine.

     She did everything I asked and I accepted her obedience as a big bold YES from God.

     But then a few weeks later when it was time to transport her, she put up an incredible fight refusing all
attempts to load on the trailer. Three stressful hours later, with much persuasion, she finally submitted; but by then I was having second thoughts. The entire painful process left me walking on wobbly knees of wavering faith.

     By the time we got home she had settled down, she unloaded gracefully, walked slowly into the round pen, and posed for pictures.

     Then the rains came, the snow blew in, and the ground froze up.

     By the time the ground thawed all that was left was thick, slick, mud.

     I’m not opposed to suiting up in my outdoor armor…coveralls, neck warmer, insulated ski gloves, ear band, double socks, and muck boots but it was way
too dangerous to work with her. So, she stood her ground and I stood mine, squaring off like two gunslingers at high noon. I would move to the right, she would move to the left. I would move to the left, she would move to the right. I would reach for her halter and she would tremble and turn away.

     One friend recommended a natural supplement that would help calm her…it worked wonders…for two days.

     Another person suggested I ignore her, walk away, and let her stew in her own stubbornness. I did. She did. It only worked once.

     And finally another friend said, “This might not work. You may have to admit it was a mistake and send her back.” Thank God He does not feel that way about me. I probably would have been returned a long time ago.

     Since I am, at best, an amateur, I consulted a professional. The trainer recommended I be the only one to feed and water Willow so she would see I was now her sole source of survival.

     Willow understood. But, she is very smart and by Day 17 she was only inching up to the bucket of oats. She shuddered at the slightest move of my hand as I made many attempts to touch her.

     Remember, this is a horse I haltered and took for a walk the very first day.

     Since I believed God had given me the go-ahead to bring her home, I assumed she would respond to my requests. I was praying the whole time, but while I was dropping to my knees, my mind was already outside in the round pen. And, I struggled.

     One hundred days is the amount of time some of the Mustang tamers take…so that was the amount of time I told my friends and family I was prepared to train. What I really meant was more like two weeks.

     I was okay not being able to ride her. I just wanted to touch her. Hug her. Kiss her. I wanted her to recognize this relationship was good and I wanted her to love me. Those were the words that came pouring out when I was right on the verge of giving up.   And, my husband reminded me of the words spoken by Jesus, “…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”

     If you only read my horse stories you might think me a failure. I sometimes feel like a failure; well actually I feel that way a lot. But, then I go over to see the other horses and I am reminded to take my time and trust. As my husband gives me a leg up and I hop on our horse Judah who stands perfectly still out in the middle of our pasture…the wind blows, the sun beams down, and I thank God for the moment… remembering that in some ways Judah was once worse than Willow. It took me months to catch her and a couple of years before she decided she was as hopelessly in love with me as I was with her.

     Judah still walks away from me at times…she heads out as far away as she can get only to discover there is no one out there who will clean those little boogie things out of her eyes, there is no one to dig the packed mud out of her big flat feet, there is no one to prick the ends of their fingers picking cockleburs from her mane and tail… and she returns. She nudges me with her nose, let’s me kiss all over her face, bears up under the full body hugs I press against her neck, and she fully submits to the fact that I am her Alpha.

     So I decide yet again, to submit to mine. Every day I try to inquire of the Lord. There are days, sometimes weeks, when I don’t work with Willow. I try to be patient. She seems to be learning from the herd, so I let it be. There are other days when we accomplish what I consider to be serious milestones in her training. We are not all the way there. But the difficulties continue to draw me and I inquire again and again.

     Willow is becoming more social, allowing others besides me to groom, feed, and lead her.
I’ve been up in the saddle several times; and Sunday September 10th, with the help of my husband, son, and a
dear friend, I rode her in a few round pen circles. You can tell she’s a bit confused but she remained calm. We brought her home in December and I didn’t get to ride her for the first (2nd, 3rd, 4th…) times until September. I’ve now fully accepted that horse training cannot be measured in hours, but understanding…hers and mine.

     There were many late nights listening to praise music together. Mornings when all I did was sit close by and let her relax on my watch. I still find myself bypassing the prayers and running right out to the pen, anxious to see what we can accomplish. But, every time I think, “I’ve got this,” God reminds me that I train on his terms and his timetable. He’s going to do a mighty work in Willow. I can sense it. And, so, I wait.

“For the dream comes through much effort…”

Ecclesiastes 5:3

 

“Breaking a pony is the fast way, gentling a pony is the sure way.”

~Grandpa Beebe, Misty of Chincoteague

 

“Ask often, be content with little, reward generously.”

~Jack Brainard, Legendary Horse Trainer

 

God often puts us in these places because no matter

how much we know, we still have to be reminded.

~Greg Mangrum, Farrier

How is God working in your life?

What is He teaching you?

What draws you to Him time and again?

Do you inquire of Him or go it alone?

 

© Copyright 2017, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserved

Trust me Moses!

          Sometimes, trust is the only thing that stands between us, and the life we were meant to live.  Or a stubborn streak keeps us from seeing what God has for us. Even worse, rebellion blocks our view, when what is waiting for us is not only what we need, but what we want.Moses happy herd

          We just fought our way through three days in a desert of distrust…Moses and me…my dad…the owners of Sycamore Valley Ranch, a couple of friends, a new vet, a vet tech, a fellow boarder and then there were the well-wishers and YouTube trainers…and count on it, this “horse tale” will preach!

          It all started with an opportunity to move our horses closer to home. The decision to leave an Moses Ranchamazing ranch was difficult enough, without Moses making the most of every opportunity to stay.  But, divine encounters, are often unexpected…and interruptions, in our normal routines, almost always tell us more about ourselves than our momentary circumstances ever could.

          Moses has never had trailer trouble, as far as we know. When we went to get our foster horse, on a cold and rainy day in March, he was Moses on trailer 2ready for a ride. So it never even occurred to us what we were going to encounter, or how his resistance would cause us to question the bigger message in the mess. Much like his namesake, our Moses did not react the same way twice.

          In Exodus 17, God told the original Moses to “strike” a rock in order to get water. And, he did. But, flip over to Numbers 20 when God tells Moses to “speak” to the rock and, we find out, he didn’t. His willful disobedience was one of the worst things that could have happened to him. Continue into the book of Deuteronomy and we discover that Moses got to see The Promised Land, but he never got to put his foot in it. Forty years in the desert and a lack of trust, stubbornness, or all out rebellion kept his feet firmly planted in the wilderness.


And that brings us back to our Moses. His feet were planted right outside the horse trailer where I threatened many times to leave him. He had watched his brother, Gideon, get on the trailer and head for Moses and trailerhome. Shadow, Star and Judah all jumped right on. But, Moses, well, he was having none of it. If you’re a horse person, I can almost hear you saying, “I’ve never seen a horse I couldn’t load onto a trailer.” We had those same discussions. Pressure/release, endless lunging, Join Up, small trailer, large trailer, withholding and reward, making the wrong thing hard, the right thing easy, and I could keep going. It didn’t work with Moses. His mind was made up. Despite visual signs of depression, due to being separated from his herd, he wouldn’t go.

          I don’t doubt there might have been some fear associated with the situation. My Dad jokes that Moses saw the others leave on the trailer and not come back, so he wasn’t about to get on and go. But, what I saw was an obstinate, determined, rebellious, willful, disobedient horse that is normally gentle, Moses defiantwell-mannered, and the first to meet you in the pasture. So, why would this happen? We all asked ourselves that more than once during the time it took to bring this bad boy back around to our way of thinking.

          And, yes, we prayed. We rebuked. We laid hands on his self-inflicted injuries. Rebellion can be very painful. In the end, God answered our prayers. Moses didn’t have a change of heart and hop on the trailer, like we all hoped. But, God did send a compassionate, caring, veterinarian to help us and to help Moses. How do we know God sent him? Well, maybe it’s because he just happened to be coming to see another horse at the exact time we ran out of strength, energy and determination.  The Doc offered to give Moses a small injection of sleepy meds, like they often use to load race horses, but even then, it still took six of us to hoist Moses’ 835-pound body up into the trailer.

          The medication wore off quickly.  Moses enjoyed a little “Scooby Snack” on his way home and, when Moses herd runninghe stepped off the trailer 35 minutes later… there was his family… his herd…running to meet him.

          So many times, during the stress, the frustration, the 90-degree heat, the “what are we going to do next” mode, we kept trying to tell him, “Moses, if you only knew what was waiting for you, you would go.”

          And, that’s where I think we are most of the time. We’re afraid to trust, so we just go with stubborn.  We put our feet down and refuse to budge when God is trying to lead us.  But, willful disobedience and rebellion have to be dealt with if we really want the best that God has for us. It’s so easy to plant our feet in a comfort zone, or fear what is out of sight, when, what is up ahead is so much better than anything we could ever obtain on our own. I suspect God also says to us, “If you only knew what was waiting for you, you would go.”

          I’ve heard two messages on endurance since all this happened and one message on how I need to trust. So, trust me, Moses, I’m wide-awake and listening!Moses in grass

Is there some area of your life you are refusing to surrender?

Do you feel afraid, stubborn or rebellious?

Moses on back

It’s okay, God is amazingly patient.

But, the sooner you come around to his way of thinking, the better off you will be!!

Just trust Him. 

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. —Psalm 20:7

 

Trust in the lord and do good;

dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. —Psalm 37:3

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make your paths straight.” —Proverbs 3:5-6

© Copyright 2015, KeziahCarrie.  All Rights Reserve

 

 

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: