10 years before I married Kevin (in 2002) I gave up horses. The LORD showed me He wanted my energies, focus and finances on people. Surrendering the horses to Him was difficult; it took Him a decade to persuade me to let go completely. I was very sure that the tie to them was severed for good: for my good. I was living in town when Kevin met me; even my old dogs were gone.
But early in our courtship, Kevin brought up the fact that he'd want to live in the country and if we did, we could have a horse.
I immediately explained that you can't have just one horse. They are herd animals. One horse would not be happy. He said, OK, we can have two, then.
And interestingly, he asked about Morgans.
Kevin knew only a little about horses. He'd ridden a few times. But, he'd seen the old, Disney movie, Justin Morgan Had a Horse, and that was enough to sell him on the breed. It just so happened (which was one way the LORD gave this whole thing His blessing) that the best horse I'd ever owned or known had been a Morgan. She was a saint among equines. So, after we were married, and had purchased property, I began to look for our Morgan. Criteria: gorgeous, athletic enough for dressage, and brave enough to start a dynasty.
Because we had decided to maintain Ag exemption by having a breeding stallion, we needed something special. We'd named our Ranch: Rhema Ranch. Rhema is the spoken Word of God. (Logos is the written word). We found the horse we wanted in Billings, Montana. We spent most of the long trip home thinking of what to call him (his registered name was Be Bold Carlos Linsley.)
We decided to call him Rhema Reliance: Rely for short. And although the list of admirable qualities for Buck is lengthy, Rely's best characteristic is his reliance on us. We are his life.
Initially, I had plans to train him for dressage. We bought him for his amazing movement.
But, Kevin and I soon found out we liked driving. It was something we could do together. It has so many parallels in it to our life together in Christ. So, Rely was sent to a trainer: an amazing trainer who understood him perfectly. He came home three months later beautifully trained to drive. Tom almost couldn't trust us with him after the rapport they'd developed. Their bond was so obvious that I was a bit jealous!
Recently, I was wondering if we should part with Rely, so that he would be in the hands of someone more skilled at driving and could thereby realize his potential. I don't want to lose him, but, I want to be sure I am not holding on to him too tightly.
Although, it may still be God's will that we lose him, for now at least, I've got the LORD's permission to keep him. And enjoy him.
Rely isn't as patient, or obedient, or compliant as Buck. But, he is reliant. He comes when he sees us; he watches every move we make. He is mouthy. He has unflappable assurance he is wanted. And he snores. I've never known a horse before that snores!