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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)

TITLE: Our First Horse
By Pamela Reed
07/17/13


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Traveling down country roads, we have always loved looking at horses. They are so majestic and beautiful, and we have never noticed an unattractive horse. We are sure that they donít exist. We adored them and had definite thoughts about what it would be like to have some of our own.

My husband has always had large dogs; he had St. Bernardís as a child growing up. After our marriage, we had Saints, Great Danes, and Mastiffs. People used to say ďHeís not a dog, heís a horse!Ē We had so much experience with large dogs and we believed that a large animal would act like a large dog. In our mid-fifties, we decided to make a huge life change. We purchased a farm so that we could have horses.

We chose our first ďvictim.Ē Unprepared as we didnít have the fencing completed nor a horse trailer to move her, we set up a delivery day two weeks out. But one week later, a horse trailer pulled into our driveway and Bandy was in it! We thought we had another week to complete our fencing system. The dilapidated barbed wire system would not keep her in the pasture.

Think fast Ö. What would we do to keep a big dog in the yard? Rope her, of course! We have farm equipment, so placed one in the middle of the pasture with a rope attached. Our large animal experience would temporarily fix the problem until we finished the fence, or so we thought.

Bandy went nuts! She didnít want to be tied to anything. She pulled and jumped in the air and the rope got tangled in the equipment. Now she was panicked and out of control!

Looking back, we are now acutely aware that dogs are predators and horses are prey animals. There is nothing in their behaviors that are similar. What has kept horses alive for centuries is the fact that when they perceive anything harmful, they run. And run is exactly what Bandy wanted to do, but the rope kept her from leaving. Horses do well when they trust their keepers, but she didnít even know us. Fear took over.

This situation never crossed our minds, but failure was not an option. We had to come up with a plan to protect our new addition. We untied the rope from the equipment and led her into a stall in the barn. She understood what a stall was, she settled down quickly; but was now stuck in the barn. One of us ran to a farm outlet to purchase temporary fencing to keep her in the pasture until the permanent hi-tensil fencing was complete.

Several years have passed since that day and we have added six more to our family. Although we totally misunderstood their behaviors in the beginning; through their subtle gestures and soft nuzzles, we are learning more about them every day. They sense our every emotion and react to them. They have taught us patience, compassion, endurance, and love. We believe that they are Godís gift to our lives. Constantly deepening love for them has enriched our lives and we thank Him. Sometimes Godís plan takes us by surprise when we think we know it all, but the outcome is more fantastic than we could ever imagine.


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This article has been read 132 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Colin Swann07/20/13
Loved your article about horses. We bought our daughter her first horse some years ago. She has become an expert horsewoman over the years. Lovely, hobby - but extremely expensive. Thanks for sharing.
Genia Gilbert07/22/13
This is a unique approach to the topic, but you did it very well. You showed that what we expect is sometimes far from the reality of things. Good writing.
CD Swanson 07/23/13
Love all of God's creatures, and horses are equisite animals. Thank you for this interesting and clever approach to the topic at hand. Great job.

God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/24/13
I enjoyed this charming story. You did as nice job of showing me the horse's fear. I could easily picture it in my mind.

One thing you may want to consider is to start off with the conflict right away. Perhaps start with the horse's panic and then backtrack a bit about why you thought it would be like taking care of dogs. Since I didn't know who we was in the beginning, it took me awhile to get to know your characters. One way to fix it would be to say something Like: My husband and I traveled country roads looking for beautiful horses. That way the reader can connect a bit faster.

Overall you did a nice job though. I like how you sprinkled the topic throughout the story while still delivering a good message. Sometimes or maybe even most times in life, things don't turn out like we might expect, but you showed how to turn a mistake into something wonderful.
CD Swanson 07/25/13
Congrats! God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/27/13
Congratulations on ranking 5 in level 3 and 31 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.)