Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)
TITLE: Our First Horse
By Pamela Reed
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My husband has always had large dogs; he had St. Bernard’s as a child growing up. After our marriage, we had Saints, Great Danes, and Mastiffs. People used to say “He’s not a dog, he’s a horse!” 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 “victim.” Unprepared as we didn’t 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 …. 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 didn’t 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 didn’t 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 God’s gift to our lives. Constantly deepening love for them has enriched our lives and we thank Him. Sometimes God’s 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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