A Broken Heart That Only A Horse Can Fix

7 Nov

I came with tentative steps towards the beautiful blood bay. His eyes spoke of intelligence, his body exuded power and athleticism, and his face revealed a horse that would teach me lessons about life, love, and relationships. The withered cowboy tipped his hat, mistaking my hesitation for a lack of funds.

“Young lady, this is a fine horse,” he raised his hand and slowly ticked off all of his attributes. “He is worth every cent that I am asking. Tell you what, take him and try him for 30 days and give me $1,200 if you decide to keep him. I know you will keep him!”

He stepped back and gave me the lead line to the greatest horse I have ever known. He was registered and came from the Native Dancer bloodline. His name held hope, Raise Your Dreams.

Thirty days later I was the proud owner of a 16 hand blood bay with two hind socks, a star, a snip, and an attitude to match his beautiful body. He enjoyed rearing by throwing his head violently up and his athletic prowess carried his 1200 pound body up floating in the air, while his tiny rider, me, clung to his mane in sheer terror. He enjoyed stepping on me, biting me, and bucking in between jumps or while cantering.

I learned a painful lesson. One that Raise Your Dreams loved to teach. It was called, “If you want me to do what you ask, you have to make me want to do it.”

This was achieved by a faithful and kind trainer, Richard Uhlman, a European Dressage Trainer and Olympic Coach of Austria. He taught me the nuisances of riding. He taught me how to be a partner, not the boss of my horse.

Raise Your Dreams responded to this new found riding with love and respect. One day, Richard looked at me and said that he never thought my horse would be able to do these complicated moves. He paid the highest compliment, he said that Raise Your Dreams did them because he loved me.

Maybe I will never go to the Olympics, but getting that compliment was like winning the gold medal. My horse did tempe changes flawlessly, I rode him without a bridle and he would jump or do a side pass across the ring.

He became an extension of my thoughts. He had gotten into my soul, and I had gotten into his.

One morning, I was awoken by a dreadful thought, something was wrong with my horse. I drove to the barn only to find he had splintered his forearm and his bone porturded through his skin. I just knew that he woke me when he hurt himself. I could feel his pain, he could feel mine. It was not like any other relationship that I had ever had.

November 25, 2011 is a day that will be etched in my mind forever. My beloved Raise Your Dreams passed away. My eight horses were standing in reverence around his body as he lay in the stall. His life like his death was sweet.

For three days, I could not feed the horses. My husband had filled in for me, but he cannot feed and care for the horses like I do. The fourth day I told myself that I would take the step towards celebrating his life and feed my horses. That morning as I walked across the field to the barn, I prayed that God would show me that Raise Your Dreams was in heaven. Through tear rimmed eyes I stared up at the sky. Then a shooting star pierced the darkness. I knew it was a sign. I thanked God.

The next day, tears filled my eyes as I asked the same of God to show me that Raise Your Dreams was in heaven. True to God’s love a shooting star shot across the morning blackened sky.

The third day, I asked the same thing of God. This time, the shooting star not only shot across the sky but it quickly rose and dropped, like a bucking horse. I just knew that was exactly what I needed, there was no doubt that my beloved Raise Your Dreams was horse was bucking in delight.

When I die, I know I WILL be in heaven and riding a blood bay with two white hind socks, a star and a snip. He will tell me how I was such a hard student, and I will tell him how grateful that he never gave up on me.

Do you believe that animals go to heaven? There is no clear answer in the Bible. For a horse crazy woman, heaven surely cannot be heaven without my Raise Your Dreams.

I accepted Jesus as my savior on Friday September 1, 1995 and He has taught me that He will give me the desires of my heart if I delight myself in Him. He has given me more than I could ever ask for! I know with all of my heart that His delight will be when two hearts will join together once again. Only my horse can fix this broken heart that longs for one more long gallop.

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2 Responses to “A Broken Heart That Only A Horse Can Fix”

  1. billgncs November 7, 2012 at 6:54 PM #

    you did right, as much as it hurts, to celebrate their life is the highest honor you could pay.

    as far as horses in heaven, I don’t know but if my favorite Robert Louis Stevenson quote is any consolation:

    You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.

    If dogs, why not horses…

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