A number of years ago, we began to consider buying a couple of horses. After much research and consideration, last October we took the plunge. We purchased a team of Halflingers, a breed the height of a standard bred horse, but broader and more muscular like Belgians lending them to both pleasure riding and strength to work. Having never been horse-owners, we are on quite a learning curve!
While it is not uncommon for horses to lose a bit of weight in the winter, we were a little concerned that our gelding may have been too thin. I asked a horseman friend and he assured us that our gelding wasn’t unusually thin, but commented that our mare was “just plumb fat!” Over the next few days, however, we noticed that her abdominal veins were bulging, her belly was enlarging daily and her udder was even more noticeable than it was the week before! While I’m a novice, it seemed to me that we had a pregnant mare on our hands! I did some homework and got on the phone with my brother, Art to discuss my findings. His response was, “Sounds like you got more for your money than what you thought!” Within a couple of days our “plumb fat” mare delivered a strong, adorable filly!
Before the foal was born, Art encouraged me, “I’ll tell ya how to make this foal into a good horse, get on-line and learn all you can about “imprinting” the newborn.” I can guarantee you that those few days of anticipation were filled with studying! Our previous experience with horse training was watching burly cowboys on TV breaking wild and strongly resistant older horses. We certainly weren’t ready for that! Instead, breathing into the nose of the newborn, letting it sniff you, massaging its body, etc. creates a bond in those first few hours that will positively impact the foal’s response to humans from that day forward.
It took me a while to muster-up the courage to make my move. Observing her closely, my mind raced; “What if she is stronger than I? What if I do it wrong? What if I hurt her? What if I make her even more afraid? Lord, give me wisdom and a little strength wouldn’t hurt either!” I patiently waited for the perfect moment and will never forget the indescribable experience of wrapping my arms around that powerful bundle of life for the first time and feeling her succumb to my strength. I don’t know whose heart was pounding harder, hers or mine! My legs trembled, my heart melted and I cried as I stroked her little face, rubbed her belly and massaged her wobbly legs. What a precious, unexpected gift from God!
Before the second day was over, I was able to touch nearly every part of her body with little resistance from her. On the third day, my husband, Gary went with me and while he was lightly lying across her, I rubbed and massaged every inch of her body. She was nearly asleep when I began to repeatedly slip a soft little halter on and off her face. Gary quietly commented, “Isn’t she just an amazing little wonder?” By the fourth day, Little Wonder voluntarily left her momma, came to and sniffed me, put her head on my shoulder and allowed me to place a halter on her with no opposition!
With patience, persistence and consistency Little Wonder’s trust in us is growing daily. She is progressively learning that our desire is to help and not harm her. She wants to be near us as much as we want to be near her. She freely comes to us and often stands quietly in her standard position of training as if to say, “Teach me more!”
Working with Little Wonder kindles thoughts of my relationship with my Master. While there are many things that He does which I don’t understand, are uncomfortable and can be down-right frightening, I know that His desire is to help and not harm me. Regardless, I often resist His bidding. As He applies more and more pressure, however I finally succumb to His power and rest quietly in His arms.
“Lord, I’m astounded that you even desire to be in relationship with me! Thank you for loving me enough to not allow me to escape the pressure which causes me to depend upon You! My heart’s desire is to trust you enough to stand quietly saying, “I’m ready to learn more!” Thank you for the gift of this little filly that you are using to teach me more than I could ever teach her. She truly is an amazing Little Wonder!”
P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at: http://whole-heartedlife.blogspot.com/. You may also contact me at:
In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
505 Jefferson St.
Diagonal, IA 50845