Horses teach me lessons every day. Today it was a hard and joyous one at the exact same moment.
Earlier today I reached over and picked up the phone to call my Dad. I had some amazing news I wanted to share with him. It didn’t even hit me until I had the phone in my hand that he’s been gone two and a half years.
Dad wasn’t there to answer my call. He wasn’t there to hear the exciting news I had to share with him.
I can’t tell him that Zanny is going to have a baby! The great mare orphaned at only two months old is finally pregnant!
Zanny has been Mika’s number one all round horse, number one rodeo horse, number one heading horse, and number one ranch horse for almost 15 years. The go-to horse in any situation. Too important to stop riding and let her raise a baby. Until last year.
But last year turned into a horse breeders worst nightmare. Four long months of road trips back and forth to Montrose, vet bills, daily, and often nightly shots. A situation that required total dedication. But still no baby.
Blessings and Heartache
After a winter off, thank God, finally, that incredible phone call from the vet! A pregnancy, and now a heartbeat!
But I couldn’t call Dad and tell him. And that hurt.
Dad was especially proud of how Mika and Hardy made such a great horse out of Zanny. She was our pride and joy. An own daughter of Dad and my stud horse, and out of an incredible own daughter of the great Zan Par Bar. Her death was a tragic loss for our family. But now her daughter, is finally going to have a little one of her own!
One horse, Many Lessons
This one horse has shown me over and over how horses teach us many lessons. She has taught me to believe in the power of prayer and that our God who really does know when a sparrow falls (Matthew 10:29) has answered our prayers for Zanny many times!
Zanny is a walking miracle herself. Five years ago she kicked Hardy’s gelding square on the butt, but she was the one that came up crippled. Instinctively we knew it was bad. I jumped in my truck and trailer and headed toward Norwood where Mika, Hardy, and Zanny were while they took her to a local vet. But vet’s x-ray machine wasn’t strong enough to detect anything. So we packed her foot in an ice-filled inner-tube and I headed to my horse vet in Fruita, Colorado, Braden Shaffer.
Braden’s x-ray machine revealed a broken coffin bone. Some said put her down, some said, breed her and turn her out. But all agreed with that type of injury she was done. But Mika, Hardy, Braden, and I were determined to give her a fighting chance. Braden said it would be a long, slow recovery, but if she would take care of herself, she should heal. He wouldn’t tell us if she would ever be ride-able again, but we were determined.
And we were praying.
She was such a good patient it was inspiring. She spent two, very long months in a 12 by 24 foot stall, in a special shoe as a cast. During this time she showed me horses teach us about patience. Not once did she get mean or ugly during that long confinement. Not once did she not take her meds or not let me take her temp.
A month later when I was finally able to hand walk her in my indoor arena because the ground was soft, she was patient and kind. During this time she showed me that horses teach us about trust. She trusted I would not hurt her or allow her to hurt herself when all she wanted to do was jump and buck right there at the end of my lead rope.That would have been very bad on a broken bone.
Horses Teach Us About Dedication
Heading into month four I hauled in 20 pickup loads of sawdust into my covered, belting lined, round-pen where she spent the next six months. Only getting out to be hand walked for the first month and slowly building up to being ridden bareback only at a walk first in the soft arena dirt, then in the tall, soft, grass of my meadows the next four months.
At month nine I was able to trot her a little each day. Finally on month eleven I loped her a half a dozen strides.
At last the day came when I had to let her out of the round pen for the first time. It was almost 12 months to the day after her injury. I rode her to take a little of the edge off, but after 12 months of confinement she calmly walked a few feet away from me, wrung her neck, bucked straight in the air, and took off! She ran two laps around the pasture with me hollering “Easy!” and “Whoa!” at the top of my lungs! But no, she just kept running! And soon ran right past me, even with my arms flailing, over the only rocks in the five pastures. I watched sparks fly as her shoes hit the stones. . . and I . . . threw up. Yes, literally. Threw up! It was excruciating to watch. But she never took a lame step.
Through all this she taught me that daily dedication and prayer pays off. Simple care and a prayer each day led to her being able to run over those rocks and not be hurt.
Rocks in our own paths are often testimonies to our strength and ultimate success.
People wonder why I keep them around. It’s because horses teach me something every day.
Has an animal or a horse taught you a life lesson? If so, or if this story about Zanny has touched you, I ask you to share in the comments section below.
Thank you and God Bless!
Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address for permission is: Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419