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How Horses Teach Us Life lessons In Unusual Ways

Horses Teach

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. 

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My Dad

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! 

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Zanny enjoying some well earned R&R

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.

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Mika and Zanny getting ready for the mixed team roping with Robert Hawk

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. 

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Our daily ride

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.

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Zanny

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

 

 

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What Jesus and Easter Offer Us In Today’s World

Jesus

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He’s Alive!

Jesus and Easter

Have you ever thought about what Jesus and Easter really offer us? Especially in today’s world? This question could take us years to cover. But I would like to share some very personal thoughts about it this morning.

This Holy Week has been especially touching for me. As you now know I have been a bit hyper-emotional recently. This week has been no different. I mentioned earlier, it started with the Blood Moon on Passover and then moved to Maundy Thursday and the Last Supper, then Good Friday.

42 Years Ago

The love and intense emotions I experienced this week actually started 42 years ago. I still remember sitting in the children’s choir and deciding I had to give my life to Jesus. I clambered in front of all the little kids in my row and went to the front of the church and accepted Jesus as my Savior.

That childlike faith of a little girl has grown over the years into a life foundation.

Desperation

But the reason it is so vital, and allowed me such deep emotions this week is because 21 years ago, during a very dark time in my life, standing under a tree in my back yard I actually told God “If this is the best you can do for me, I don’t want you in my life!”

And I turned away from God.

Lock, stock, and barrel. Done.

The following 3 days were the darkest, emptiest, saddest, loneliest days of my life. I experienced No Hope on a level no words can really describe.

Having grown up in the church  I had never lived without the love of God.

But to consciously  make a choice to walk away from that faith and walk completely in “the world” opened my eyes to what people with no spiritual base experience on a daily basis.

That was the turning point in my life.

That old saying you have to get to the bottom before you can start to come back up was absolute for me.

No God.

No love.

No future.

No hope.

Resurrection

But then came the third day!

I was spiritually dead for 3 days.

But that third day God reached down and touched my heart. He brought me back to life. And set my feet on the path to today.

Without Him I am nothing. I can say that from experience. I was Nothing.

In reality I walked away from Him. I turned my back on God.

But, thankfully, He never left me.

So now, may I ask again, what does Jesus and Easter really offer us today?

It offers us life and love on a level that fills us to overflowing so it splashes out on those around us!

Love, indescribably, uncontainable love!

And Joy that is infectious!

What do Jesus and Easter offer us?

  • Life, full and eternal.
  • Peace, that passes all understand.
  • Happiness that no words can contain.

A Prayer For You

Wherever you go today, go with God my friends.

Father, in the name of Jesus, carry us today, to a higher place. A place in the cleft of your heart. That place of pure spiritual connection. Thank you for sending your Son to be our lamb.

In Jesus precious name I pray.

Amen

P.S.

Here is a link to the song, “He’s Alive!” A favorite of mine!

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:  Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

 

 

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Unconditional Love Dogs Give Lives Beyond Death

Unconditional Love

What really is unconditional love? Have you ever considered that? What constitutes unconditional love and where do we go to find it? I see it every day in so many forms. My constant source is God and His precious son, Jesus. But His creatures give it to me as well.

The outpouring of emotions readers shared this week on my Facebook Author page when I posted the story about Capitan, the dog that found his masters grave and stayed by it for seven years, touched me so deeply it made me pause and consider that depth of devotion. That kind of unconditional love.

It’s our deepest desire. To be loved unconditionally. To be treasured, cherished. But like so many of us, I’m a casualty of love. Twenty five years single has proven that. Thankfully, those long years have taught me just how wonderful God’s love is, and how healing His animals can be for the human heart.

Dogs Love Us

My horses love me, but I’m not sure it’s unconditional love. Unlike our dogs. There is no doubt in my mind that they love us unconditionally.

I see it every time I look at my own blue heeler, Pepper. Her unconditional love for me is evident every moment she’s near me. There are times she drives me nuts because she wants to touch me. But that is her way of knowing where I am, now that she’s blind.

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Miss Pepper

Even when I’m not around. My friend Lark  says she stays in my bedroom, usually on my bed, and waits for me to come home.

I accidentally ran over her head and popped her eyes out causing her to go blind but she still sees me as the center of her universe.

She is an inspiration to me everyday. She faces life not as handicapped and blind, but cheerfully, and as excited as a child. She’s happy to get up, go outside, run across the pasture with me, even when she goes to fast and runs into something. She is happy to be alive, and with me.

She would rather wait hours in the car for me than sit at home alone. She truly gives me unconditionally love!

But she is not alone in that unconditional love. After finding out about Capitan, the dog in Argentina that has sat by his master’s grave for 7 years, and tracking down the original story and his real photos of this beloved pet,

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Capitan ran away from home and has sat by his master’s grave for 7 years. (Story and photo credit La Voz Del Interior)

I found many similar stories.  Here are just a few with links to the original stories.

Kirby

Little Kirby is another dog whose unconditional love for his owner carried him miles away from every adopted home, back to his owner’s grave. Sharon Ratteree inherited Kirby when her daughter was killed only two weeks after adopting him. Kirby filled the gaping hole in Sharon’s heart after the tragic loss. But it seemed no one could fill the hole in Kirby’s heart after Sharon died. He found an escape from every enclosure, at every new home, and would make the trek back, no matter how far he had to travel.

The good news is he has finally found a home with another local resident Susan Wood. Susan saw Kirby’s story in the news and contacted Dave Willis, Sharon’s Grandson, who decided that Susan would be a perfect match for the heartbroken dog. Kirby now fills a void in her heart, after her own 18 year-old terrier died in 2007. “I had a big old empty spot, so the Wills’ family made it possible for Kirby to jump into that spot and take over,” said Susan. This little dog filled a new gaping hole, and is once again a happy dog.

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Kirby’s Mom’s Grave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciccio

In Italy, Ciccio walked to Mass every afternoon when the bells tolled with his Maria,  until she suddenly died. He followed her casket and attended her funeral at the same  church. But he kept coming back. Everyday when the bells tolled.  Now he lives at the church and attends every mass sitting at the front, where her casket laid, waiting faithfully for his master to return.   He has so touched the locals they have a Facebook page for him. I hope you will follow the link and “Like” it. His devotion is too great to ignore.

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Ciccio, still mourning at mass

Hawkeye

Many of us cried in 2011 when the news carried the touching photos of the loyal Hawkeye, at the funeral of his beloved Petty Officer 1st Class, Jon T. Tumilson. Tumilson, a U.S. Navy SEAL,  was among 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents shot down their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. At his funeral in Iowa, Hawkeye paid his last respects by walking up to the casket, laying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh. Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton, took the photo for family members that could not be at the funeral and for others that could not see the dog’s actions.  It has touched the hearts of all of us. We salute this brave soldier, and his incredible dog.

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Hawkeye     (Photo Credit Lisa Pembleton)

Cat’s too

Apparently even finicky felines are devoted and have unconditional love for us.  Another Italian pet, Toldo, a gray tabby, followed his beloved master’s, Iozzelli Renzo, casket from their house to the cemetery.

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Toldo (Photo Credit Corriere Fiorentino )

He returned later the same day with Iozzelli’s widow, Ada to the grave. The next day Ada and her daughter found a sprig of acacia on the grave. Ada believes it was the cat’s first gift to his beloved master. Since then the cat has delivered everything from small flowers and twigs to plastic cups and paper towels to the grave. He safely travels back and forth because everyone in the small mountain town knows the cat and where he is headed, though not everyone is happy about it. Ada said some people think having an animal in the cemetery is a desecration.  But the cat doesn’t seem to care, he just keeps sharing his unconditional love.

Link to More

I could go on and on, but instead I will give you this link to read about several more amazingly devoted pets. I hope you take a few extra moments to love your pets today. You obviously mean more to them than you have any idea.

God Bless you all during this especially Holy Week.

Copyright © 2013 Kristi Ross, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:  Kristi Ross, PO Box 133, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

 

 

 

 

 

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