The Hoof Print
Horse News. Christian Living. Equine Education
The Christian Equestrian's Literary "Stamp" in Type
eQuest For Truth Celebrates 10 Years Featured
Ten years - a Decade! eQuest For Truth celebrates being on the web for a whole decade!
I can't help but consider it a reason to rejoice! What a "memorial stone" that speaks of the Lord's provision and His plan!
Is this website as full and developed as I had hoped and planned and dreamed for in 10 years? No--but it has served a small purpose in the Lord's service and I am so blessed to have been apart of its history and formation. It is a very small light - yet, the Lord has used this little article archive website specific to Christian apologetics to 1) grow me in so many ways, 2) encourage dear readers that have written sharing with me their testimonies and 3) to be a resource to get horse lovers and fellow Christians a start or reference for Biblical study. It's been a journey of "grand ideas" to harmonize with the Lord's plan. Being someone that my Mother told when I was 16, "Rebekah, you don't have to accomplish everything in life by the age of 17!" --well, the Lord's been constantly refining me in this process of becoming aligned with His purpose for eQuest For Truth!
This all just didn't happen. The history of eQuest For Truth all actually started long before 10 years ago.
Since becoming a Christian at the age of 5, there has been a recognition and growth in understanding that all of us who profess Christ are called and enlisted into His service. In addition, we are always equipped by Him for the specific tasks He gives us. That equipping may entail a motivation to forge the difficulties of developing skills with hard won diligence or perhaps it comes as gifts just plopped in our laps as strengths by His hand. It's a journey of preparation and one we're always on until we go to be with the Lord.
Through the seasons of growing up - I had been involved in children's ministry or volunteering with organizations that served the
special needs community since the age of 12, even serving as a camp counseller when not much more than a girl myself at 14. By the time of high school, I was living the small farm dream on my parent's 10 acres, starting a few Quarter Horses to ride and planning to start a small business training cart horses for children and teach riding lessons. By the age of 17 we were moving to a 300 acre farm, I was teaching children how to ride horses and managing our family's small pony business, Bar H Farms and taking in Miniature Horses and Shetlands training them for riding and cart ponies. It was a successful venture for a season of joy of doing exactly what I wanted to do in life. At the peak, I was managing 30 horses and ponies, foaling out 7-8 of the world's cutest pony foals each year and marketing horses online. Riding lessons were seasonally consistent with a troup of children, some only a few years younger than me, I was teaching the basics. By the age of 20, it was time to prepare for Certification with the Certified Horsemanship Association (though not currently teaching, I still hold a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor certification--just in case!).
Through many encounters with children of tender age telling me about their broken home lives--God was working on me. I became more and more aware that this grandeous idea of mission work only happening in a compartmentalized setting or abroad was a small outlook. The challenge of sharing the Gospel was pressed upon me. How could I of all people do something so drastic during a riding lesson? "But Lord I'm a Nobody!" and "Skillful Weaving - A Testimony" are both testimonies to this struggle and real start to what led to eQuest For Truth--when all my glorious ideas of "ministry" had to be brought out of the clouds, applied where it counted for strategic, God given opportunities and became apart of my daily life.
Through my work with horses and the process of becoming a creditialed riding instructor--I was confronted with evolution. If you spoke out against or questioned the theory--well, you were just considered dumb and one of "those"! Children were constantly asking me questions about the frog, ergot and chestnut - the very parts of the horse that Darwinian evolution seized upon as vestigial digits. I was fired up. Through my youth, my elder brother had become very involved in the Creation ministry and I tagged along with gaining interest. It was time to have a resource for children and fellow Christians that was evolution free. I had such a burden not to mislead these dear little impressionable lives I had for so many short minutes a week.
Through the ministry of Dr. Jobe Martin's Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution, ten years ago, I was aching to do something about horses and their design that could point children to their Creator. I had found that through my students' desire to learn about the horse--it was an open door to introduce them to Jesus Christ Who was the first horseman and rejoiced in their delight of a creature He created just for them to enjoy! At this time, I was also teaching a homeschool elective for a local homeschool coop about horses and was applying myself to write a small booklet called "Understanding Horses from a Biblical Perspective." The previous Fall, opening my Strong's Concordance, the study began as I painstakenly looked up every equidae related Bible verse and found treasures to inspire the Christian horse lover.
All these varied efforts, experiences, encounters came together.
Seeking the support and writing of scientists like Dr. Jobe Martin, Dr. Jean K. Lightner, etc. and using some of the articles I had written--my work began and the website materialized. Even the name "eQuest4truth.com" was available! The little, tiny graphic design interest I had and basic website building I had learned through marketing ponies--started to piece together. The idea was for me to coordinate and compile all the possible articles available specific to refuting horse evolution. There were some out there, specifically written by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, but what I found was that there were specific horse specific topics not addressed or geared fully to a horse loving audience. I had a lot of work on my plate and somehow I became the one writing the bulk of the articles instead of the "behind the scenes" gal just compiling information.
The first articles eQuest For Truth published are still all there.
- What About Equine Origins?
- Creation vs. Evolution
- Horse Evolution: Fact or Horse Manure?
- The Bible Stands
- The Bible and Evolution in Conflict
- God The Creator
- How Did We Get Chestnut Colored Horses?
- Equus in the Bible
- Equine Bible References
After ten years, there have been a huge list of people that have supported or encouraged this effort. Many served me as sounding boards, counselors,
contributors and reviewers. I thank you all for your taking me seriously and not sending me down the chute when I asked for assistance or advice! Specifically, I'd like to thank Vicki Watson and Firn Hyde for their partnership in updating the website's CMS/design and/or providing so many fantastic articles for the website. Their efforts behind the scenes and the hours of work to contribute what they have for several years are worth acknowledging.
To date, there have been Christians from the US, Canada, Brazil, UK, Ireland, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, India, Japan, and I can't remember all the other countries that have written feedback. Unfortunately, I don't know if all the seeds planted come to fruition. But-the job of eQuest For Truth is to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and give Him the glory...and let Him do the rest.
I want thank you, for taking your time writing this good message, [not long] ago I spent my time instead of reading [the] Bible... watching pornography... It immediately raise[d] a guilt in me, that cause me to search in Google the Message that can bring me back at the feet of the Cross [ofJesus]... I want to [thank] God for giving me [the Equest For Truth ministry], you know Bible says: all things work for good to those who love Him... I thank God again for lighting His fire and giv[ing] me the passion of reading His Word. Oh Lord, do not let m[e] grow cold, this [is] my prayer, keep on praying for me. I pray God to enlarge your ministries, you know when God gives a vision, He gives too [the] provisions to accomplish His work in us, now do not get weary to do good. I believe at due time you shall reap. May my Heavenly Father richly bless,D.R. via Internet
Since the growth to include "non-horse" related articles on "Quest For Christ" - this has been the greatest drive to the website. Articles on Purity and Contentment have remained only second to the Horse Evolution articles. A Christian's Twelve Practical Principles to the Path of Contentment; Ten Guidelines to Live a Pure Christian Life; (be sure to check out the 2015 blog posts series "Purity: It's Possible Even Today!" Most of my articles now are geared to "Quest For Christ" or find their home on the blog "The Hoof Print". The Lord has changed my life to be
drastically full and time for researching articles is limited and balanced with needful work, ministry opportunities and investing in my family. As eQuest For Truth was never intended to be the "personal" ministry of "Rebekah L. Holt" it is well that God chooses to keep me well harnessed in the daily grind and limit my word count! The term "Applicable Christianity" behooves us all and I certainly have my share of needing to apply first and sit at Christ's feet before writing an article about it.
What's the future for eQuest For Truth? I don't know fully. Yet, for now, it is evident that the Lord is not yet finished with this little website and He can continue the work. There have been very tough times of discouragement over that 10 years when I was ready to shut it all down. God always confirmed it was viable with sudden feedback from someone who had read an article and wrote of their encouragment. Who knows, perhaps the ideas for Discover Equus - an action packed horse curriculum for homeschooling families can materialize one day! That idea's been cookin' for a decade too!
Thank you for being apart of this journey!
On to living for Christ today...
Rebekah L. Holt
The Original Logo:
In a memorable passage of Job 39, God uses a horse (and a donkey) out of 14 mentioned animals as a reflection of God's own power and sovereignty.
God asked Job:
"Have you given the horse strength? Have you clothed his neck with thunder? Can you frighten him like a locust?
His majestic snorting strikes terror. He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength; He gallops into the clash of arms. He mocks at fear, and is not frightened; Nor does he turn back from the sword. The quiver rattles against him, The glittering spear and javelin. He devours the distance with fierceness and rage; Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded. At the blast of the trumpet he says, 'Aha!' He smells the battle from afar, The thunder of captains and shouting. Job 39: 19-25
There is an ounce of God's majesty that is reflected in His creature, the horse. A poise of dignity, spirit of challenge and an embodiment of strength dazzles our eyes as we watch horses move at liberty. Even a pudgy "Old Paint," when suddenly spooked, looks almost regal with head erect, nostrils flaring and tail up!
Strength. Thundering hooves. Mocking fear. Galloping through hazards. Devouring the distance with fierceness and rage. Thinking back 15 years, many horses could fit that category in my repertoire. Yet one story stands out specifically of knowing first hand how such strength and "mocking of fear" was encapsulated in two completely different horses as we raced down a center line of a busy Farmer Market Road!
The story begins...
It was the year I turned 15. We lived about 8 miles between two small Texas towns. Our home was a quaint, old farm house we had remodeled. The little patch of acreage was just 10 acres but we were surrounded by the aromas of East Texan pine trees and rolling hills of Bermuda. I often rode along the wide shoulders of the Farmer Market Roads and County Roads in a 5-6 mile loop. Many a day Acey and I trotted a good 2-3 miles to ride on Mr. Sonny's thousand acre cattle ranch. Or I might just decide to use my key to the gate of the 800 acres I was give special permission to ride on, not too far from our home.
This morning, I had saddled up Acey for a good 6 mile ride. We were to be joined by Sugar and her owner Billy Jo to ride along the busy Farmer Market Road. The path had wide shoulders and very hilly. It was just the type of weather that made you want to soak in all the sunshine possible.
Sugar was Billy Jo's barrel racing mare. Though just one of many horses Billy Jo's family owned, Sugar was treated with a bit more care than the family usually gave their horses. On the whole, the family was negligent. Horse hooves were to grow to a point of altering locomotion. Much of their breeding stock needed to be culled. The facilities were unsafe, dingy and not maintained. Yet, somehow--despite these tremendous set backs--the family had been able to get their hands on a few well bred Quarter Horses and raise some talented performance horses. Sugar was by far the most beautiful horse they owned. Surrounded by rusting pens that were a hodge podge of portable panels, tarps, tires, old tin sheds and weeds, Sugar was certainly a diamond in a very rough setting. Yet her quarters were so cramped. All her pent up energy was funneled into a sour, grouchy "I will bite you" disposition.
On the flipside, Acey was perfect! With all the loyalty and blinded love that engulfs a first horse relationship, I held Acey as the model of perfection, a standard to measure all other horses by. She was a happy horse that seemed to enjoy living and giving much joy to my life. Looking back, my fascination with this horse wasn't too far from the truth. Despite Acey's apparent conformational flaws that led to her lameness that I am no longer blinded to, Acey was just a wonderful, all-around horse that was a gift from the Lord. No, she didn't flex at the poll--but I didn't know that was a big deal then and it wasn't needed. And we learned together and some my happiest memories and most adventurous dreams were on my friend Acey!
But getting back to the story...
Acey and I trotted up the road to our rendezvous, Sugar was there in all her glory, ready to go, chomping at the bit, anxious to charge forward. Acey and I just ambled behind Billy Jo and Sugar for the first half of the ride, careful to be alert for spook hazards.
Billy Jo was confident in the saddle, little heeding the caution that my natural timidity always kept me from ever being too relaxed on the trail. Though Acey was "perfect" - she was capable of spooking at a surprise bunny or an unknown rustling in the woods.
It was uneventful. We talked about horses, watched the vehicles pass us by, drank in the sunshine and ambled along.
Relaxed more than ever, Billy Jo took her feet out the stirrups as we passed the residence of Duke and his wife Fancy. Their house pin pointed the last two mile stretch for our ride.
Duke and Fancy were a unique couple I knew only from a distance. Duke was a massive, muscular man a little later and crustier in life. He was a hairstylist and specialized in permanents and hair color for little old ladies. Thinking of the size of his hands, his towering 6'4" height and the rugged, western image he cut - it was the LAST thing you would have suspected. All I really knew about Duke was that he was a coarse beer drinking man who's only redeeming quality, I thought, was that he owned a fabulously conformed Quarter Horse halter bred stallion.
As Billy Jo and I walked past Duke's place, something in the bushes bolted -- and so did our horses. I was able to get Acey in check, but in the blink of an eye, Billy Jo was on the ground and her mare was galloping straight back the way we came...up the busy Farmer Market Road!
My heart raced!
In my youthful ignorance, I sped Acey in the most hair raising chase, trying to catch Sugar, leaving Billy Jo far behind.
It was just like the westerns. All I needed was a pistol, bandana and a lariat rope! I was in a state of growing alarm. Sugar, who was running with all her might, would run out in the busy road, or worse, get out on the open Highway that was only about a 1/4 mile further north. We could get hit! Or maybe she would just run away and never stop.
As the two horse race sped along, Acey and I were gaining ground on Sugar. She did take the dreaded turn on the Farmer Market road (though not toward the Highway) and I worked to stay on her tail.
Heart was pumping, hooves flying and cars were approaching. And Rebekah was praying audibly! "Help me Jesus!" Acey just couldn't quite get up to the racing mare's speed, try as we did. And Sugar was as inspired for freedom as a released convict!
The race continued - straight down the middle of the center line--literally. Sugar was on the center line and Acey and I were right behind her. We were in a low spot and I never looked back - but cresting the hill ahead of us, I could see vehicles coming!
We couldn't head the mare off. Then we came to the rail bridge. Vehicles began to stop or slow down. Sugar halted at one point to rest while Acey and I, with a couple of men on foot tried to head off the escape mare. We thought we had her cornered. Yet, she evaded all our attempts for capture and no sooner did I have hold on the rein--she took off like an escape artist.
By this time, I had worked myself up into a real panic. We were getting no where. I was worried about Acey. I was scared to death. And I was practically yelling "Help me Jesus" every 5 seconds at this point! Where we going to be hit by a vehicle? And what happened to Billy Jo?
Sugar shot uphill on the shoulder and I did too. Out emerged a truck with two men shadowing us along the road to help keep Sugar off road.
As the hot wind stung my face and I ducked through the trees, it dawned on me. Sugar was headed for home. And I had left Billy Jo far behind. We had now traveled at least 3 miles at a full gallop. I was exhausted, my horse was exhausted. It was hot. I was drenched in sweat and Acey was so wet- it looked like we had taken a dive into a pond!
There was no use heading back. I needed now to get help for Billy Jo. The two men followed the us and the pace became a little less furious as Sugar continued to lead the way to her home. I jumped off Acey into the arms of Billy Jo's mom and in broken, tearful sobs let the family know what had happened. Billy Jo's brother sped off in his truck and I satisfied myself with a short, lusty cry.
Suddenly, my focus turned to Acey, my faithful little mare that was practically wheezing and dripping with perspiration. Her feet were tender and she staggered around as we walked her to cool her off. My mother had always told me that such a drastic impact on the horse and such strenuous, sudden activity could trigger laminitis and even break a horse's wind. We walked for a long time. Acey was stiff but her wind began to regulate and the rasping sound began to subside. I gave her several days rest and remarkably, she was no worse for wear. Whew - that had me worried!
Bubba soon brought Billy Jo home. They were uncertain whether she broke her ankle or twisted it and were headed to the doctor for x-rays She had limped to Duke and Fancy's house and simply waiting for how it would all turn out. I would have thought she could have made a phone call! Incidentally, she had torn a ligament in her leg and had to wear a brace for a while.
My centerline sprint ended my rides with Billy Jo. But I did learn first hand how the flight of a horse truly is like what the Bible said in the book of Job: "He devours the distance with fierceness and rage!" The Bible, as always, had it right and very relevant.
I also learned later on in life that you make sure your people are the first priority. Check their safety. Yet, despite all blunders, it was evident the Lord had His hand on the whole situation. And of course, one teen girl and two horses provided a completely free performance worthy of the greatest adventure ever seen on the Silver "B-Rated" Western Screen.
God Used a Horse…
To Express His Love For Me
Plans shattered. Tears of failure. Guilt. Grief.
All these were mine as I looked at the firstborn of my prized buckskin American Shetland stallion. All year I had waited for this specific foal. When it came to the crucial moment of delivery, I had proven totally useless to assist the laboring mare and in some ways, had ignorantly overlooked the “signs of trouble”.
How could I have done such a thing? I had been there with her! I had been preparing myself through reading, talking to other breeders and the veterinarian. I had read horror stories about foaling situations with ponies. I was diligent to try to study up on the subject of prevention of a bad foaling situation. The responsibility of helping dystocia cases was a worry that endured through the whole foaling season and kept me checking the mares around the clock for weeks prior to their delivery. But despite all my efforts, when it came down to it, I still “missed the boat.” The foal died.
With trepidation, I sought my veterinarian for help. Tell me what to do next time. What can I do? I have so many more mares set to foal out. He told me to not be afraid of assisting the mare and sent me home with palpation gloves and sterile lubrication. The vet also told me, well, in all honesty, due to the placenta removing like Velcro from the uterus with every contraction, there was a very tiny window of time to save a foal in a dystocia case. Horses have a very quick delivery (or rather should!) and with every contraction, the placenta and uterus comes apart progressively. Our 20 minute drive to the vet would have likely been too late anyway…by the time the mare could be hauled, etc., etc. It would have still been up to us, the owners. Plus, this filly was 3 weeks overdue. The foal was large for a first time mare. The mare would have had to have help even if the foal had been in the right position. And the fact the foal was coming “crown first”, the vet suggested it could have been an indication she was not wholly healthy. Later, we traced the culprit to be fescue toxicity and indeed, the symptoms of an overdue pregnancy and dystocia all coincided.
That night, I once again pulled out the foaling book and fortified my “foaling kit” box. Sleeping restfully was impossible. I felt like a bad steward of what God had given me charge over a beautiful small herd of American Shetland ponies. How was it possible I had failed the first time out and neglected even to heed my conscience that kept pricking me that something was “wrong” before it was too late? I mourned my ignorance and lack of experience. It was not just a mistake—it entailed a life and loss. This filly was a prize—a well-marked bay tovero with a dishy head the very first foal by my beloved Bucky and Bonnie. What a loss of time, life, money, preparation, energy, effort. Bonnie was thankfully going to heal up alright with some 3-4 times a day care and high powered medication to fight infection and inflammation. However, due to the trauma, the veterinarian said she would likely never be able to carry a foal again.
From then on, fear and dread gripped me as I watched the bulging stomachs of the remaining expectant broodmares. I found myself praying repeatedly to God, please help me! But despite a peace knowing God did hear me, there was a fear of a repeat situation and a true concern I would possibly fail again.
Like a hen, those mares were hovered over! Ruby and Dee were next.
Ruby and Dee were veteran “no help needed” older mothers that liked to foal late at night or in the wee hours of morning. They were inseparable like two little old-fashioned ladies that were always seen together. Their world was pretty settled without a care. Despite my anxious hovering, they just munched casually on their grass heedless to any greater concern than an occasional swish at a fly.
My vigorous routine of “around the clock” checkups started with the first signs of their “bagging up”. They were both expecting foals by our homozygous black tobiano stallion, Ryan. However, I had read how even good mares could still have “problems. These were our family favorite mares. To have them in a difficult delivery or possibly lose their foals (who were always some of the best of the crop), would indeed be a devastation from every angle.
The day arrived and Dee made her approach toward “any moment” foaling out. That night, I kept her up close to the house. With a full moon shining through the blinds of the window by my bed, 1 am, 2 am, 3 am, 4 am rolled by only to reveal her marching on foot along the fence line and whining to her pasture buddy who oddly didn’t stay close to her through the night. I knew enough about Dee’s patterns of foaling, she could “go” any moment…why did she wait? Yet, dawn broke, still no foal and Dee’s evening activity had merely left a worn path bordering the cross fencing. I turned her lose and down the pasture she trotted gleefully to join Ruby.
The morning wore on with occasional glances down toward the end of the 40 acre pasture where Ruby and Dee grazed. The pasture, though narrow and long, was treeless providing a clear view with binoculars at the far end. As these mares always foaled at night, I expected another worrisome night of broken sleep. Yet, around noon, walking to the front window overlooking the pasture, I parted the sheers and peered out through binoculars—my heart stood still.
Dee was in labor!
With all the panic surging with the urgency of needing to be on hand to “save the foal”, I dashed on a pair of rubber boots, ran to the barn to grab my kit and jumped in “Brownie” our 1989 brown Chevrolet standard shift pickup. With a racing heart, I shifted Brownie into 2nd and as I approached the laboring mare, I attempted to “quietly” barrel down the dusty driveway! I arrived in time to see a blinking, breathing, beautiful robust silver dapple tobiano colt laying in a carpet of clover and primroses. Dutiful Dee “spoke” to her colt in soft, fluttering of her nostrils with gentle, deep sounds I’ve only witnessed by mares to their newborns. It is the tenderest and most loving sound any animal could make.
Oh, he has a paint! And look at those white stockings! And a little star on his forehead! Awww! Oh thank you Lord, thank you Lord! Aw, Dee, aw, he’s so cute!
As my heart poured forth in ecstasy (and yes, I did “talk” to the horses many times!), I glanced over to Dee’s buddy, Ruby who never was too far away.
To my astonishment, the little red mare, who celebrated over the new arrival with little nostril flutters of her own, was acting strange! With a suddenly strutted udder, she walked around the baby and Dee and dropped down.
AH! Another one in labor in the middle of the day! Ruby in a matter of a few more minutes was making sweet sounds to her own stunningly handsome black and white tobiano colt. And I was so “unneeded” with no time to do anything but grab a camera and leap for all the joy that can be leaped for by a horse lover with two brand-new baby paint ponies only about 24” tall!
The reality of having witnessed a unique, almost miraculous circumstance was not lost on me. Two mares had foaled within a few minutes of each otherwithin a few feet of each other! The day was beautiful, sunny, blue skies and the backdrop of primroses, deep and light greens of spring was both glorious and memorable.
As I looked on at the lovely scene before me, I was overcome with the reality the Lord had “lowered the waters” for me. These mares were due several weeks apart. I had never heard of two mares delivering in the middle of the day, full sunshine and out in the open and rather socially! Neither had my veterinarian who I wasted little time in telling of this wonderful delivery! No, the Lord had not let me fail. Instead, He got it all worked out for me and had it all taken care of before I could do a thing. He also gave me a gift and did something that meant something to me. I loved being the first on the scene to witness the new little one. He reinforced that He knows me in a special way. No—I refuse to believe this circumstance was by chance. It was by His appointment I didn’t miss that quick foaling by the typical noon tradition of eating a sandwich. In a course an hour, all my dread, worries of inadequacy were overshadowed by the joy of new life and a real understanding the God who created me and endowed me with this love of horses really did something for me—Me, Rebekah—very personally. It was done in a way not asked for, but a real, delightful gift that gave both peace and tremendous delight. Photos were snapped and snapped to capture these fleeting, special moments of spindly new legs learning to bear weight (Brownie and I had to race back to the house to get me little 2 MP digital camera and a few excited siblings!).
“Dusty” and “Galloway” certainly grew to be rambunctious, fluffy colts. They were a delight to watch grow. Around Christmas, together they headed up toward Oklahoma to charm a big Indian family with extended families of youngsters. The following years, Ruby and Dee returned to their uneventful, nocturnal traditions of foaling leaving me to still hover through the night while they just went through motions like pioneers.
To some, it may not seem like much. But for me, Ruby, Dee, Dusty and Galloway were just a few pretty little horses that God used to express His love for me in a special way and provide a tangible, lovely reminder. God certainly used a horse. ><>
God Used a Horse
Rebekah L. Holt
At this present stage of life, my every day is not orbiting the horse circuit. Like many adults, my course is filled with responsibilities and much unlooked for change, change, change that are all in accord with the Sovereignty of God. There have been times I have even so much as declared myself as a "has been" when thinking of my present equestrian endeavors.
Yet, while typing at this keyboard, I can still see the mellowing scars of yesteryears moving rhythmatically with motioning knuckles. Tributes to adventures of working horses. These hands themselves could tell various stories to match the various scars of both service and stupidity!
It has been a time of recounting the years horses have been a part of my life. Though horses are by no means “a thing of the past”, reminiscing of a very equidae immersed period in my life has brought to mind the many lessons I have learn. Most of those lessons, the Lord has used the horse as a catalyst to draw me closer to Himself. Just as many medicines require a “spoon full of sugar” to go down pleasantly, I think the Lord used horses as an agent to sweeten some of the lessons He has been teaching me.
I have often expressed that if Creation leads to Christ, then horses can be an instrument of the Lord to teach us of Himself. It is true! God uses the things we love to draw us with a magnetic attraction to Himself! The Lord also prepared the very gifts He gives to captivate us and to reflect the character, nature and goodness of our Creator and Giver in a way we can "take home" or digest. As Scripture simplifies it, "Go to the ant." Creation does declare the glory of God and we have much to learn from it!
Thinking over how the Lord has used horses in my life, it has been a growing desire to write down some of the stories and recount the many blessings of a very unique opportunity the Lord allowed me. I hope you will enjoy this journey...
1# As a type of "introduction" to this series, I dusted the cobwebs off this this old little story written for children. For some of you, this is old, repeat material and you'll smell the mothballs! This was written when I was 21--the very year eQuest For Truth began!
Created To Love Horses: A Life Not By Chance
Rebekah L. Holt
In the beginning, when God created all things in just six days, He thought about you and me. He made the universe, the earth, and all living things—the animals and the first man, Adam, and woman, Eve—so one day we could enjoy life.
The Creator has made each of us for a special purpose. Before you or I were born, He already knew what He had planned for our lives.
Let’s look through my scrapbook. It records The Creator’s unfolding blue print—a Master Plan—for my life.
When I was just a small baby in my mother’s womb, my parents didn’t know what I would grow up to be. My grandparents wondered whether I’d be another boy. My older brothers hoped I’d like trucks, frogs, and Lego blocks.
Only The Creator knew what I was made for. He created me to love horses.
My love for horses started early. I was only a toddler with a sunbonnet and lacey dress when I stole away to sit on my family’s backyard pony. My mother was frantic, but “Sugar Plum” lay fast asleep, stretched in the warm Spring sunshine. I waved a dimpled hand to the slumbering pony while Mom carried me to safety.
As I grew, my parents taught me that The Creator wanted me to know Him. They read the Bible to me. I learned about God’s perfect creation at the very beginning of time. Then we read about Adam and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden. Their sin caused bad things in the world to begin happening. People, animals, and all creation started to grow old and die. Aches and pains were caused by sin too.
As my parents and I talked about pain and suffering, I recalled crying when old Doc, my brother’s horse, kicked me. That was very painful! My leg throbbed so badly; I thought it would fall off.
Then Mom and Dad told me about Jesus Christ. “God does not want us to stay sinful. He does not like us to suffer or experience pain. That’s why He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus suffered for all man’s sin on the cross and rose from the dead that every sin—yours and mine—could be forgiven. When we ask forgiveness for our sins and ask Jesus to be our Savior, God promises in the Bible that we will one day live with Him in Heaven, far away from death, pain and suffering.”
I wanted to know Jesus Christ and live with Him in Heaven. My parents prayed with me as I asked Jesus to be my Savior and forgive my sins. I was just six years old when I became a Christian.
When I turned ten years old, I longed to have my own horse. Daydreaming, I would doodle pictures of "my horse” and write stories too. I liked to read about Jesus riding on a donkey and look at my Bible’s pictures of Jesus’ horse in the Book of Revelation—proud, white, rearing. I thought I’d like to ride a horse like that!
As the desire to own a horse grew stronger, my parents encouraged me to pray. “Bekah, God knows what He has planned for your life. If He wills for you to own a horse, He will open the doors for you. Let’s ask Him to guide and keep us within His Master Plan for your life.”
As we waited and prayed together, my parents provided opportunities for me to earn money for “Bekah's Horse Fund.”
The horse fund grew as I learned to work diligently and be responsible. My tenth year felt like it would never end. Sometimes it seemed that I’d never get a horse of my own. But The Creator had a plan for my life. Right before my eleventh birthday, He blessed the desire of my heart.
I’ll never forget seeing my filly for the first time. Her eyes were big and brown just like chocolate cookies. On her forehead was a crooked white star. Her rich, sorrel coat was splashed with mud from the wet pen she was kept in. I had never seen such a beautiful horse—Acey was mine.
When I turned twelve, I learned that The Creator equips us for every task that He has for us to do. I sure didn’t like my healthy size or big feet. But my Creator knew I needed a sturdy frame to train Acey, who was now two years old.
Setting to the task of teaching Acey to ride, I read books about training horses and my dad, who had good horse sense, gave me advice. He held Acey when I straddled her for the first time.
Acey was the perfect first "student" for a young trainer. She never bucked me off, but I still lost my balance. Once I went right over Acey’s head after I said “Whoa", and she really stopped! She just waited for me to get back in the saddle. I wondered, was I the trainer or maybe Acey was training me?
As I grew older, the Lord continued to guide my life.
He gave me enough horses to fill barns. There was Brisk, the chestnut colt I bought when fourteen. When I sat on Brisk the first time, it felt like riding a toothpick! He was so tall and slender. Scout, a golden palomino with a flowing white mane, was the first horse to buck me off when I was seventeen. It didn’t hurt as much as I expected! Then there was Bucky. He was a toy-like buckskin Shetland. Together we won a cart driving championship our very first show. Hosanna and Benevolence, adorable Shetland fillies, were born on my 20th birthday just the color I wanted them to be. That was a happy birthday!
Now I’m all grown up and I still love horses. Many horses have trotted by with my childhood, but the horse I prayed for as a little girl is still my favorite!
Acey and I are now horse riding instructors. An army of young equestrians arrives weekly to ride Acey and call me, “Miss Rebekah.” I guide their horsemanship skills as Acey teaches them to trust and ride with confidence.
These children were created, just like me, to love horses. Many want their own horses just like I did at their age. Yet not all understand that The Creator made them and that He has a unique plan for each of their lives.
Across the backs of horses, I sometimes share the news of Jesus, the Savior, to freckled or chubby faces that don’t know about Him. Their eyes grow large with awe of our Lord who made the horse so magnificent. We enjoy talking about The Creator’s amazing design of the horse’s body. Together we discover that according to Genesis 1:28, we were made to enjoy and care for our horses.
Looking through my scrapbook, I see that God has used my tender, childhood years to prepare me for what I was made to do. My life's blue print is still unfolding, but so far I’ve lived an abundant and fruitful life.
The Bible says that The Creator knows what plans He has for each of us. He even knew us before we were born. Our God has made us all with a unique purpose and a one-of-a-kind future―a life not by chance.
I know without a doubt, God created me to love horses…when a foal nuzzles my face with a velvety nose…Acey and I fly like the wind across the prairie…and I see the rich smiles of children astride a horse’s back. In the beginning, it was all part of His Master Plan.
I wonder what our Creator has made you for. Were you created to love horses?
Today I sit with my hands in my hair about my tack room. Well, I say tack room. I'm still not entirely sure if my bedroom has tack in it or my tack room has a bed in it. Either way, pandemonium reigns. Somewhere along the line one of the saddle racks fell down and now in order to reach the lunging equipment, you have to clamber over one of the saddles, probably tripping over a pile of halters in the process and rediscovering a lost exercise bandage, a bar of saddle soap older than you are, tiny stirrup irons you didn't even know you had and, quite possibly, Atlantis. It's madness. It's enough to make me wonder why I even have all this stuff and what possessed me to acquire all of it in the first place.
Then, half an hour later, one of the horses will have a temper tantrum and I will think, “I really need a standing martingale right now.” Never mind that I haven't used it for years – each horse needs a different approach, and often, a different piece of equipment.
Non-horsepeople must be utterly bewildered by the array of bits, boots, bridles, blankets, bonnets and miscellaneous gadgets that we horsepeople seem to require in order to complete what appears to be the relatively simple task of staying on top. There are variations of everything, from saddles to rein attachments.
Once again, horse training proves not to be so different from the rest of the world. Just as we have many different pieces of equipment, so there are even more different kinds of people. In fact, seven billion totally different human beings are alive today – there is nothing so diverse as the personalities of mankind. We all have our own ideas, opinions, feelings, passions, hopes, and fears. No two humans have ever been or will ever be identical. We are unique because we are Handmade – created with utmost care by the God Who loves us so. And yet we are all created for one simple purpose; for Him (Colossians 1:16, Revelation 4:11).
We are all under the same commandments. We are all created, saved, and cherished by the same God. One Lord, one Truth, one Word reigns over all of us. And we all have a common purpose. Why, then, are we all so different? How can a world full of unique people work for a single goal?
The answer lies not in why, but in how. All God's children work for one cause – His glory. And we all work for one reason – His love. But we all work in completely different ways, because we all have different gifts. God has given us strengths and talents for a reason. Each of us has a unique calling for which we were created.
Horse trainers would have a dreadful time if we were stuck with just one piece of equipment. Imagine trying to school a horse to perfection with just a bit. You wouldn't even have a bridle to hold it in the horse's mouth. It would be completely useless. But if you have the bit and a bridle, a saddle, stirrups, girth, saddle blanket – everything else you needed – then the bit would incredibly useful.
Of course, if you were a true master, and you had enough time, you could train a horse without anything. It's a good thing for us that God is a true Master. He can save this world and bring glory to His Name without any of us. He does not need us, but He wants us. All of us. As unique as we are.
If God had made all of us the same, it would be like trying to train that horse with only a bit. So He made us all different, each with something else to bring back to His Kingdom, each with something unique to contribute. Just like the horse trainer with all his diverse equipment, all tools in his hand to achieve the one goal of training that horse. 1 Corinthians 12 says that God has diverse people, all tools in His Hand to achieve the one goal of bringing Him glory. United by Christ, not by similarity.
We are not all called to be prophets. We are not all called to be songwriters. We are not all called to be nurses. I'm a horsewoman. Maybe you are a housewife, pastor, carpenter, accountant, banker, bus driver, architect, doctor, farmer, police officer, CEO, ironworker... Whatever we are, if we are in Christ, we are what God has made us. We do not have to be preachers to get to Heaven. We do not have to be Gospel singers to serve our King.
Whatever we are, we are children of the Most High God. And He can use us, whatever our gifts, whatever our strength, in a unique and marvellous and special way, to bring glory to His amazing Name.