Couple of things I learned about my marriage while loading horses:
First a little bit of back story. I grew up on a dairy farm, so I have been around “large animals” my whole life. I understand that they are beautiful creatures created by God. But I also realize they have their own personalities and have witnessed the harm a 200-300 pound animal can do in a matter of seconds. On a chart from 1-10 on “loves an Adrenaline Rush” I score a big fat zero. My husband started working with horses in college and use to help with the pre-show at rodeos. He loves horses and is good with them too. It seems 2nd nature to him working with animals.
About 17 years ago a long legged cowboy in boots, wranglers and button down shirt walked into a car dealership. He was looking for a job, and I was in the back filing paperwork. I was told to show him to the manager at the front of the store. At that time I did not know I was walking my future husband to his job interview. I myself was a farm girl, worked full time at the dealership but also did chores every day on my parents dairy farm. About a year later I fell in love with that cowboy, we got hitched (what country folks call a wedding) and started our lives together.
I moved off the farm, into a lil house in town with my new husband. Five kids, a few jobs, two houses and 16 years later, I still wear my cowgirl boots but that is about the only evidence left that we once were total country folks. I miss the farm, but do not miss the daily chores that are required to keep a farm running.
Of course he offered to help… that is just who my husband is.
This week we helped a young couple with 3 kids from our church, pack and load up their moving truck. It was getting late, we were all tired and Johnny (the Dad) mentioned to my husband that he still needed to get 4 horses to his new place. He could take two horses but would need to make the 6 hours drive back for the other two. My husband without thinking twice offered to load them and make the 12 hour round trip to deliver the horses.
I will be honest my first thought was, that’s a lot of gas and a long trip we were not planning on. But my next thought was, of course he offered to help… that is just who my husband is. He is not very social, kind of quite, very opinionated but is always helping someone out.
So today we went to load these two horses into the trailer. I should mention that another family from our church offered to let us barrow the trailer since we did not have one. So off my husband and I went to load up two horses we had never met. A Momma and her colt, a stubborn baby boy that is almost as big as she is.
We would wait, pull a little, push a little wait some more only to have him bolt away
We get to the pasture I peek in, ugggghhh they are huge. What have I gotten myself into. I am more of a goat girl (more my size lol). My husband however jumps right in and starts calling for these horses and they magically come running up to him. The horses were a bit hesitant at first but before I know it, he is brushing the mamma horse gaining her trust and putting a halter on her. She was a bit skiddish but he walked her right into the trailer, like some kind of handsome horse whisperer.
Next up was the colt… pretty much a giant toddler that can do some serious damage with those long legs. Yes I will admit it, I am totally scared of a baby horse. Make fun of me all you want, but he was 3 times bigger than me and kept bolting away every time he got nervous.
It took about 20 minutes to load the Momma horse…. it took us 3 hours to convince that baby to step into the trailer. He was scared of it and the only thing that was going to win him over was time and learning to trust my husband. Over and over we would get him right up to the trailer, we would wait, pull a little, push a little wait some more only to have him bolt away. The only thing I could do was jump out of the way and pray I did not get kicked. Once he was out of site then the Momma horse would start stomping and getting upset because she could not see her baby.
Pretty sure I fell in love all over again at that moment, and he didn’t even know it.
After the first 2 hours I was totally ready to give up, pretty sure we were never going to get that stubborn horse loaded. But over those three hours I watched my husband do what he loves. Something I had forgot about him, I forgot how talented he is with horses. He was calm, he was loving and he was kind. He watched their body language he understood that the baby was scared and knew the only way to get it loaded was to gain his trust.
Just when I thought for sure we would never get this horse loaded, I peek into the trailer. There I see my husband praying… asking for the Lords help. Asking to help him so he could provide service to another family, asking for knowledge as to how to get this horse to trust him. Pretty sure I fell in love all over again at that moment, and he didn’t even know it.
My husband then asked me to lift the colts front foot and place in on the trailer. We did this several times, but soon after the colt would get scared and run away. But finally we got his two front feet into the trailer. My husband told me to hug his back end and push. The LAST place I want to be is on the back side of a horse… but I had to trust my husband. Mind you the colt is as tall as I am, so I my face was right up against his smelly bottom. Then a small miracle happened, the colt finally went all the way in. Covered in dust, hay, horse hair, sweat and horse poop we were finally done.
Today I was reminded that most things in life take time, kind words, gaining trust and asking for the Lords hand in your life. And all of these things are made easier when you can do them along side your husband.