Several years ago, a woman told me about an equine therapy clinic she’d attended. Sounded more like human therapy to me. That’s often the way it is with horses, though. They teach us more about ourselves than the other way around. Anyway, she shared how she’d learned that women tend to pick horses with similar characteristics as the men they choose for romantic partners. I couldn’t quite relate to that, as I’ve had a bunch of horses and not one was like the other. This notion did not represent my life’s human relational experience, nor had I considered any shared behaviors between my horses and men. Still, I found our conversation interesting. She went on to say during our barn talk, “If you’ve had an abusive experience, you might select a horse that was all wrong for you, hard-mouthed and running all over you. Stubborn? You’d get a mule.” She slipped a glance at the gelding I had at the time. I think she told me this stuff because I really struggled with that horse. In turn, I squinted at her gigantic black Friesian she referred to as “tall, dark, and handsome.” I hovered over those words. Recalling how I’d used the same expression to describe a character or two in my penned stories, as if that’s the epitome of a good catch; a sort of stereotypical “tall drink of water”. Okay, so she had the perfect horse, I thought. Until she admitted her Freisen was dangerous and she feared to handle her horse, let alone ride him; the reason for her attending the clinic. “Big-hearted man?” she continued. “You’d probably settle for one of those big gentle draft horses or something.” Or something.
I glanced up again at her pushy Friesen. Height doesn’t make the man. Never has. Nor looks. Take a glimpse at 1 Samuel 16:7, when Samuel goes to anoint a new king of Israel. He’s struck by the tall, dark, and handsome appearance of the older of Jesse’s sons. Surely this is the one the Lord would choose. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
Much like how the Lord rejects and departs from King Saul, he then chooses this unlikely one to take his place. He’s younger, good-looking in his own right, but not of the stature of his older brother. Called up from the fields, he’s all ruddy-faced from tending sheep. He’s chosen and anointed because of his heart.
When it comes to horses, the two best horses I’d ever had as an adult were the only two that I hadn’t chosen for myself. They were chosen for me. The first was by a friend who was a cutting horse trainer, who called me out of the blue one day and said, “I met your perfect horse. You need to get down here and ride him. I’m serious. I just have this feeling you’re meant to meet this horse.” So I did, and he was right. It was a made-in-heaven partnership that spanned several states, miles of trails, and over twenty years. He was my irreplaceable dream horse. God worked through that situation and people, busy behind the scenes, until we paired up. He let me know when the conditions were right where I could suddenly receive that blessing.
The horse I have right now, well, he wasn’t even for sale when I was looking. In the market again, I searched long for the right horse, but after a string of unpleasant experiences, hazardous test rides, and misleading people, I decided I’d see one more horse, the last straw. I’d driven three hours and at first glance, I knew the horse wasn’t right. I was discouraged. Then, out of nowhere, a stranger’s prompting hunch diverted me to meet a peculiar gelding with unusual, sad circumstances. Long story short, we’ve been together for two years now. He’s become dream horse number two. Yet, the only thing he has in common with my first dream horse is they’re both buckskins. They’re nothing alike, not even the same breed. Getting to know this one has been a learning curve for me. Chico is sensitive and feels deeply. This makes him affectionate, attached, protective, curious—moody sometimes, but he’s also the brother of my heart. That’s how I see him. We’re partners in grime, both like the woods, enjoy time together, and squabble on the rare occasion. He is as honest as they come and he’s my genuine friend. Come to think of it… that ought to be part of the equation in human romantic relationships, honest and genuine friends.
Once again, God had worked out the details and I have this amazing horse I believe he chose for me. I witnessed an unseen arrangement materialize through the circumstances. I love my horse. We’re bonded. Took some time to get there because of history and all, but we’re solid. He’s also the shortest horse I’ve ever had, but I’m short, too. We’re an ideal fit. Again, height means nothing when the heart is bent for good. And he’s thick, substantial… strong. I’m partial to his conformation. He carries me well.
I’m glad I didn’t settle again out of frustration. Settling is never good, frustration either. Wish I learned this long ago in terms of people. Always best to wait on the Lord—who has yet another horse in mind for me. I believe I will one day again enlarge my herd (and I know Chico will appreciate that). Because the Lord has given me a progression of many beautiful, tender dreams about a grey horse, nearly white. I see and hear the word “Hotah” distinctly around this horse. Had to look the word up to learn its meaning. Made me smile. Apparently, it’s of Sioux origin, meaning “grey” or “white.” Appears that this horse will also be very special to me. I anticipate meeting him/her when the time comes. Now that I will trust in the Lord, I don’t mind waiting. He’s always right on time; his timing is perfect.
I guess there were only women at that equine therapy clinic. This notion could equally apply to men. Say you’re a man who has a mare. And in the human relationship characteristics analogy, did you settle and are dealing with the complicated fallout, or did you wait for the right one, the one the Lord intended for you? Your answer might reveal her temperament, whether it’s favorable. If you view this contrary to the world’s standards, then maybe she’s—oh, I don’t know--older. Not at all modelesque, as in tall, svelte, and glamorous… but she’s not unpleasant to look at. Maybe it’s her shining heart that grabbed you. Because she’s devoted—so devoted to you and to the Lord; a runner… after Him, and for your arms. The two of you can accomplish more for the Kingdom and for God’s glory together in this race of life than you could without each other. Hm… I might write this in a story somewhere…
In these observations, whether inimitable or stereotypical, inspired or strange, may you be blessed and nurtured in your pursuit of the King of Kings. Do not settle. Let him choose the things in life for you, especially such important things as relationships (or horses, if you’re also someone who dedicates time to them). And when he chooses you for something or someone… when you’re chosen, you’re more than enough. Because he’s seen your heart. When you’re anointed, you’re more than enough. When you know him, you’re more than enough. He’s made you more than enough. Arise, like David for Israel.