When I got the phone call for Gabe and his pal, Raya, their owner was in tears. She explained that Gabe had knocked her into the watering trough and she had broken her hip. Her son was "getting rid" of the horses and she was facing rehab in a nursing care facility. She was in her 80's. They were wonderful horses and could I Please come save them? Well, she was right. What a blessing they became, she and her granddaughter, to us and although we lost Raya years ago, he had rescued a teen girls' heart and taught her unconditional love in the years we had him. Gabe had continued to shoulder people and had space issues, so his manner training became an ongoing challenge for many kids. He is now a gentleman and even though we named "the bully pen" for him and his cohorts, this herd has become our main session horses. A few years ago, Gabe had a rough year. While rolling in the dirt he evidently hit a rock and injured his spine. Partial paralysis in his hind end and nerve damage in his mouth, interestingly, inspired me to try some essential oil techniques I had just learned for my own back issues. By the end of the winter, he was healing well, but was still in rest and rehab mode. Then one day he choked. It was a holiday and we couldn't reach a vet for hours. By God's grace he came through it, but we could tell the year had taken its toll. Session kids prayed for their beloved Gabe and he entered retirement. But with pain there is purpose, and we watched as Mocha's new confidence replaced Gabe as herd leader. The "bullies" became Gabe's gentle friends. And just as his loving previous owner had to surrender to rehab, so did Gabe. Humbling. He is now back in low-lived sessions with his beloved kids, with a new, humbled, respectful outlook.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with food so that your youth is renewed like the eagles." Ps 103: 2-5