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  • Elaine Sanders

A Beautiful Soul

Fifteen years ago today, Pecan, my first horse, entered my life. I wanted to share this story to honour her and all that she has given and taught me. I hope I've made her life as wonderful as she has made mine. I also hope this story shares a glimpse of just how special she really is.

After a rough first day, Pecan settled in nicely. Our friendship developed quickly and I got to know Pecan for who she really is. Physically, Pecan is not the most beautiful horse in the world. She would not win any medals. Her conformation is good, but I have been told many times that she has the head of a donkey. At first, the teasing comments bothered me, but as I got to know Pecan, her donkey head became endearing and beautiful in my eyes.

Where she may lack in physical beauty, Pecan’s spirit is gold. She is generally quiet, but spunky. She is gentle, trusting and trustworthy. Over the years, I have lost count of how many wondering, wide-eyed children I have placed on Pecan’s back. Pecan always stands patiently or walks quietly by my side, giving kids their first ride.

One summer, a family came to visit the horses. The family had three children. One of the children was non-verbal, mentally-handicapped and in a wheelchair. I remember the child’s dad lovingly pushing the wheelchair up the steep hill to get to the horse’s pasture. Both the dad and the child had the biggest smiles on their faces in anticipation of their first encounter with a horse.

The horses, curious about the visitors, came up to the gate. I put the halter on Pecan and led her out. Pecan ignored me. She ignored the mother and the father and the other kids. All her focus was on the young girl in the chair. Pecan approached the child, slowly and calmly. She wasn’t curious, she was connecting. We all stared in amazement at the most beautiful non-verbal exchange as the horse, towering huge above the child, lowered her head into the child’s open arms.

In that moment, no one noticed Pecan’s lumpy head. No one noticed that her eyes are disproportionately small. No one noticed those things as Pecan’s beautiful soul outshone everything else.

As a society, we regard beauty as the most important thing we can be. Countless dollars, tears, years, and dreams are spent on having a beautiful body and face. But when the truth is out, I’d rather know a beautiful soul than a beautiful face any day.

When was the last time you looked into your horse's eyes and appreciated them for WHO they really are, a unique individual spirit, placed in your care by the One Who Created You both?

If the One Who Created You created you and your horse, doesn't that make you and your horse siblings? When was the last time you looked at your horse as a brother or sister?

When was the last time you looked at yourself through your horse's eyes? Your horse doesn't care what you look like; your horse cares about your beautiful soul, and so should you.

Here's to You and Your Horse!

Elaine

P.S. The picture above is the absolute BEST picture that I have of Pecan! It truly captures her beautiful spirit! Hit reply to this email and send me a picture of your first horse or the horse with the beautiful soul!

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