LIFE WITHOUT HORSES

pasture

After I graduated from the University of Missouri, my first job was in Houston, TX, then Dallas. I traveled and rented an apartment shared with a roommate. There was no way I could have a horse. Later I lived overseas as a missionary behind the “Iron Curtain,” crammed into a house with 20 Poles in southern Poland, close to Czechoslovakia and traveling close to Russia. No chance for a horse there. Once back in the U.S., I worked in cities in Illinois, CA, MI, IA, OK, and OH, with no room for horses. During those horse-less days, I rode other people’s horses whenever I could, begging for rides, going on trail rides with horses that followed in a straight line.

When my husband and I finally settled in Ohio, and I began to write full time, the ache to once again own my own horse grew stronger and stronger. We live in the woods, but we don’t own pastureland, so how could we have a horse? I fully believe that God knew the answer all along. Our neighbors are Amish, of the most conservative order in America. Through circumstances we couldn’t have controlled, and tragedies we shared, we became good friends. When I asked them if we could keep a horse in their smallest pasture, which fed into a single stall in the barn, they said they’d need to talk to their bishop for permission, since mingling with the “English” isn’t encouraged. But the answer was yes! Now, all we had to do was find the right horse for the right (very low) price. (To be continued . . .)

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2 Responses to “LIFE WITHOUT HORSES”

  1. Meg Stoltzfus Says:

    Dandi,
    I recently found your blog and I really enjoy it 🙂 You’ve always been my favorite author, made famous in my mind for the Winnie the Horse Gentler series. (Which I lost count how many times I read as a girl and I hope someday the Lord blesses me with a little girl to read them to). How did you get into horses? Were they something that your family loved, or were you and your older sister the reason that horses came into the family? I always thought I was the first generation horse lover in my family… until I found out recently that my great grandmother, who just went to be with Jesus at 100 years old, grew up riding horses on her childhood ranch in Cuba. I knew they had to ride for transportation, but what I didn’t know is she was well known in her town for being a very accomplished jumper. She was asked to go do jumper shows in Havana but she didn’t want to. 🙂
    Anyway I was just curious how you got into horses in the first place, and excited for you that you got back into them. My husband refused to let my horse dream die and helped me get my Haflinger mare Coco about a year and a half ago. So I totally understand the horseless season and the excitement of once again being able to spend some time with these magnificent creatures 🙂
    God bless,
    Meg

    • dandimackall Says:

      Meg, how wonderful to hear from you! I love Haflingers, and Coco sounds terrific–good for your husband! Sounds like you had an amazing great grandmother too. Makes me so grateful to think of you growing up with Winnie and the gang–and maybe a little girl who will become part of the Winnie family too. God is so good! Blessings, Dandi

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