Drum Horse

Black & White Piebald, Mare | DOB: 200​7 | ARRIVAL: 28/05/2021 | 15 Hands HANDS

While admiring stone slabs at a local flooring store, Kim looked up just in time to see a woman half run-half hobble toward her.  The lady called out in rushed animation, flailing her arms to capture Kim’s attention. 

In a flourish, the woman introduced herself as “Eileen,” and opened the verbal floodgates.  A terrible story of heartache poured out.  Eileen’s situation at home was dire.  She was caring for her mother-in-law on hospice—with intense pain from her need for a double knee replacement—while also tending her horses.  

Eileen’s heart was broken and her body was spent.  She functioned under excruciating pain and no longer possessed the health necessary to care for her cherished equines.  She had been asking God for a miracle. 

Kim listened intently, then prayed with the woman for God’s direction and healing. She gathered Eileen’s contact information and assured her Crystal Peaks would soon be in touch.  

Back at the Ranch, Kim relayed her unique encounter with me.  Intrigued, I contacted Eileen and made a time to go meet her two beloved horses.

Several weeks later, I met Eileen at her property.  Before me stood two massive draft crosses—a mare and a gelding.  They were an extraordinary breed known as the “Drum Horse”—bred to carry great drums in the British Royal Calvary.  Drum Horses were created by crossing cold-blooded draft horses, such as the Clydesdale and Shire, with the dramatic hair and color patterns of the Gypsy Vanner.

This mare was the daughter of a famous Drum Horse, known as the “Lion King Stallion.”  Like her daddy, a jaw-dropping mane clothed her regal neck. Her stunning tail unfolded in cascading layers of black and white hair, and pearly white feathering covered her giant feet.  Truly, she was majestic in every way.

I led the mare and followed Eileen to a nearby round pen.  After a few minutes of ground work, I took a deep breath before stepping into the stirrup to quench my excitement.  To ride such an amazing creature was an honor. 

As I rode, I felt why my mount’s lineage bore royalty.  Enormous muscles contracted beneath me. My hand grasped the base of the mare’s two foot-long mane.  She circled in response to my leg on her side.  Although it had been a while since she had been ridden and she was noticeably out of practice, I could tell the mare was trying hard to understand my requests.

After several laps around the large round pen, I had all the information I needed.  I slowed her to a halt and took a measured glance at the long descent to the ground.  With a quick leap, I landed on both my feet.

Upon my dismount, the mare’s intelligent eyes met mine.  More than anything else, it seemed she wanted approval and relationship with her rider.  Her level of engagement moved me.  She seemed to ask, “Are you pleased with me?” 

I smiled and gently placed her face between my hands.  She bowed her head in grateful submission.  In her language, I had given my approval . . . and she responded by resting in the safe, quiet place of focus on her leader.

From there I turned to Eileen and said in wonder,  “Wow, what an astounding horse! I still can’t believe you are considering gifting her to Crystal Peaks.”

Eileen responded with excitement, “How did she do?  Was it good?”

I explained,  “Yes, she did well.  I could tell she hasn’t been worked in a while and is a little rusty on her cues.  But she was definitely trying hard to understand all I was asking her to do.  Because of her heart to please, we can definitely adjust any sticky spots with a little tune-up.”

Relieved excitement burst from Eileen.  “Oh GOOD!  I’m so glad you like her.  She’s such a special girl.”

“If it were up to me,” I continued, “I’d say ‘yes’ to taking her home right now.  However, our team has made a commitment to pray about every horse before having them come to the Ranch.  Will you join us in seeking God’s best for your special girl?”

Together we prayed—and decided to wait two weeks and ask Jesus together for His best plan.  Personally, I needed to consider how to cover the extra feed needed for such a large mouth . . . and the even larger mouth of her adopted equine brother.  Eileen’s desire was that her two horses would never be separated.  If the mare came, so would her pasture mate.

Both equines possessed remarkable potential—but our program was full.  If these horses were destined to come to the Ranch, we prayed God would make clear His provision.

Shortly after my evaluation of Eileen’s horses, we received a contact from a couple in the Midwest.  Gene and Karyl called us because they wished to honor the memory of their daughter, Rene, who passed away at the young age of twenty-eight.  Rene loved animals and her generous parents—asked if they could help us receive a horse who needed a new home—in her honor.

My heart leapt when I heard their story!  Could this be the answer to our prayers? When Gene and Karyl learned about the possibility of the Ranch adopting the two Drum Horses, they rushed to action.  Without hesitation, they sent the necessary finances to cover the initial feed, vet and farrier costs to bring both horses to Crystal Peaks.

Only Jesus could make such a miraculous connection of redemptive encounters.  Gene and Karyl reached through their grief to help others in need.  The ripple effect of their kindness washed over many others.  Their quick response opened a passage for Eileen to receive the help she needed . . . and for Crystal Peaks to welcome two magnificent members into our herd.

Prior to the horses’ arrival, one incomplete aspect still kept me up at night.  We had already given a new name to the gelding—“Benaiah,” after a mighty warrior in the Bible.  Yet, I did not have a new name for the mare.  What name could encompass her majestic heritage . . . and bring honor to the donors who made her arrival possible?

Late one night after fasting and prayer, God prompted me to look again at an email exchange with Karyl, Rene’s mom.  Within the message, I saw their memorial gift was titled “Rene’s Legacy Fund.”  In that moment I knew the mare’s new name would be “Legacy.”

We named Legacy in honor of her rich history and royal bloodlines—in honor of Eileen’s loving care of her equines—in honor of Gene, Karyl and Rene’s cherished life on earth—and ultimately—in honor of the legacy we each carry as sons and daughters of the Lion King of Judah, Jesus Christ.

Our precious mare teaches us daily to put relationship first.  From her initial evaluation to every ride since, Legacy continues to demonstrate an earnest desire to connect with and follow her rider.  Often after our training times, Legacy carefully bows her head and rests between my outstretched hands, as if basking in the peace of my approval. 

Each time I’m with her, I’m reminded of our relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Legacy only wants her leader to be pleased with her. Likewise, is it all we want for Jesus to be pleased with us?  Legacy works diligently to understand her leader’s every request. Likewise, do we work to understand and obey every request of our King?  At the end of her work, Legacy willingly rests in my approval between my outstretched arms—do we willingly choose to rest in Jesus’ presence, safely encircled within His everlasting arms?

Today, Jesus is offering you a royal heritage as a child of God.  Like Legacy, if you put relationship with Him first . . . the rest will follow.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’”  (Matthew 11:28-29, NLT)

“Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory.” (Revelation 5:5b, NLT)