By: Deb Kitchenmaster

Evening chores revealed that our mare, Arianna, had entered into labor.  She would turn her head and look at her barrel, her mid-section where she was carrying her foal. What in the world was going on inside her? This was her first and our first Morgan foal. The birthing stall was all set up with fresh straw after removing all shavings. She left her hay and took off bucking. She then came to the birthing stall I was working on with a puzzled look on her face, “Like, what is happening?” No bucking, running, tail swooshing, or pawing would remove those new, uncomfortable moments she was in. The pain was inside her for her to work through to bring forth life.

Her water broke at 1:45 a.m. and at 2 a.m. a Morgan bay filly found her legs shortly after. Arianna blew out a big snort as if to ask, “Where did she come from?” It’s kind of like when we have a transformation in our lives! We didn’t know we had this life in us.

My intension was to name the filly some name with the meaning of fire or wind. I was redirected to name this horse after my daughter’s friend by the name of Sung. As an infant, Sung was rescued by a passerby who found her in a landfill located in South Korea. She was turned over to the officials where they placed her up for adoption. A family from Oregon had the honor of adopting her. My daughter was enrolled in college at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas where they met and built a friendship. The naming of this filly was to make a statement and to decree truth over a person’s life. Where the liar would hurl at her that she had no value, the Word of God said something different over her life, not because of her obedience, but because of Christ’s obedience. As she became rooted and grounded in truth, she was made free inside. The last conversation I had with Sung, she was a drummer and working in the medical field on Mercy Ships, a missionary organization that travels the globe freely giving out medical and spiritual care. Yes! Sung ‘s praise reveals the triumphant cries of an orphan into the celebration of adoption whereas, we cry “Abba, Father,” the Spirit bearing witness we are the sons/daughters of God. Not someone’s choice or someone’s opinion.

We had a little over 28 and a half years with this mare. She offered me and others many life lessons. Here’s a couple. A gal had come out for a session. She chose Praise. During groundwork, Praise began to limp. She gave me the eye. I knew she was not structurally off; we were in a healing moment. I asked the gal to tell me about her left side. When she was a little girl she was involved in a car accident where her left hip was crushed. She had come through that ordeal without a limp or restriction physically, however, Praise was aware of trauma locked up from that accident in her left hip area. Trauma was released.

A caregiver to precious elderly people for over two decades engaged with Praise during a round-pen moment. Praise taught life lessons about resistance in a liberating, free, shameless way. Praise has indeed left her hoof prints on this gal’s soul. There was a love bond between this human and the horse, Praise. It was real!

Praise hated bugs. She had an allergic reaction to them. Her sire (dad) passed this trait to her. He was a liver bay Morgan stallion from Wisconsin. She was foaled in Minnesota. Mosquitoes! One day she was protesting them flying around her, stomping her feet. Her front left hoof landed on my right foot. No bones were broken but I was on crutches for a while. That is when two young gals from Tokyo, Japan, came to stay with us for a month learning about human and horse interactions. They were with me when I returned the crutches and a life lesson surfaced about Christianity — a crutch or a relationship.

Praise. Thank you. My perceptions have been enlarged because of you. I am so grateful I have spent these years with you.

Your NEIGHbor,
Deb Kitchenmaster