Thank you.

To all those who read this blog. This is a testimony of God's power to anyone who wants to pursue a ministry to accomplish the purpose that He has written for our lives. If we trust in Him completely, He will guide our steps so His Ministry becomes a well watered garden growing fruit to His perfection, not limited by any physical sense, but everything supplied by Him.

"And my God will meet all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Enjoy the journey with me.



Friday, October 28, 2011

Chapter Seven - The Ministries' 1st "Rideable" Horse, Missy

We were very happy with this new arrangement, having Leslie on the property with the mustangs.  And around this same time, we were contacted by a woman who had a horse that she wanted to donate to the ministry, now that we were an official 501c3.   Christinna and I borrowed Leslie’s trailer and went to go look at this horse.   We were so anxious to ride a horse, that I didn’t pray or get guidance from the Holy Spirit about getting this horse at all.  She ended up having laminitis and cushions.  Wow!!  Now I needed to purchase medication for her health issues.  We also found out when we got her home, that she was extremely barn sour.  Anytime we would ride her in the arena she wanted to run back to the gate so she could go back to her stall.  We attempted to ride her around the ranch, but she put up quite an argument if she thought she was going to have to leave the ranch.  Leslie gave us a few pointers to work on which kept us busy with her.  
Christinna, however, because of the long commute, was not able to come out as often as she would have liked.  She went back to work full-time, which greatly limited her time.   Then, to make things even more challenging, Leslie was removed from the ranch.  She no longer could come on the property and work with me and the mustangs.  OK!!  Interesting developments. 
So, as of now,  I still had the mustangs that couldn’t be riden, even though I was working with them every day, watching DVD’s, learning all I could about how to train them; and, I had a horse to ride that was barn sour and sore.  The owner of the new ranch, Chris, took the initiative to help me find another horse trainer.  He pointed out a few horse trainers on occasion when they would come to his ranch to work with other horses, but I just did not feel comfortable with any of them.  They all reminded me of Randy, from the other ranch.  I did not want to get back in to that situation.  I knew in my heart that I needed to have faith and be patient and that the Lord was working it all out for me since I was fulfilling the calling that He had placed in my heart in the first place.
However, I still had to take my new situation to the Lord in prayer.  I had been praying all along, but I really needed to intercede in the situation and seek guidance.  Since I had a longer commute now, I started to pray in the spirit even more!!  I’m so thankful that I have the Holy Spirit to turn to since this is where our power comes from and where things change in the spirit realm, before things are changed in the physical realm.    
Despite everything, the ministry was still growing.  I had a few more kids coming out to meet the horses.  I would take the kids on "pony" rides with Missy.  She was a good start for that.  Plus, she was really calm during the grooming and bathing process.
Pictures of Missy:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chapter Six - Back to the Drawing Board

Dude was surely not ready to ride.   So, after about 9 months of working with Leslie, Christinna talked to me about getting someone else with a different approach to train the mustangs.  We were getting quite anxious for this part of the training to be done with.  We knew that by now they should have been at least riding with a bit.   So I decided to hire the on-site trainer, Randy.  I paid him for boarding and training.  This was in November of 2007.   He told us that when we moved the Mustangs over to him, we would no longer be able to work with them.  The only thing we could do was go into their stalls and groom them.  They also would have to be separated from each other.  The stalls, to us, were like prisons.  They only had one area to look out.  They cried for each other almost every day for like a week.  It was heart breaking. 
Every time I would go by there to visit, I would never see them working with them.  I would check on the schedule and they had maybe every other day for an hour set aside for them.  Some weeks they would take off because of shows or the weather was either too wet or cold to work with them.  This went on for about 2 months.   Sometimes, Christinna and I would sneak them out of their stalls and put them in the arena to run around when the owners of the ranch weren’t there.  We loved to watch them run and play.  Also included in the board/training were horseback riding lessons per horse.  So, Christinna and I took lessons with Randy using their horses.   Finally, we were able to get on the back of a horse.    I believe he was a horrible teacher.  He did not teach us how to sit properly and he kept yelling at Christinna because she was in the wrong lead.  The horse I was on was very difficult to get to lope.  One time when working on that I whipped him in the butt which caused him to crow hop and since I wasn’t sitting properly I launched forward and was hanging on by the neck while he was going pretty fast and I fell off.  That was the 2nd time I fell off!!   Of course, I got back on since I knew that I needed to get back up like the saying says to “get back up on the horse after you fall off”.  That was pretty much the end of the lessons, because one week that they were out of town, I felt so sorry for Dude and Zeke being stuck in their stalls that I decided to take them on a walk.    Dude was so excited to get out of the stall, that he was bucking and rearing on the end of the lead line.   It was quite a challenge just to take him for a walk around the arena.  Then I got Zeke out, who normally is pretty shy.  He wasn’t as bad, but you could tell he was super antsy.
During all this time I had only seen Randy get up on Dude maybe twice in the arena and Zeke maybe once in the round pen.  Zeke just wanted to buck every time he got the saddle put on let alone anyone on his back.
So, back to the drawing board.   I then called Leslie back up to see if she wanted to work with them again.  She said that the only way she could is if I moved them up to Rio Verde to a ranch that she was working at full time.   Christinna and I went up to look at the ranch and thought it would be a great place.  Even though it would be a much longer commute, the board was half the price.    Also during this time, my mom donated her truck to the ministry.  I was officially a horse woman with a pick up truck.  My father had passed away from chemotherapy poisoning in August of 2006.   My mom needed a car more fitting for her needs.  
Christinna and I worked on “trailer class” for about a week, using Leslie’s trailer, to teach the mustangs how to trailer.  We would drive around the ranch, while one of us stood on the wheel rim, “comforting” the mustangs with carrots through the window while driving them around in the trailer.   It was soon time to transport them.  Christinna couldn’t help, so I recruited Debbie to help me.  She showed quite an interest in helping with the mustangs as well.  She grew up on a cattle ranch, so she was familiar with hauling livestock.  It was pretty scary hauling them up to the new ranch in Rio Verde, not to mention the hour it took to get them in the trailer.
We really liked there new “view” stalls, plus we had Leslie right there on the property to work with them more often.
Here’s a couple pictures of Leslie with Zeke:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chapter Five - Motivated by the Extreme Mustang Makeover

During this time, Christinna was doing research about mustangs and training and learned of an Extreme Mustang Makeover that was being held in Fort Worth, Texas.  We made plans to attend.   On the flight there, we worked on all the corporation documents required by the Corporations Commission of Arizona and the IRS in order for the ministry to be tax exempt.  We came up with our Mission Statement:
Through Christ Jesus, Rein of Faith Ministries, in its commitment to God’s children, seek to develop a ministry with the stewardship of horses and the guidance of the Holy Spirit enabling the ministry to combat community deterioration and juvenile delinquency by exposing the community to the power of horses whereby mutual respect grows between horse and human creating a positive diversion in the direction and path of the individual in his/her future; a trail full of new responsibility, submission and self-control with a commitment to an amazingly strong but sensitive animal that God created for us to love and respect.
The Extreme Mustang Makeover event was wonderful for us to attend.  We had new hope for the mustangs.  When we returned home, we immediately went and bought composite saddles, saddle pads, bits and bridles!!!   We were encouraged!!  It was time to mount up.   Saddling Dude was much easier than saddling Zeke.   We were probably about 3 months further along with Dude since we had that head start with him.  It wasn’t long after we bought the saddles that we were able to get up on Dude with someone leading him.  I think we held our breath while we were up there.  We were very gentle and cautious.  One time, however, we decided to lunge him with Christinna with the lunge line and me up on him.  Well, I think he was surprised that “something” was on his back when I said something, because he started running around the lunge line so fast that the saddle started to slide and I had to bale.
That was my first fall off a horse in a very long time!!!   We then started to work with putting a bit in.   While working with Leslie I was also watching training DVD’s by Kitty Lauman.   She was one of the winners at the Extreme Mustang Makeover.  I thought I could learn a lot from just watching her DVDs.
Picture of Dude’s 1st ride:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chapter Four - Let the Training Begin

The owner of the ranch gave me the name of a natural horsemanship trainer named Leslie to help me train the mustangs.  I immediately gave her a call.   In the meantime, Christinna and I were always at the barn visiting them.  It was only about 5 minutes away for Christinna and about 13 minutes away for me. 
We were able to start leading Dude around on his halter.   We kept it on because we weren’t sure we would be able to get it back on if we took it off.  We also set up a barricade that we could use when we wanted to let the mustangs out in the arena for some exercise.   We would lead Dude in first and then herd Zeke through the barricade into the arena.  We would use Dude to help get Zeke back in to his stall.  It became a fun activity for us.  Word quickly got out in the church about the horses and I began to get people visiting them.  They all wanted to see the wild mustangs.   I met with Leslie and we worked out a schedule for her to come and help us.    In the beginning she showed us some exercises to do with Dude, using a whip with a bag on the end, to help with some ground training.  Zeke, was still unapproachable.  She suggested that we start feeding him ourselves and stay in his stall while he goes after the food to get him used to us being there.  So, Christinna and I split the feeding responsibility.  She took the morning shift and I took the afternoon shift.  This went on for quite a while.  He would start playing a game with us where we would put some food into a rubber feeder close to us and he would pull it close to him.  We would reach out to touch him but his reflexes were so fast, that we would never make contact.  Frustrating.  He also had this dreadlock on his mane that we couldn’t wait to cut off.   
We spent much time working with Leslie and the mustangs.  My husband loves telling a story about when we started to work with Zeke using a bamboo pole.  We began to scratch his behind with it.  Then eventually we led our arms up the pole and replaced the pole with our hands.  We began to scratch him on the back and toward his tail.  We spent a lot of days doing this.  Zeke enjoyed it so much that he began to turn his butt to us as soon as we approached his stall so we would come in and scratch his butt.  We even got to the point of hugging his butt.  Slowly, we would creep up the side of him continuing to massage him.  Christinna was finally able to cut off that dreadlock.  Not saying she never got kicked, because she did.  She was much more brave than I was.  I really got frustrated with the butt massage.  I wanted to be able to touch his head.  We continued to work with Leslie and finally, with the help of Babs, we were able to get a halter on Zeke.    This was 3 months after we got him.  The ground work training continued now with both Dude and Zeke.   The two of them were such opposites.  Dude was extremely pushy and Zeke was extremely scared and cautious.  Dude would pull us around like a bad dog.  We really had to learn to become super aggressive with him.  Zeke, was very sensitive and would practically tip toe wherever he went with us.  He did start to really enjoy the human contact though.  We would “ground tie” them and groom them and give them spa day almost every day.  It was much harder to get Dude to stand still though.  We never really tied them up.  We also needed to get them gelded since they were approaching 18 months old.    We called a vet to come out and we were told we needed to spray where there testicles were with a hose to break open the seal to allow it to drain every day.  Wow!!  We were hoping this wouldn’t set them back because we just were able to have contact with them.  Good thing we had developed a trusting relationship so this procedure did not set them back.
Pictures of Dude and Zeke in their early training days:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chapter Three - That Didn't Work, Let's Move Them

I needed to find a new place for the mustangs.   Since we still could not touch them I knew I needed some “different” professional help.  I also knew that it would be awkward with the owners of the facility where they were.  A few people that I came in contact with gave me a few names of horse owners.  I began to reach out to them.  I also explored other areas to relocate them.  One person I talked to said that maybe Brandi Lyon (John Lyon, who is a well known horse trainer's, daughter) would be able to help.  She gave me her number.  I called her and explained my situation.  Not only did she come and help me move them, but she also found a new place for me to move them to.  Right down the street to a place called Camelot Farms.  Brandi also believed that she would be able to get them halter trained in a few hours, following after her father’s footsteps.  She brought in a friend that would video tape the experience.
Brandi came with her horse and trailer and she was able to herd them into the horse trailer.  We had to use panels on each side of the trailer’s door like a shoot.  I was on one side of the panels.  This was, again, another opportunity for me to realize what I was dealing with.  They tried to escape through those panels and I felt the strength and determination of them.  They weren’t able to, thank God, so they got in the trailer.  Brandi brought them to the new location and herded only one of them into a round pen there on the new property.  That was Zeke.  Dude stayed in the trailer and kicked and fought in that trailer having been separated from Zeke.  That was another indication of what I had my hands full with.  Now Dude, still had his halter on, but Zeke did not.  Brandi worked with Zeke on foot and then on her horse to no avail.  She did all the techniques that she knew to get him to submit, but nothing worked.  She ended up calling her Dad for counsel.  He ended up telling her that she had done enough for that day and that they should be left alone for awhile.  Dude was then put in the round pen with Zeke.   I paid Brandi for her time and she left.  I knew that she would not be coming back.  I then left the mustangs in the round pen as there new round pen home.   Bummer.   Still no progress had been made.
When I came back to visit them the next day, they were not in the round pen.  Somehow the owner of the ranch was able to transport them and put them each in a stall in the barn that would become their new home.  Wow!!  I could not believe that they were actually in a stall of their own.  Now, they are separated which meant we may be able to get somewhere.  The owner and I went in to Dude’s stall and it did not take him long to grab his lead line and pet his head.  Finally, human contact!!!   I’m glad that was done with Dude.  
Here are pictures of their then new home:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chapter Two - Two Wild Mustangs, Now What?

OK, so now I had two wild mustangs.  They needed to be placed in a shoot on the way into the stock trailer so they could put the halter and lead rope on them on their way in the stock trailer.  Dude got his on without too much of a fight, but it was more difficult to put Zeke’s on.  This was the first time that I saw how scared they were of humans.    The facility that I was bringing them wanted them to go into their round pen.  This was in January of 2007.   The mustang colts, Dude and Zeke, were just over one year old.   The owners of the facility did not want to put them in the barn with the other expensive horses until they received immunizations.  Especially the immunization for Coggins.  Also, they needed to be wormed.  Christinna and I visited them in that round pen for 30 days.  Each time we came we wanted to try to get them use to us.  So we would go in and give them treats.  Dude was very curious about the treats.  He learned right away that we brought things that tasted really good.  One time he almost mauled me to get to more treats.  I quickly realized that boundaries were very important or else you could get hurt.  During those 30 days it rained a lot and was extremely cold.   Zeke’s halter was not on very tight since he gave them such a hard time putting it on.  So during that cold winter month, his halter fell off.  Zeke was not eager to learn about the treats from us at all.  He always stood behind Dude, watching us.  Even though we were able to feed Dude the treats, we were never able to touch him.   Now, I was paying for the owner’s of the facility to “train” them, but they didn’t show much interest in getting the job done.  They were either too busy with their other horses, or they didn’t want to bring their horses close to them because of the risk of infecting their horses.   During the time they were there, I only saw them attempt to work with them maybe ½ dozen times.   One of the times, they showed us some things to do with them which we immediately implemented which was having them run around the round pen with us in the middle with a whip in hopes that they would turn and face us as a sign of submission and then come to us.  Because there were two of them, it was very distracting for them.  Dude was so busy protecting Zeke that he didn’t pay much attention to us.  If there were just one of them, we would have been able to progress faster, but because there were two of them, it was much harder.  This round pen had solid walls.  The only outside they could see was through the little cracks between the panels.  I started to feel very sorry for them.  I knew I had to make a change.  The owner’s of the facility did not seem happy to have them there.  The wife, Amy, really did not like Zeke.  In fact, she didn’t trust him.  
Meanwhile, Christinna and I talked about this becoming a ministry for kids using horses.  I believe I was so quick to go this direction, because I was in the Word and praying in tongues a lot.  I believe the Holy Spirit was guiding me in this direction.    It could also then be a write off on my husbands and my taxes.  My son helped come up with the name of Rein of Faith Ministries.  I reserved the name through the Corporations Commission in February of 2007.   The name was reserved until June of 2007.
Pictures of Dude and Zeke in the round pen:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chapter One - The Adoption

Chapter One

In 2003, right after my marriage to Steve, we were transferred to Atlanta, Georgia from Scottsdale, AZ.   Prior to the move there were two things on my heart.  One, being able to have a horse in Atlanta and two, being filled with the Holy Spirit before the move.  I began researching horse boarding facilities in Atlanta.  I also began searching for “signs” in the Bible regarding horses.  I had had horses growing up from ages 7-11 in my backyard.  I remembered how much I loved them and how much joy they brought to me. At the same time, I was hungry for the Holy Spirit.  I had been praying to receive Him for almost a year, but wasn’t really sure how to do it.  So I seeked the help of my friend, Elizabeth, to lead me in a prayer to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of praying in tongues.  The night of the move, the cars were taken already, the furniture was on its way and all I had to do was catch a plane the following day to Atlanta.  I was spending the night at my friend Marty’s house.  Elizabeth and I met outside of a Starbucks and sat in my rental car.  We prayed until I received the Baptism.  I spoke a few words in tongues, but still didn’t understand if I was doing it right.  When I got to Marty’s house, while continuing to say those few words (I thought I had to memorize them as if I was learning with my mind a new language), all of a sudden my prayer language came flowing out of my mouth.  I was so excited that I called Elizabeth and prayed over the phone to her so she could hear.  Then, I called my husband, who at the time was less than excited to hear my “strange” prayer language.   The following day, I got on the plane and flew to Atlanta for my new beginning.
As with all new moves, we became very busy with all other things that life throws your way, from buying a house, to decorating the house, to finding a home church and really just getting acclimated with the new environment.  I had never been to Atlanta before, so I had to learn how to get around.  And, anyone who has been to Atlanta would know how difficult that truly is.  By the time we settled in our new home and were situated, I remembered the location of the one horse facility that I had found on the internet.  Out of curiosity I went on a drive and drove by it.  It was not anything that I had hoped for.  It was very far away, lot’s of traffic and it seemed to be entirely English riding.    All I remembered having horses growing up in California was western riding and how fun trail rides were.  I did not see an opportunity for that at all.  So I put the dream of horses on the back burner.   There was one time when I was introduced to a charity for Premarin babies.  These were foals that were born by mare’s that’s entire existence was to be pregnant and supply urine for the Pharmaceutical industry to manufacture an estrogen drug called Premarin, which really stands for Pregnant Mare’s Urine.  These foals would be killed and sold for glue unless someone would take them.  This organization brought them home.  I prayed, “Lord, is this the horse project that you meant for me to participate in.”  His answer to me was “No.”
Meanwhile, I had a lot of time to study the Bible and participate in Women’s Bible Studies, learn about prophecy and also continue to grow in my marriage to Steve.  It was a wonderful time to self reflect, heal and get to the deeper things of God, since I really did not have any other full time commitments.  My husband and I invested in quite a few real estate commercial transactions which kept me busy.  We started our own Life Group as well.  Then, Hurricane Katrina hit and we were the recipients of family and FEMA for Steve’s family.  That took up a year of my time with all the help we gave the family during that very difficult time.  Shortly thereafter, my husband was relocated with his company to New Orleans, to start a new Coastal Division which would include Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.   The home search started and my life was devoted to finding a home and getting us settled in, while maintaining our home in Atlanta.
About 9 months later, my husband took a new position with a new company which would require us to move back to Scottsdale, AZ.     While waiting for the moving truck to leave at the Atlanta house, (we moved all the furniture from both homes for storage in Scottsdale, and also for our Laguna Beach house) I went to the movies by myself and saw the movie Flicka.  For some reason, (I know why now), horses were still a desire of my heart.   Immediately after the move back in October of 2006, we joined back with our Home Church, Desert Valley Church of Scottsdale.    I was having a conversation about horses with Christinna, a woman at church, who also had the same love for horses.   I told her that I would like to get a horse since Arizona seems to be quite the horse country.  I had never really noticed that before while I was living in AZ for about 7 years..or at least not to the degree that I saw it then.  I think that because I was believing so much for it to help me move to Atlanta that when I returned back to Arizona I saw a whole new opportunity for horses.  Of course, I continued to pray in the Spirit all the time.   We never really know what we are praying for, but I do know that God will always give us the desires of our heart.  
 Christinna, on one Sunday at church shortly after our conversation, brought in an article about a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) auction of Wild Mustangs.  This really intriqued me.  She asked if I wanted to go check them out.  So we met over at Westworld where the auction was to be held and looked at the mustangs that were to be auctioned off.  I really did not have much time to think about what I was doing, because I really wanted to get a horse.  When I got there I knew right away that not only do I want to get one, but I want to get two.  So, I signed up for the auction.  The BLM staff was very strict about the adoption process.  You needed to have a stock trailer to load them, you needed to provide proof of their home location that it would consist of a stall that was at least 20’ X 20’ and you had to buy a halter and at least a 30’ lead line.  I called my husband and “told” him that I was going to adopt two mustangs.  He asked me why I needed two and I said that two would be more fun than one.  My husband knew of my love of animals, and he didn’t want to get a dog, so he agreed that I could have a horse.  Then, quickly I needed to search for the ideal place to keep them.  I started searching for locations.    Christinna’s husband serviced a pool at a boarding facility so we got there number and went and met with them.  Amy’s husband was at a show at Westworld so she offered to help me pick out the best two mustangs to adopt and she also agreed that I could bring them to her facility.  It was very expensive for boarding and training.  I gave her a month deposit for both mustangs.  She came and picked out two for me.  She agreed that the one that Christinna and I had spotted would be a wise choice, who is Dude (we named him that because he reminded us of a surfer dude), and then I told her I really wanted a black horse, so she picked out Zeke.   That night Christinna and I both came up with the name Ezekiel with Zeke being his nickname.  That’s when we gave Dude his full name of Deuteronomy.   They both had really good confirmation.   I hired a stock trailer transporter to bring them to their new home.  I was so excited at the auction.  Christinna could not be there, so her husband Keith came and videotaped the auction.   Pastor Dwain and his son Chad also came to watch.  It was such an exciting day for me.  I didn’t want anyone else bidding on those two mustangs so I stood around the auction board making sure I was the only bidder on the two.  The starting bid was $125 per mustang.  If you got one for $125 you could get a second one for $25.  I wanted to make sure I got both of them, so I signed my name to each auction board.    I ended up winning the auction for both of them for $125 each.  Wow!! What a bargain. 
Here are pictures of that exciting day: