Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 1 Chronicles 16:23-24 (NIV)
(photo from Herrmanns Lipizzan website)
I’m going to need a weekend to recover from my weekend. After spending yesterday at one of our historical sites, today, I went to a fund raiser for a historic school that I have been helping to write applications for grants for its restoration. At least the fund raiser involved horses. It was a special show at the Herrmann’s Royal Lipizzan Stallions training grounds in Myakka City. So, I invited my friend and horse trainer Bethany who lives in Myakka City to go with me. We got there early to set our chairs up and found a place with only one row of seats between us and the arena railing. Then, we wandered through the food vendors and bought some beautiful and tasty strawberries to munch on while we talked and waited for the show to begin. The sun felt really good after yesterday’s chilly, windy weather and since we hadn’t been together to talk in a while, the time went by fast. When the show began, we found we were up close and personal to the horses! They came very close to the fence, only about six feet away from where we sat. We could hear them snorting as the riders talked to them. It was fascinating to watch them work together. We could barely make out the riders hand and leg signals to the horses as they preformed intricate patterns. I could hardly believe the slight young women could make those huge horses do what they asked with what seemed like so little effort. I know hours and hours of work went into training the horses. I enjoyed hearing the history of the Lipizzans and how they were saved from destruction by the US Cavalry in 1943. Five hundred of the Austrian bred horses were captured by the German Army early in the war. As the Russian army approached the camp where they and some American prisoners of war were housed, it became imperative for the Americans to arrive first or else the Russians would have slaughtered the horses. In gratitude for keeping these elite war horses safe, the Austrian handlers staged a special performance for General Patten and their American rescuers. I also did not know that Lippizzan horses are born dark, almost black, but gradually turn white over a period of seven to nine years. But, the riding was what impressed me the most. One young woman in particular rode a young stallion that still had traces of gray in his mane and tail. He had a lovely extended trot. She and the horse looked as though they were one. I couldn’t get enough of watching her ride him. What if some people had not stepped forward, even risking their lives to save these majestic horses? As beautiful as they are, we are called to do something even more important in this life, to reach others for Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us, how can we not give ours to tell others about Him?