Monday, May 12, 2014

Following a "Fan Trail"

I didn't know what else to call this post. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to get permission from Calamity Rene, a faithful fan of this blog, to share her true story of how she is now the proud owner of her own horse! Finally, here is her story! Thanks, Calamity!

From Calamity Rene: 
           God has taught me so many things, and one of the lessons that sticks clearly in my mind is: "He always has a reason. No matter what, My blessings will come, even if they come in raindrops."
Calamity and "Rylee"
           Awhile ago, I was working with a Thoroughbred named Rylee. Rylee was one of the biggest horse projects I ever took on. He needed a lot of work. And I gave it to him--two years of it. He turned out to be a quiet and calm partner, loved kids, and was willing to do anything I asked. 
           I turned quite a few heads when I rode him. I remember hearing people say, "That girl can get Rylee to do anything. He trusts her more than anyone else." That's a huge compliment to a beginning horse trainer. I was thrilled.
           In my heart I thought I wanted Rylee as my own horse. He was a lesson horse at a barn I volunteered at. With all the work I put into him there was talk that I might get him as my own horse. I wanted him so badly! I spent many nights praying and crying out to God to give me Rylee.
           Then, last spring I began to train a new horse, Bodie. I've known Bodie since I was ten years old. He was my neighbor's horse from down the road. Bodie is one of those horses who hadn't been ridden much in his life. At sixteen years old, he was convinced he was only two. His owner couldn't ride Bodie because of her back, so she asked me to train and ride him for her. I was happy to comply. I had always enjoyed Bodie and couldn't wait to begin working with him.  
           Over last summer and fall I worked with both Rylee and Bodie. I still had my heart set on owning Rylee. Though I enjoyed Bodie, he wasn't exactly the horse I wanted. The funny thing was, one day my mom asked me, "If you had to choose between Bodie and Rylee as a horse you could own, who would you choose?"
           "Rylee," I said right off.
          "Because Rylee trusts me. Bodie is great, but he has a mind of his own. Rylee does whatever I want him to do, and he loves me."
          "Does Bodie love you?"
          "Naw, we're just friends."
          Three more times that summer I was asked why I didn't consider owning a horse like Bodie. I was firm on my answer, "No. I want Rylee." I'd put two years into that horse, and I wanted him as my own.
           I'd even worked out the details, Rylee would live at the neighbor's house with Bodie, and I could work with both of them. My neighbor agreed. She said Rylee could stay. I had it all figured out. I knew this was what I was supposed to have. By my eighteenth birthday and high-school graduation I was sure I'd have my own horse. 
         And that's when my world turned upside down.
 It started when I received a call from my Mom. I was camping with my dad, sisters, and brothers when Dad told me Mom had called and wanted to talk to me.

"Rene, the neighbor called." Silence. I knew something was wrong. "She can't keep Bodie anymore. Something's happened."
It was like a bomb had gone off in my perfect life and nothing I did could fix it. In one phone call my dream about keeping Rylee at my neighbor's house was gone, vanished. My idea of working both horses whenever I wanted had been kicked out the door. My poor neighbor, it wasn't even her fault. She was in a crisis, and all I could do was watch.
Bodie was taken up to the barn I was part of, as my neighbor trusted my barn manager to take care of him for her. My instructor promised that she'd care for Bodie as long as she could, but my neighbor needed to decide what she wanted done with him come spring.
“We'll take care of him until spring, but after that you need to decide what Bodie's future will be."
Imagine how I felt when she told the instructor, "I want Rene to have the first choice of owning Bodie."
Calamity and "Bodie"
Bodie? Bodie the horse I've known since I was ten? The escape artist, the troublemaker? Sure, I'd retrained him pretty well; I could ride him. That was a huge achievement. But Bodie was  . . . well, Bodie. He was ornery, he was goofy, he had a mind of his own. I could manage him (sort of) and I knew him well, but I wanted Rylee, not Bodie! Rylee did everything I asked, he loved me. Bodie was my friend; I didn't want him as my horse.
I was told the decision didn't have to be made until spring, for which I was glad. I liked Bodie but I had my heart set on Rylee.
That wasn't God's plan.
I can't go into details of what happened, but through a very hard experience I realized I'd never really be able to own Rylee. It was heartbreaking. First I was sad, then angry, and then sad again. I couldn't go to church, I was so upset. Now I'd lost Rylee and I'd lost Bodie (I had said I didn't want him). I still didn't, really, I thought he was nice but I wanted Rylee, and I couldn't have him.
God has a wonderful way of working things out for the best, in ways I still can't comprehend. My wonderful mother called the neighbor and told her of the incident. Imagine my shock when I receieved a call from my neighbor asking my mom and me to come down to see her.
"Rene," she said when we'd sat down. "I want you to have Bodie. I'm bringing him back to live on my property until spring. If you want him, you can have him. I don't want you to feel pressured to take him. I just want you to figure it out for yourself. It's your choice."
I was speechless and--I admit--I cried. My wonderful neighbor was bringing her horse back for me, to give me another chance to decide if I wanted Bodie or not.
I can't say exactly when my heart shifted towards the huge quarter horse gelding. I don't even remember how it happened. I remember feeling afraid I was making the wrong choice; I was afraid that perhaps if I took Bodie, suddenly Rylee would become available and I wouldn't be able to own him. 
But God had bigger plans for me.
It's spring now. Summer is just around the corner. A month ago I went to my neighbor and told her, "I want Bodie as my very own horse."
What happened to the girl who wanted Rylee so bad? Who liked Bodie as a friend, but never would have considered owning him? Two things. God chose Bodie for me, and Bodie needed me as much as I needed him. He needed someone who could keep up with his antics, someone who loved to play and have adventures as much as he did.
Bodie changed my perspective on horsemanship. He's not my horse, he's my partner. He refuses to let me think of myself as his "master." I'm his friend. If I get too controling he'll usually buck and tell me I'm taking things way too seriously. He wants to have fun, and he wants me to have fun too.
Calamity and Bodie having FUN!
I love adventure. I always have. And God knew that Bodie would be the horse who could take me on those adventures I never could have taken Rylee on. My beautiful quarter horse is fearless. We cross water and climb hills, jump logs and ride next to the train tracks. Bodie isn't afraid of anything. (Which leads to trouble when he tries to take down the hot-wire on his own, or when he takes off with a tarp in his mouth!)
Through Bodie, God taught me a lot of things I never would have known. Would you believe me if I told you my dear and wonderful neighbor had decided three years ago she wanted me to have Bodie? She knew before I did we were the right match. I balance Bodie's wildness, and he balances my "training mentality." We complement each other in every way. 
I couldn't see that before; I was blinded by what I wanted. My brother, a young man who doesn't know very much about horses, told me that. My sister, who didn't know about horses, told me that. Everyone but I saw it. And God knew; He knew what I needed. He knew what Bodie needed.
I am now the proud owner of a huge, 16.2-hand-high quarter horse. I can't even imagine life without him. He's blessed me in so many ways, and he keeps me laughing. (He also drives me crazy, but that's what friends do!)
What I'd thought I needed was wrong. God knew better and He chose my horse for me. Believe God's Word when he says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11
God's got a plan for you too. It will always be better than what you think you need or want. Sometimes you just have to endure the raindrops to find the rainbow. It's worth the pain. 

Thank you, Calamity Rene, for sharing with us!



  1. Wow that's soooooo Awesome Calamity!!!!!!
    God bless you

  2. Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. did you get up at 4:00 am??????

    1. I mean to post this.

    2. No! I usually "pre post" and set the time for it to go up. And it's 4 am pacific time and I'm back east so it's 7 am for me for the next few weeks. :-)

  4. Thanks for letting us read this! It's true, we often forget that God's way is best and He has a plan for each of us.

  5. What a AWESOME testimony! :D Can we have more Mrs. Marlow?? :)

    1. well, sure. If somebody sends me some. :-)

  6. That is a very touching story Calamity Rene! God has really blessed you with a beautiful horse! :-) Jesus is so wonderful!! When you mentioned the "Blessings through raindrops" thing, it brought to memory a song I love by Laura Story called "Blessings". Have you ever heard it? By The Way, I love the picture of you standing on Bodie! :-)

    -Sarah Beth-

    1. I LOVE Laura Story-blessings!!!!
      Its one of my favorite songs:-)

    2. Ooh! Laura Story's "Blessings" is one of my most favorite songs!!!! :D
      I'm so glad you and Bodie have become best friends, thanks for the great "story" Calamity Rene! :)

    3. My sister sang that song at our church once! I love it!

  7. Thank you everyone! I'm happy to share my story with you, I'm glad it was an encouragement. :)
    And yes Sarah Beth, that sentence, "Blessings through raindrops," is from Laura Story's song. It came on one day and I stopped to listen, then cried. :) It was my situation exactly. :D

    Again, so glad I could encourage you all! God Bless!

    -Calamity Rene

  8. Could I please have your email Calamity Rene?
    You're story really touched me, I just found out my horse is lame.
    I can't ride her more than a walk. I would love to get to know you better and maybe we could strengthen each other's faith in the Lord.
    Bethany Reinstedt

  9. I love your story! I really wanted this horse at the barn because I lease but your story made me love 'my' horse more! and now I might even get a horse of my own!


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