Updated: Jun 29, 2019
On Saturday, June 8th, I got a phone call from a woman named Joanne. She introduced herself and began to tell me how she felt that Risen Ridge was an answer to her prayers. You see, due to her health, she is unable to ride anymore and needed a home for her horse, Socks. She got him when he was 4 years old and he just turned 19. This was her baby! She thought that he would be a great horse to work with veterans and people with PTSD. A friend of a friend told her about Risen Ridge, she looked up our website, and gave us a call. Not only did she want to donate her horse, but she wanted to donate a lot of horse equipment, too. She had 3 horses and, while the others had moved on already, she was waiting for the Lord to lead her to where Socks should go and she felt very strongly that the Lord lead her to Risen Ridge. We spoke for a long time, got some details about Socks and his background, and decided that we would come take a look at him to see if he would be a good fit for Risen Ridge.
That Wednesday, Chris and I, and a friend of ours from church and her daughter, drove a little over an hour to meet Joanne and Socks. After a warm welcome from Joanne, we walked out to the pasture where Socks was. Very calmly, he walked right over to all 5 of us and just stood there, in our midst, wanting to be near, but not being pushy about getting in our space. This first introduction was key because we need horses just like him. We want people to be able to go to the horse for physical contact, not for the horse to demand the physical contact from people. Score 1 for Socks! We stood there with him for a long time, talking about him, about his life, about the adventures that he and Joanne had over the years and he just stood. So we decided to move forward with riding him. While we were grooming him, Joanne was telling us about all of the wonderful things she was going to donate to Risen Ridge. She mentioned that she had some very nice saddles that she was going to sell and one of them belonged to Socks, it fit him to a T. As we were tacking him up, Joanne said that she couldn’t imagine us finding a better saddle for him and that if we took him, we could have the saddle, too! We walked him out to the arena and our friend from church got on him. After a good riding assessment, we put our friend’s 8 year old daughter (who is a rider) on him, too. He was such a good boy!!!! Very obedient, calm, and easy to handle. 2 points for Socks! It was easy to say that we wanted to bring this boy home. God made him to help people and Joanne had fostered that growth throughout his life.
It just so happened that the same evening was our regularly scheduled, monthly board meeting. We told Joanne that it was almost certainly a yes, however, we needed to have approval from our board before making it official. She asked, if we wanted him, that we take him as soon as possible. So on the way home, I made some phone calls and arranged transportation for him the very next afternoon. That night, we shared everything with our board, held a vote, and unanimously agreed to welcome Socks as the first Risen Ridge Ministry horse!!!!! I’ll tell you what, when God is ready to move, you really need to be ready! Lol!
Thursday afternoon, another friend from church along with her children, hitched up their horse trailer and made the trip to pick up Socks. Because of the volume of equipment Joanne was donating, I drove separately to have more space for her donations. When we arrived, we loaded the mountain of equipment into our vehicles as Joanne explained everything and then said her goodbyes to her boy. As we were walking him towards the trailer, Joanne mentioned that she hoped he loaded well because the last time he was on a trailer was when she bought him. 15 years prior!!!! He was such a good boy! He walked right onto the trailer without batting an eye! We shared some hugs, some tears, and some goodbyes and we were off.
Since arriving at Risen Ridge, Socks has been spending some time adjusting to his new home. As you can imagine, being in the same place for 15 years could make moving quite an adjustment, but he is settling in very well. Our family has spent the afternoons at the barn just hanging out, loving on him, getting to know him, he’s had a couple of visitors, and he’s getting used to his new surroundings. He has a black angus herd as his neighbors and horses in two directions that he can see and hear off in the distance.
Risen Ridge will spend the foreseeable future getting to know Socks and learning about how he can be used as a healing vessel for the Lord. When the time is right, God will bring him a friend or two, and Risen Ridge will begin sharing the love of Jesus with our guests.
Without further ado, let me introduce Socks. Socks is a 19 year old Tennessee Walking Horse. He stands around 16 hands tall and is chestnut in color with two hind socks, and a stripe and a snip on his beautiful face. He is friendly, extremely peaceful to be around, and we know that God is going to use him in a mighty way! We are overwhelmingly thankful for His faithfulness. Risen Ridge Ministry is one mighty step closer to ministering to the people He will bring!