When Paul Daily stepped into the round pen that had been temporarily set up at Legacy of the Plains, the blue roan mare inside wanted nothing to do with him. Within two hours, he was on her back.
Daily, who founded Wild Horse Ministries with his family, tours the country to share the story of his journey to put his faith and trust in God. During his presentations, he takes horses who have been worked with very little and climbs in the saddle not long after. It serves as a visual representation of his transition from fighting faith to giving up and letting God into his life.
He’s made several stops in Gering over the years, according to Pastor Doug Keener from Gering Zion Church.
“We have invited Wild Horse Ministries back to share the Good News of Jesus Christ,” said Keener.
In the beginning, the mare fought Daily, making it clear she had no interest in being involved in his work. Despite a less-than cooperative beginning, Daily stayed patient. When she’d make a mistake, he’d correct her and reassure her.
“I want zero pain to this horse — done,” he said. “I admire her for who she is, I really do. She’s a nice little pony.”
Many times, people resist letting the Lord take the reins, he said, just like the horse resisted him. As he rode his own horse next to the mare, he pulled her toward them and began petting her head.
“I’m touching this horse where she can’t touch herself, right between the eyes,” he said. “My friends, God can touch you where you cannot touch yourself.”
Eventually, the horse began to relax enough for Daily to get a saddle on her back and climbed in it. She took off around the pen almost immediately, getting too close to the fence and slamming Daily’s leg into the panel.
He continued to speak kindly too her, praising her even after she made a solid effort to get him off of her back.
“She don’t understand what’s happening in her life, I just want to be a part of this horse,” said Daily. “My friends, I don’t understand what God is doing, I just want to be a part of His work.”
He was not there to recruit church members, he said, his purpose was to move others to find their way to God. Keener said the presentations offer a non-threatening way for someone to take the first step on their faith journey outside of the traditional church setting.
“In western Nebraska, we have a western culture and most people here can relate to Paul’s testimony,” he said.
At the end of the presentation, he thanked the mare for carrying him and his saddle. She was taken out of the pen and Daily began loosening the panels as he asked if anyone had been moved by what they saw. Several raised there hands and walked into the pen, Daily encouraged the rest of the audience to join them.
“I was thrilled when people came forward and accepted the gift of salvation,” said Keener. “It shows me that people are hungry to know the truth about our Lord and Savior.”