Day 20 – So I realized today that I haven’t given much of a background on what the Akhal Teke breed was originally bred for.
They are a very old desert breed originating from Turkmenistan where endurance and durability were an absolute necessity for survival.
For that reason, Akhal Tekes as a whole thrive and absolutely crush in any sort of competitive trail riding and endurance riding. Their sturdy and complete competence as a breed has enabled them to effectively spread into dressage, jumping and western disciplines.

Today, I discovered how the Akhal Teke is also the most brave, self sacrificing and awe inspiring horse out there.

Today’s training was intended to be a short relaxing trail ride. It started out as such,and I was pleased with how Luc eagerly stretched and moved out freely. My friend, Tatum was with me on my horse, Sam, and we ventured into the creek for our usual end of ride water work out. We followed the creek for what seemed like a mile, much farther than I have gone before, on Luc or otherwise. The boys were thrilled and happily played in the water together. On our way back we found a deep spot and the horses got to swim a little. Coming out of the deep spot, Lucero stumbled struggling to find footing. This quickly turned into a sinking struggle in the mud. Luc paused until I dismounted, and then slowly, patiently and somehow calmly, worked out of the mud.
I walked him a bit, felt legs to ensure he was sound, and then remounted to get the rest of the way back. I was expecting a fight to get back in the creek, but he literally walked in with zero hesitation!
He got his first bath (with me) when we got back to the barn. Didn’t love the hose in his face, but was a really good sport about it.

You would have thought that he just single-handedly saved a small village the way he strutted around the rest of the day… he thought he was the cats meow and was showing off to anyone who would give him a second look.

I never expected that he would be ok, much less so enthused!

This whole experience has utterly convinced me that an Akhal Teke is the way to go.

I am also so thankful for my relationship with God – I have a lot of anxiety just in general, and terrifying experiences like this tend to make it work in overtime. I had a constant chorus of prayer the entire ride back, and I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father cares enough about me, and about His horse, that He surrounded me in peace and protected Luc.
I am also so thankful for one of His angels- Jodi Dickey
She appeared when we got out of the creek and basically took over caring for Luc to make sure he didn’t spend the night covered in mud.

Thank you so much!

If you read this whole post and have a similar story of how a horse surprised you with fighting the flight instinct, please comment below! I would love to hear it!

**Philipians 4:6-“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”**