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Faith takes the reigns at local horse show

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 10:48 PM EDT
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ELIZABETH, W.Va. (WTAP) - When you think of church, horses probably don’t cross your mind but, for leaders of Riding in Faith, they go hand in hand.

WTAP went to one of their horse show competitions to understand the purpose beyond the blue ribbon.

Horses galloped around the riding arena. Riders took on poles, cones, flags, barrels, and a dash for cash. Competition was open to all ages, from eight and under to adults. Participants won ribbons, trophies, trinkets, and more.

Mary and Joe Smith have been leaders of Riding in Faith for years. They say shows like this are about more than just winning.

Mary said, “Our biggest point here is to share God’s word. We play Christian music and we start with the anthem and Joe does a small devotion and a prayer before we start anything.”

Mary and Joe believe that both horses and the bible teach valuable lessons.

Mary said, “There are so many things that horses teach us and, now that we have incorporated as a ministry...there’s a lot of blessings that come from that.”

One of those lessons is simply how to listen. Mary puts it best - if you’re not listening to your horse, your horse isn’t listening to you.

One of the many blessings is family.

Joe said, “One thing that I know I’ve felt here has been...it’s a growing family.”

“Yeah. It’s a huge family,” Mary agreed.

Sara Truax has been competing at these shows for about three years and she feels like a member of that family.

She said, “For this family to be...to be a part of it is amazing. It’s a whole family away from my family and I can tell them anything...,”

And it’s not just people Sara’s built a special bond with. She says horses have always been steadfast companions.

“Horses have a different spirit to them. They can sense those feelings a little bit more than dogs and cats can and they can help you through more things than you think,” Sara explained.

While horses trot around the arena and spectators cheer, Mary says the show isn’t the only thing people come for.

“We don’t do anything without God’s blessing and these shows don’t happen unless he wants them too and the people who come are coming because they know what we stand for.”

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