PEA RIDGE Cutter Bill is a 2-year-old gelding and was the star of the show for Paul Daily and his wife Joanna’s Wild Horse Ministries Monday night, Sept. 21, at Ron and Bev Bowman’s indoor arena on Lucas Lane north of Pea Ridge.
“This is the first day of the rest of his life,” he said, towards the gelding, provided with high hopes by Don Whitaker’s farm outside Centerton, Ark.
Since February 1997, the Dailys, along with their two children Lenora, 21, and Dan, 19, have taken their ministry to 30 states, South America and Canada.
Joanna Daily homeschooled both children through high school while on the road. They would do their homework in the back seat, she said. Lenora and Dan both participated in the show, but are now in college and only travel when school is out.
“It’s a life on the road,” Daily said.
The family has put more than 400,000 miles on the horse trailer where they live for two thirds of the year, and bring with them two horses, their own public address system, a round pen, ropes and everything else but an arena and the main attraction — an unbroken horse.
“God got a hold of me with a horse — turned my life around with a horse,” Daily said.
Daily typically doesn’t see the horse until the show begins. He only asks that it be young, 18 months to 3 years. Throughout the demonstration, he speaks of how horses have touched his life and how God has touched his life, while patiently working to make the unbroken horse a riding one.
Daily was born and raised in Louisiana, familiar with horses his whole life. He worked in the Louisiana oil fields for more than 20 years, taking time out on weekends to train horses people brought to him.
“God showed me myself in those horses,” he said. “It was too good not to share.”
Now, in his demonstrations, Daily relates each horse to himself and other humans.
“It’s a mirror with hair and four legs,” he tells the crowd.
The way the horse runs, resists, tries to get away from him but also looks to him for guidance is the way people relate to the Lord, he says.
Who, Daily’s half-black lab, half-border collie, even plays the part of the devil in the show, running in and out of the pen barking and causing distraction.
Ninety-two people attended his first show. The record attendance of 7,000 was at a show in Pensacola, Fla.
The Dailys hold 120-160 shows per year. In a threemonth period, they drove 18,000 miles and broke 68 horses. They don’t do any advertising, but in 2000, Daily quit his job and made the ministry a fulltime venture.
“We live out of a donation bucket and free will offering, we’ve never charged a penny,” Daily said, adding that he would sooner quit and get a new job than start charging admission.
Daily said most of their time is spent driving and the show is harder without the kids’ help. But he is in high demand and delivers a positive message through his ministry. He could schedule a show for the next three years if he didn’t turn any down, he said.
“I’m not a preacher,” Daily said, “just a happy customer.”
News, Pages 11 on 10/07/2009
Print Headline: Wild horses