The Comfortable Horse

by | Apr 9, 2024 | God's Love, God's Plans

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17b-19 NIV)

Frank my horse, had been coming out of the barn less and less.

As a family we all noticed this and thought it was time to take some action. He needed to be moved out of his comfort zone, whether he liked it or not, for it was unhealthy for him to not be out and moving around. Thus, I put a lead rope on his halter and insisted he move out into the yard. Being in the yard is something Frank loves as he normally takes every opportunity to run and gallop. But not this day. In fact, I realized immediately that something was very wrong. He was walking gingerly, slowly and painfully. My heart sank as the dreaded word founder raced across my mind.

Founder (laminitis)* in horses is a serious condition of the foot caused by the pedal bone rotating and pointing towards the horse’s sole. It is also one of the most common reasons for disability and lameness in ponies and horses. This is extremely painful and in some cases it may be necessary to euthanize. 

I called my farrier. She examined and trimmed his hooves, even though she had just done them in late October, and sure enough she discovered the red line running around the bottom of the foot which spelled out our suspicion loud and clear: founder. Fortunately Dani has had a lot of experience with this problem and knew exactly how to reshape the toe of Frank’s hooves to take as much pressure off the front of the foot as possible. We also discovered that Frank had put on a lot of weight. With his heavy winter coat it is always hard to tell but a good examination revealed this problem. Obesity is a major cause of founder.

Why Frank gained weight we are not sure as he only eats hay. This year’s hay crop may have been extremely high in nutrients though as it had been a good growing year, so his rations have been reduced. I was also able to begin him on a dose of anti-inflammatory drugs. Now we just have to pray, be consistent in our treatment and hope that he makes a full recovery.

Sometimes God needs to move His people, you and me out of our comfort zone too.

As creatures of habit, we often find a routine we like and we stick to it. We don’t like or want change. We get comfortable as Christians with the way we think and act and we are happy to stay that way. But as God’s people He challenges us to keep moving ahead and growing, to keep grasping to understand and know and live out the power of His love, until we are full to overflowing with it. And this means change. Change which can come as we pray and are open to the power of the Holy Spirit who is able to teach us and guide us into all truth. Change that may reveal a spiritual problem which needs to be addressed so that we may continue to grow and be healthy in Christ.

Frank didn’t like being moved out of the barn, his comfort zone, but it was necessary and has hopefully saved his life.

We may not like God seeking to move us out of our comfort zone either, but remember whatever God does is always for our good, so let’s co-operate and allow Him to keep moving us forward day by day, that we may live as healthy and as full to overflowing Christian life as possible.

Prayer: Thank You Lord that You love us enough to seek to move us out of our comfort zone when it becomes necessary. Thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit within us who is able to keep us growing and knowing You more fully as we respond to His gentle nudging and direction. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Lynne Phipps
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada


The Comfortable Horse