If you ask Paul Daily of Wild Horse Ministries if people have anything in common with horses, his answer will be that there are a lot of them.
In fact, Daily has spent its last 25 years dedicated to the idea that wild horses and people have a lot in common – and through those similarities, it hopes to bring people God’s message.
“All horses are different, no two horses are the same, and people are the same,” Daily said, “God wants us all to be his children, and he’s the only way.”
Daily is not a preacher, but rather a horse trainer, who uses his unique connection to horses to bring the word of God to area communities through Wild Horse Ministries. And on Wednesday, he helped launch the Christ Revival Crusade, a week-long event organized by a number of Marshall-area churches.
The Christ Revival Crusade will continue this week at the Marshall Convention Center through Saturday. Thursday’s program includes The Sound and a message from evangelist Mark Thrift. Friday’s program will be a performance by The Erwins and a message by Dennis Erwin. Saturday’s program is a performance by The Sound and a message by Cogan East. All events start at 7 p.m.
The Wild Horse Ministry travels to different communities where they are invited, where they meet a young wild horse and, through a two-hour demonstration, train the animal while spreading the word of God.
“What I want is to make this animal a precious animal when it’s finished,” Daily said, “I know you can’t train a horse in two hours. I’m still training this one and she has 13 years old, God still leads me and I am 67 years old.
Daily said it never meets the horse beforehand, leaving it to the event organizer to find an 18-month to 3-year-old horse to train during the demonstration.
“We never meet the horse ahead of time,” Daily said, “Some people will say it’s a trick horse, or we work with the animal ahead of time, but every time it’s different. .”
Throughout the demonstration, Daily works with the untrained young animal, drawing parallels between how the horse behaves and how people work in their relationship with God.
At Wednesday’s demonstration at Marshall, Daily worked with April, a 3-year-old colt who had never been handled before. In fact, April had her first halter fitted just hours before the protest.
“You might assume I’m here to brag and show what I can do, but that’s not it. I’m here to say I have no idea what I’m doing. I work with a hundred horses a year, but I have never worked with this horse. Just like people, no horse is the same, so every time I start over,” Daily said.
His overarching message to the communities he serves is that God does not abandon people and that he is always working to bring his children closer to him, eternally patient and wise as a horse trainer should be to a young foal.
The ministry, which is based in Louisiana, began 25 years ago when Daily said he decided to quit his 20-year oil job to start the ministry with his wife and their family.
“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but God always provides,” Daily said, “We don’t even charge admission for tickets, we’re run entirely by donations, and that’s which we do full time.”
Daily now spends his year traveling from town to town, living on ministry donations as he and his family work to get their message across Texas and Louisiana. The organization works with around 100 horses a year, working with over 2,000 horses in total and riding each one from the end of the demonstrations so far.
“Sometimes the ride is prettier than others, but we always end up driving them,” Daily said.