Meet Emily Hammond! I grew up in the city of San Antonio and although horse crazy, I never had a place to ride. When I was 12 years old we moved to Kingsland, TX onto 5 acres. Finally, it was happening I had the land and the means to care for a horse. My mom was completely on board and the search was on. We found an ad for a beautiful young horse named Thunder. The only problem was he was located in Florida. My mom saw this as a small obstacle and arranged him to be hauled to Texas. When he arrived I couldn’t have been more ecstatic! But, it didn’t take long for me to realize that horses are a lot of work. I imagined it being like the movies. Girl meets horse, they bond instantly, and then gallop off into the sunset. But, Thunder and I could not reach a place of good communication and I got off discouraged after every ride. My parents found a horse trainer and I began to take lessons. It still did not look very pretty but I got a glimpse of what it could be like. My instructor was able to help me learn to become a leader and also to stop trying to micromanage Thunder’s actions. At first, I had blamed Thunder for our problems but then I saw that it was really my lack of leadership. Horses have to first come to the understanding that you are worth following and then entrust you with their life. God used horses to teach me about what it means to be a leader and ultimately to be a follower. We are to trust God with everything. In 2006 Stacy Westfall rode a very complicated pattern with her horse: no rope, no bridle, and no saddle. Her horse was flawlessly in sync with her! That is how I desire to be in sync with God. Her horse was listening and understanding what Stacy was communicating because of the time they had spent together. It is a picture of how valuable the time is we spend with God. Here is a link to the video I was speaking of: The parallels to God’s teaching and horsemanship come together in such a beautiful way. I am thrilled to be here at Camp Peniel and to have this opportunity to not only to teach about horsemanship but to let God use me and these horses to share the love and hope of the Gospel message.