Kenosha News correspondent
Some people think of Paul Daily as a “horse whisperer,” but the Trout, La., man doesn’t really care for the term.
“I am just an old country boy who knows a thing or two about horses,” he said in his soft southern drawl. “There is no secret with horse training. It is all in loving on the horse, reading their body movements and reactions, and listening to what the horse can tell you. And I tell you, I learn something new every day because like with humans, no two horses are alike.”
Daily used his experience while at Parkside Baptist Church, 2620 14th Place, on July 12 when he gave a two-hour demonstration for more than 100 people. The presentation took place in a round pen with Dancer, a 3-year-old unbroken horse belonging to Kayce Rozanske, of Raymond, who has owned it for a month.
“He has just had minimal handling,” said Rozanske, adding, “This will be good for him. But I feel sorry for the dog.”
The dog is a big part of Daily’s ministry, providing antagonism to the horse similar to the way the devil plays a part in human lives. Daily explained this as the dog ran around Dancer’s feet, in and out of the pen.
“He runs around the horse, snipping and snapping and trying to get the horse’s attention off of me,” Daily said. “But the horse has to make a choice to listen to me or the dog. It is the same with us. Do we listen to the devil or do we listen to God?”
Daily’s presentation is part of Wild Horse Ministries, a non-denominational, non-profit ministry he founded in February 1997.
“I am not a preacher, and I’m not here to drive this down people’s throats. It’s an honor to serve the Lord, and I am here to offer people the message of God,” said Daily, who works alongside his children, Lenora and Dan, and two assistants. “Every horse is fresh and new, and it’s always a bit different.”
The horseman sees himself in every horse he works with, he said, and his unique approach has won the trust of horses and brought people closer to God through his outreach.
“I say every horse is a mirror with hair on it,” Daily said. “They show us the uniqueness of God because no two horses and no two people are alike. That’s what brought this ministry about. He showed me myself in these horses and changed my life. So, that’s what we do, we travel around and share with people the similarities between horse training and saving souls.”
Years ago, while working a horse in a round pen, it dawned on Daily that the horse’s responses to his actions were similar to the way people react to the Lord. Inspired by this revelation, he developed a concept of teaching life’s lessons.
After his initial demonstration in 1997, word spread about his ministry. By 2000, Daily became a full-time horse trainer, and he travels throughout the country sharing his message. He trains approximately 10 horses per month, while encouraging his audiences to form a relationship with God.
Although flighty at first, Dancer relaxed as Daily began working with him.
“You have to enter the horse’s world to work with him,” he said, as he gently stroked the animal’s back and belly, placing a blanket on his back. “You have to think like a horse.”
Within two hours, Daily not only had Dancer coming to him, but he saddled him, rode him and had his 20-year-old daughter, Lenora, on his back. As the horse bucked around the pen a couple of times, he told the crowd that God never promised anyone a rosy trip, but he did promise he would be with them to the end.