If you haven’t checked us out on Facebook yet, please do so. Each Tuesday we highlight a different person so you can get to know them. We kicked off Testimony Tuesdays on January 12 by sharing the amazing testimony of one of our riders: Mr. Dan Files.
Dan was an air medic for the 167th Air Force Reserve deployed in Desert Storm. As he prepared to return home, he was hit with chemical warfare. Two years later, Dan lost his entire throat, his tongue and muscle tissue to cancer (causing him to lose his ability to speak). Dan shared he had always dreamed of owning a horse when he retired and felt this dream vanished due to his inability to communicate. He shared that riding with Horses with Hearts has helped him in many ways, and when asked how, he would say, above all, “riding a horse makes me feel whole again. I feel like a real person and I feel free.”
That is how Horses with Hearts changed Dan’s life but let me share how Dan changed ours. Dan taught us so much about living life outside of life’s difficulties. He always shared the positive things. He would share that his desire was to live in a way that he would find favor with God. He had such a testimony of faith and commitment to the fact that God had a purpose and a plan for his life.
He had an amazing relationship with Ed, his favorite horse. He taught Ed sign language and sometimes I think he taught Ed to read his mind. Together they did amazing things and had a love for one another that could not be explained. Like all of us Dan was heartbroken when Ed died 2 years ago.
Dan left this world Sunday morning, January 10, 2021. Our hearts are broken and we will miss him, but I know God has made him whole again. There is no doubt in my mind that he and Ed are loving life together again.
As we have worked hard to make Horses with Hearts a place where lives are valued, it is important for us to always remember those who have touched our lives once they leave this world. We will be talking with Dan’s family to come up with just the right way to remember him at the farm. If you would like to make a donation towards this memorial please feel free to do so by clicking the donate button or mailing a check to Horses with Hearts, PO Box 2186, Martinsburg, WV 25402.