Wild Horse Ministry Offers Educational Tips
Daily Family Travels Across Seminole Country
By Judy Weeks
BIG CYPRESS — The Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Big Cypress First Baptist Church were joint sponsors of a week of activities that centered around the Wild Horse Ministry. Paul Daily and his wife Joanna traveled from their home near Jena, La., with their children, Lenora and Dan, to spend a week in South Florida with their many friends in the Seminole Tribe.
A very accomplished horse trainer, Daily has worked with horses his entire life. He has developed a gentle, gratifying technique for breaking and training these animals in a very short period of time. As a young man, he worked in the oil fields by day and tamed horses during the evenings and weekends the old fashioned rough and tumble way.
While working a horse in his round pen, he suddenly realized that the horse’s responses to his actions were much the same as the way people react to the Lord. Inspired by this revelation, he developed a man/horse concept of life’s lessons with Jesus Christ.
His entire outlook on life immediately changed before his eyes and on Feb. 22, 1997. On that day, he held his first demonstration before his wife’s Sunday School Class. The reaction was overwhelming and the Wild Horse Ministry was born.
As word of his nondenominational ministry spread, he received invitations from churches, fairs, prisons and private individuals throughout Texas and Louisiana. This was just the tip of the iceberg and in no time his reputation began to reach out across the country. His ministry was becoming a full time job and interfering with his work in the oil fields.
Realizing that there was not enough time for both, he recognized that the Lord was leading him into service. He and his family put their lives in the hands of God and became full time horse trainers for the Lord in May of 2000.
Home schooling their children and depending upon the generosity of the people they meet along the way and sponsorships, the Daily family have made the Lord’s work a full time proposition.
During the past seven years they have put on a multitude of demonstrations in 31 states, and internationally in Canada and Uruguay. They have become so popular that almost everyone attempts to book their return for the following year. This is the case with the Seminole Tribe which has been fortunate enough to secure his return for the past several years.
As they work their way around the country, they have made friends everywhere they go. Many have said they feel they have watched his children grow up before their eyes. Accomplished with horses in their own right, Daily’s children Dan and Lenora, carry the American and Wild Horse Ministry flags at the beginning of each presentation. Following in their father’s footsteps, they have learned to carry on his stewardship and frequently accompany him in the round pen.
Meanwhile, Joanna Daily is hard a work behind the scenes. She is the glue that holds everything together. In addition to taking care of the family’s daily needs, she drives one of the trucks pulling a trailer from one location to another, handles the book work, scheduling and passes out the promotional literature. Let us not forget, that both children require home schooling and there is also their residence to be maintained in Louisiana.
The Wild Horse Ministry requires the undivided attention of all the family members, who have become devoted to this worthwhile endeavor. Their presentations inspire audiences to form a gratifying relationship with God and each other.
The Wild Horse Ministry kicked off this year’s visit to the Seminole Tribe with a bang on the night of Jan. 7 at the Junior Cypress Arena in Big Cypress. Tackling a very unruly paint stallion and a gelding in the round pen at the same time, Paul subdued the stud while Lenora gained total control over the gelding. What had started out as a biting, kicking free-for-all became a transition that is almost beyond belief.
Calming the stud, Paul eventually used rope techniques to lay the animal gently and humanely on the ground. Before long the creature gave up the fight and willingly submitted to Paul. With an unbelievably gentle attitude the horse followed him around the pen and completely disregarded the presence of the other horse. By the end of the evening, the horse was under saddle and being ridden around the enclosure.
Meanwhile, Lenora was constantly working the second horse and the audience watched as it transformed before their eyes. First leading, then responding to touch and release methods, she soon was riding him around the pen. The crowd, which had increased dramatically as the team roping reached its conclusion, were captivated by what they witnessed.
Traveling to each of the reservations, the week was filled with similar achievements. Appreciative crowds awaited them each evening and as the word spread so did the size of their gathering.
By Jan. 11, despite the cold weather, a group of more than 75 people assembled at the John Jimmie Memorial Arena in Immokalee. The Daily’s presentation on the night of Jan. 12 saw a record crowd for the area, when nearly 250 spectators filled the stands in LaBelle. Several of these had attended the previous evening in Immokalee and were returning with friends and neighbors to share the miracle they had witnessed.
Reverend Salaw Hummingbird sometimes accompanied by Moses Jumper gave brief presentations at the beginning and end of each demonstration. They joined the Daily family as they invited audience participation in accepting the Lord and his gospel. The response was overwhelming.
The night of Jan. 10 featured a special treat when the Big Cypress First Baptist Church held an old fashioned camp meeting around the fire. Moses Jumper graciously invited everyone to a beautiful location in a cypress head down in his pasture. With a roaring fire, hot dogs and marshmallows were cooked on a stick.
While the adults recalled old memories of similar gatherings in their youth, the children were busy making new memories. Laughing and playing around the campfire, everyone had a wonderful time.
Jonah Cypress picked up his guitar and everyone joined him in some good old fashioned gospel songs. Hummingbird spoke of our relationships with each other and God and quoted from some very insightful Bible passages.
Paul and Joanna Daily entertained their friends with numerous stories about their travels and the many small daily miracles they had witnessed along the way.
Dan and Lenora quickly warmed to the occasion and frequently injected encouragement with remarks that went something like this: “Tell them about the lumber on the highway.” “Remember the time we found the antifreeze by the dumpster in the middle of the night.” or “Don’t forget the time Mom avoided disaster when the man pulled out in front of us.”
Traveling home late at night with the smell of smoke in everyone’s hair and clothes brought a feeling of fellowship and a longing for a time gone by. The children quickly drifted off to sleep with fond memories that they will always carry with them. This is what family and community are all about.
Whether in Hollywood, the Brighton Arena, LaBelle, Immokalee or Big Cypress, the Wild Horse Ministry makes an impact on everyone they encounter. Paul Daily wins over many hearts as he begins by telling the audience that all God ever saw of him during his younger days was the Wrangler sign on his hip pocket. He stresses that we are all in charge of our own destiny and hopes that everyone will take home this piece of wisdom and it will change their life for the better.
“Anybody can float down stream, but it takes willpower to go against the flow,” he said. “With God’s help we can achieve success.”