Elizabeth Brumbaugh

With Faith Like a Mustard Seed: How a Cowgirl’s Love for Her Mare Moved Mountains

Matthew 17:20
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

• • •

January 27, 2017

As my phone rang at 10:30 am and I saw that the name flashing on the phone was Dr. Lewis’, I took a deep breath and answered in fear.

“Elizabeth, you need to come look at your mare.” Having been on my way to Louisiana, I quickly found a way to reroute my path to Elgin, Texas.

This was a call I prayed I wouldn’t receive for quite some time. You see, this call was the end to my worldly love of a little horse named KD Shorty.

KD Shorty

KD Shorty

• • •

In September 2016, my sweet Sadie (my name for KD Shorty) went to the best vet possible to have an operation she needed on her leg, but the prognosis was positive and I was hoping she would be home in no time. However, as you can probably tell, the story ended a little differently.

Months later, at 1:15 pm on that fateful January day, I walked into the door of the vet clinic and proceeded to her stall. (Let me also tell you that I was 7 months pregnant and knew this was going to be a lot for me to handle.) I was in fear of what I would see.

My precious girl greeted me at the door and seemed lively enough, but her eyes spoke pain. As I wailed a vicious, ugly cry and wrapped my arms around her neck, I knew that it was her time to be welcomed through the pearly gates. I said my goodbyes and made a few calls to Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine to let them know that I wanted to try and salvage her ovaries.

Later that evening, I received a call confirming that she’d been humanely euthanized and that her ovaries were healthy and on their way to Texas A&M. We would know shortly if there was any chance to make a baby from the harvest.

• • •

A few days later, they were able to extract a few viable, immature oocytes. Now, it was a waiting game. I selected the stallion of choice to be matched with her egg in a Petri dish. Again, a waiting game ensued.

Every day, I would receive a text telling me that nothing had cleaved and that it was looking unfortunate for us to make a baby from this project. On night number nine, I received a text informing me that the following day would be the last and final day that they’d check for an embryo and that it was usually not a viable baby if made on day ten.

My heart broke.

The texts between the sweet staff at TAMU comforted me in so many ways. I told them that I would be praying and that I had faith in a miracle.

The next day, I received the news that they had one viable embryo and would be looking for a host mare to carry the baby. I was BEYOND ecstatic.

I made a quick call to the donor mare clinic and they assured me they had the perfect mom for this little miracle embryo. So, naturally, I went to the clinic and met the horse! She was a beautiful buckskin mare with a dark mane and tail, and I instantly named her Spirit.

• • •

Spirit stayed at the clinic for another three months to undergo routine pregnancy checks and to be kept under strict watch.

It wasn’t until the end of her term at the clinic (when she was almost ready to come home) that I received another gut-wrenching call. Sweet Spirit had gotten down in her stall and could not get up. The clinic informed me they were doing everything in their power to ensure that the mare and baby would live.

After another month’s stay at the clinic and numerous pregnancy checks, Spirit was released to come to the ranch and be turned out until she was ready to have her baby.

Well, wouldn’t you know… something else happened!

Spirit decided to have the baby on her own accord and on her own timeline, completely unsupervised and outside in the FREEZING cold! My heart sank when I got the call that she had a baby in the middle of the night in 20-degree weather. I thought, “Wow, after everything we’ve been through, the baby is going to die of frostbite!” Praise the Lord, that was not the case. This baby was a fighter!

When I arrived at the ranch to meet this little surprise, I was overcome with joy. This was the workings of a miracle! My sweet Sadie would live on through this beautiful daughter! I sent a text to the staff at TAMU to inform them of the blessing that had arrived. I was and am forever indebted to their hard work and dedication throughout the entire process.

Fast-forward to the end of her weanling year, and the naming-process had begun.

I thought, “This one has to have a special name.” I went back and read my prayer journal and looked through the texts that I’d sent the staff at the clinic. I remember us all praying…

“With faith like a mustard seed, you can move mountains.”

That was it: Mustard Seed. I know it doesn’t really roll off the tongue, but this little foal needed a name that was much bigger than herself!

Today she is a yearling, turned out at the ranch. She is enjoying her life before she hits the training barn. We have faith for this one and believe that big things are in her future!

Mustard Seed

Mustard Seed


With faith like a mustard seed, anything is possible.


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