Riding in the fields of the Lord

by Todd Habiger

SABETHA — Astride her horse and riding through the countryside of rural Sabetha gives Patty Locher the perfect place to pray. Sometimes, she prays the rosary. But more often than not, she sings.

“Singing hymns is uplifting to me,” said Locher. “Someone — perhaps a saint, I don’t remember — once said, ‘Singing is praying twice.’”

(For the record, St. Augustine of Hippo is credited with that particular quote.)

Locher, a member of Sacred Heart Parish, Sabetha, has three horses — Ariel, Bonnie and Speedy — that serve as her companions on her spiritual journey.

Locher started praying while riding several years ago. She says a prayer before and after she mounts — for her, and her horse’s, safety.

“I like to just get my mind, body and horse centered for a little bit before we move out,” she said.

Locher likes to sing out loud. She hopes her singing will make the wildlife scatter as she approaches and thus not spook her horses.

“I wish my horses could talk so they could tell me whether or not they like to hear my voice or prefer silence,” she said. “When I ride without singing or talking to my horse, it just seems so quiet.”

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