He and his father, Roy, a minister at First Baptist Church of Satsuma, will use microphones to talk to the crowd as Chance convinces a wild horse to let him to ride it. The way a gentle trainer tames a stubborn horse, they teach in their message, is the way God “tames” a stubborn human.
Chance Hill, 21, started the ministry he calls SPURS, which stands for “submit, peace, understand, respect and serve” — steps horses must learn in order to be useful to their owners.
The demonstration will be hosted by New Haven Baptist Church of Anniston. The church is planning a festival around the demonstration, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 23. Hill will demonstrate his horse-training skills around 1 p.m. The demonstration will last between 30 to 45 minutes.
James Baird, brotherhood director at the church, said he and other members heard of Hill’s ministry and traveled to a town in Tuscaloosa County to see a demonstration.
“It’s inspiring and impressive,” Baird said. “It applies to all ages, not just only to a youth group.”
Hill, a business-management student at the University of Mobile, said his family also raises quarter horses and bees, in addition to serving a church.
Hill said he is about 18 months out from being roughed up by a horse, although not during a demonstration. He was riding one on a flat-top road when the horse reared up, flipped backward and landed on top of him. He suffered a cracked tailbone.
The horse ministry was inspired by another trainer, Paul Daily of Louisiana.
Hill does not call himself a “horse whisperer,” a name made famous by the 1995 book and the 1998 movie starring Robert Redford. Both were based on a famous Irish horse trainer named Daniel Sullivan, who observers said seemed to whisper to horses.
Hill prefers to be called a horse trainer with a gentle touch — as opposed to forcing a horse to submit.
“It makes a better horse than if you do it the rough, tough way,” Hill said.
Contact Sherry Kughn at 256-235-3548.
Horse-training and festival
When: Festival from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 23. Chance Hill’s horse-training demonstration at 1 p.m.
Where: New Haven Baptist Church, 100 New Haven Road, Anniston, 256-237-2604.
Cost: Free, but a love offering will be accepted.