Jackie Wilson’s Gift: How a Luther, OK woman’s prayer led to making hobby horses.

Great State
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LUTHER, OKLAHOMA -- She says a pleasant hello every morning.

"I say, 'hi beauties!" quips Jackie Wilson.

It's just she and her horses in here but these quiet, gentle animals are still special.

"It's like having a friend," she chuckles.

Jackie made her first rocking horse for her daughter.

That was nearly 40 years ago and she still won't let it go.

A visitor to her shop remarks, "You must have liked it all right if you didn't let your daughter take it with her."

"No," she laughs. "I didn't."

She didn't make any more horses for several years.

It wasn't until she prayed about something else that God gave her a little nudge back to the workshop.

She recalls, "At the time, I thought, what talent do I have? Well, I made a rocking horse."

The first batch of 5 horses didn't sell.

The next batch sold better.

The stall doors of opportunity kept opening and Jackie kept working.

A few years back the Obama family gave one of Jackie's hobby horses to young Prince Henry of England.

He must have liked it.

These days the waiting list for a Wilson Horse is months long.

"I can't hurry these horses," she says. "They're too special to me."

Since it wasn't really her idea to make these toys Jackie still doesn't feel right keeping the profits to herself.

Just as she promised, the order money goes back out to charities she chooses.

Jackie says, "Wherever I feel I'm supposed to give it then I give it."

Her friends, in turn, bring joy to the homes where they go to live.

"There is no greater reward than to see a child enjoying a horse," Jackie smiles.

As a kid, she was a sucker for the coin operated horses in front of the grocery store.

She had her own, live horse for a while.

But these quiet Paints and Dapple Grays have come to suit her best.

Unless there's a fire in the barn, they can last a lifetime.

For more information on Jackie Wilson's story and the hobby horses she makes go to www.wilsonrockinghorses.com

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