horse Articles

It takes more faith to wash dishes and clean stalls than move mountains

lady washing dishes

Do you remember off the top of your head when Jesus laid aside his garments, girded himself with a towel, and washed the disciple’s feet? Jesus performed this mean service for His disciples just before Judas left to betray Him. One of the final lessons Jesus taught the disciples was to elevate drudgery and diminish the spectacular.

Faith in great trials and temptatons is often less than what is required to wash dishes or clean up after the horses or kids ONE MORE TIME. Writing a book can be so boring and tedious that you just want to get it over with in order to move on to something better.

Before doing the most important thing ever done in the history of the world Jesus washed feet. What is the lesson for us?

The Warm Up – Ask “amiss” and you may hurt something…

Horse mishap  Google images

When you finally discover that the answer to a question or dilemma you’ve puzzled or fretted over for years was embarrassingly simple was your response “Awright!” followed by a victorious imaginary high-five or “What an idiot” followed by a brief indulgent moment of self-disgust?

Everyone knows the necessity of a proper warm up. Who would suggest that core strength isn’t a requirement of athletic in any sport? Would anyone disagree that balance is a good thing? I knew about warm-up, core training, and balance. What I didn’t know is that I had great conceptual knowledge about all of them but a less-than-stellar history of application.

“For everyone who asks receives.” (Matthew 7:8)

“You ask and you do not receive, because you ask amiss.” (James 4:3)

The essence of my discovery may be found in these two short statements. Both are true, but don’t they present just a little challenge when you compare them? If you ask you will receive. Okay, that’s a good simple concept. But do you always get what you ask for?

How to Fix it when your Horse CAN’T do what you ask

mini jump horse

Miniature horses should never become pancakes.

Horses fail to properly respond to a cue or display perfect manners for only one of two reasons. Your horse either CAN”T do what you ask or your horse WON’T do what you ask. Before you can take the appropriate action to fix the problem you have to know why you have a problem in the first place. This seems so obvious that you may be rolling your eyes right this very minute. Not so fast…

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or Clinton Anderson to tell you that a 32 inch miniature horse CAN’T jump a seven foot fence all by himself regardless of how hard he tries. If you’re silly enough to ask the mini-equine to jump a seven foot fence he will either look at you like you’ve lost your mind or go ahead and give it his best try. SPLAT. Right into the fourth board from the bottom, head first. You’ve just created a squashed pancake of a mini-horse. Your bad.

Your little bitty smashed horse wasn’t unwilling to jump the fence. The pancaked pony was unable to jump the fence. So, how do you fix the problem?

Jesus Loves You Till Your Bucking Bubble Breaks

Bucking horse b.w. Flickr

Swizzle, my adorable gray filly, lowered her head, opened her mouth, squallered like a mad hog and BUCKED.

Over the past 5 years I have tried to remove her bucking bubble. It didn’t work. I can bury it, I can correct it, I can punish it – but the bubble completely disappears. As time goes by it builds up enough pressure until Swizzle must express it to relieve the pressure. I have many ways to correct a horse that bucks due to unwillingness or lack of leadership. Swizzle is one of my amazing grays because she taught me that some horses, like people, are simply born with quirks. Swizzle has a bucking bubble. She may always have a bucking bubble. She doesn’t want to have a bucking bubble. My job is to help her build faith in her ability to manage it and my ability to help her.

How does Jesus love us through our own bucking bubbles?

Relationship Role Models for Christians and Horse Owners

Bo is a gift of faith.

No great relationships happen by accident or luck.

Regularly people say to Baber or me, “Oh, if only I had a horse like Bo. You are so lucky.” Others may ask if he is for sale; they want what I have. The truth is they don’t want Bo per se; they want a relationship with their horse like I have with Bo.

Have you ever looked at a father and son who were so obviously connected to each other that you wished you could have had a father like him or that your son would be like this one? We may think, What a different path my life would have taken if I had a parent like that one. When you see a long-married couple still holding hands after fifty years of laughter and heartbreak, so obviously in love with each other that the line between them is but a blur, do you lament that you weren’t blessed with a husband like him or a wife like her? How lucky they are. Why wasn’t I as fortunate?

Some days you’re the windshield – Some days you’re the bug

Bug Day Tired 2

Some days I feel strong, energetic, and able to do most of what I could as a 30-year old. Other days I feel more like an over-cooked noodle. I call days like that Bug Days. Today is a Bug Day.

I feel fine. There’s no soreness anywhere, no bind or pull, and except for my eyelids feeling like they’re only about 93% open it’s a great day. Do you ever have Bug Days? Horses have Bug Days too. Learn how to manage and make the most of Bug Days.

Relationship Triangles and Team Building

horse team dreamstime

It is not possible to have the same simple relationship with another person you can with a horse. Few people have enough insight and wisdom to objectively evaluate their own thoughts, actions, and motivation much less those of someone else. As soon as two or more people enter into a relationship blender it starts getting a little messy.

The use of horses in ministry, physical and emotional therapy, leadership training, rehabilitation of body, spirit, and soul is exploding because – face it – there’s nothing like a horse.

Team building begins the instant you add a third party to any leader-follower mix. Teams always have a leader, whether elected, appointed, or by acclaim. Teams are most successful when each member has faith in the leader, understands the position he or she plays on the team, and has confidence that every other member of the team feels the same way.

A Funny Story about a Serious Subject – Equine Colic

Beautiful Appaloosa stallion

Colic is the number one cause of death in horses. It is always a serious matter, whether caused by a gas bubble, looped intestine, impaction, or other issue with the gut of a horse. Over the years and hundreds of horses, we’ve only lost one mare and one foal to colic even when surgery was required. I just read a story about a mare that colics each spring when she begins to cycle. It reminded me of our Gentle Giant, a gorgeous champion stallion who is the subject of my most unusual colic experience.

What could possibly be funny about colic? As Paul Harvey would say, you have to read the rest of our story…

Grace in your saddle-bags kicks Frustration to the curb

Burned out horse

In one simple word, “grace” defines the Golden Rule of Christian Horse Training. Some horses seem to have real difficulty staying focused, consistent, or have what seems like a major case of bull-headed resistance. Every “No” your horse gives you is caused by one of two situations; he is either unwilling to do as you ask or is unable to comply. When asked, most owners are certain their darling equine’s response is not that he can’t, but that he WON’T! Do you think your horse is being a pain in your saddle-sitter just to be annoying?

Enter the Golden Rule.

An Outlaw In Need of Redemption

Why is your horse disrespectful?

Redemption produces fruit from a barren tree. Reformation is the visible fruit of new birth. The only thing that separates the rankest nastiest horse from serving its owner in willing obedience is right relationship. But there is a caveat…

Saul of Tarsus was a dangerous man. Christians who crossed his path were persecuted, trampled, and killed. What caused the miraculous transformation that resulted in the ‘birth’ of the Apostle Paul? Relationship with the only One who could touch his soul – Jesus Christ