Nervous or uncertain riders often seek skills to manage anxiety. Some horses are anxious and look to the rider for stability and guidance. Gospel Horse offers a Balance and Relaxation Clinic teaching riders a variety of mounted exercises to (1) learn how to maintain focus, and (2) offer horses the opportunity to know what is expected of them in a way that promotes calm, purposeful, reliable results.
The first lesson all riders learn is that the fear, imbalance, and unpredictability of any horse is the result of human error. Before mounting, clinic riders are asked to do one very simple task; walk.
Once they have to think about walking it becomes a far more difficult task than expected. Just keeping which side is right and which side is left straight can be a bit dicey.
Ever wonder why your horse messes up the simplest of tasks? The window of revelation slowly begins to open…
This post serves to de-brief riders from the most recent clinic as well as introduce the foundational concepts to others. Clinic exercises give riders new tools to achieve focus without giving in to the temptation of distraction. Horses serve as feedback partners, but the clinic has little to do with the horse. Fix the rider and most horse problems disappear.
If you would like information about the clinics contact Lynn through GospelHorse.com or use the contact tab at the top of this page.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. – Matthew 7:24-25
Unless your foundation in Christ, as a leader for your family, and in relationship with your horse is built on a solid foundation it will always be iffy; shifting, tilting, and changing grade without warning. Just when you need something immovable to stand on – balance is compromised, trust is broken, and all is lost.
“Unless you become as little children”
Every exercise the riders performed at the Clinic purposed to harness their thoughts and intentions to a single thought or reintroduce natural movement. Once a child is harnessed into the strictures of the world his natural abilities are compressed or hindered.
The “ruler of this world” (John 14:30) schemes, connives, and lies in order to tempt those whose focus is firmly set on Christ to distraction. Once our eyes move from the goal our feet wander off the narrow path. (Matthew 7:12)
Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirty fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” – Mark 4:3-9
Many gardeners and new “Christians” think that planting the right kind of seed is the whole ball game. They choose a convenient spot but fail to properly prepare it to receive the seed. They plant the seed and eagerly anticipate the harvest.
Cause of Disappointing Results
The next day or week the gardener returns, anticipating an abundant harvest. Imagine the disappointment that there is no produce. The seed did not sprout or poked through the crust of the earth and withered. “Ah well, I guess it was bad seed. My work was in vain.” And the garden is abandoned.
All wise gardeners and followers of Christ know that the seed bed must be correctly prepared and the garden tended every day until harvest. Unless the last day before harvest is as faithful as the first, every hour invested was wasted.
The journey from preparation to harvest is one of commitment and concentration. The harvest is jeopardized if the commitment or focus wavers due to temptation or distraction.
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?” – Luke 14:27-30
Clinic participants learned that applying simple concepts – counting from 1 to 4 and knowing our right from our left – is not as easy as it appears. Planting a seed is simple. But the harvest only blesses those who tend their garden every day.
Clinic riders learned the most basic of basics – and how difficult it is to become simple enough to perform a simple task correctly. Unless the exercises are continued until the harvest, all the effort will be for naught.
Knowledge + Proper Application = Success
Our counting and knowledge of right from left are meaningful only when applied at the correct time and with purposeful determination to resist distraction and temptation.
Old habits die hard. Baptism in Christ is the beginning of putting our worldly habits to death. We rise in newness of life, newness of commitment, and one focus for eternity – the Light emanating from the face of Christ.
The order never changes. There is no harvest without the commitment and concentration to prepare, plant, maintain, and persevere.
What is the crop we purpose to harvest, whether in our walk with Jesus Christ or with a horse?
- Spiritual calm
Each of these crops are promised by our Lord Jesus Christ and delivered to all who are willing to receive. A harvest of joy and peace awaits each rider who is as dedicated to persevere in the daily practice of disciplined focus, return to simplicity, and the blessedly mundane chores of garden maintenance and stewardship.
May the narrow path you ride be blessed.
[Featured image found at http://www.horse-canada.com/ruckus-rider/knowing-when-to-part-ways/]
Beginning of Tire Mountain
At the summit with Bo