Everyone seeks a magic pill or silver bullet to make life easy, simple, robust, rewarding, and successful. Marketeers hawk self-help books, products, and programs that range from cheap and silly to excruciatingly extravagant and invasive. Horse owners are no exception…
The book of Ecclesiastes is avoided by many teachers and bible study groups because it is “too difficult.” To put it in the simplest of terms, Solomon* spent a great deal of money, time, ego, and energy on the pursuit of horse cookies. The conclusion he reached is that the pursuit of horse cookies eventually leads to an empty cookie bucket while pursuing relationship with the one who offers the cookies leads to eternal reward.
Solomon discovered the emptiness of seeking the gift instead of the Giver. To their detriment, horses, children, dogs, and Christians also get lost when their focus centers on some treat, entertainment, bone, or blessing and not on the trainer, parent, master, or Savior.
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?
Problems aren’t ruining your relationships; the problems within your relationships are causing your problems.
“I found Christ, now what?”
Many folks silently ask this question days, weeks, or years after accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Similar questions may have occurred to you about marriage, having children, or while contemplating the hairy half-ton of equine attitude looking right back at you over the paddock gate.
If you have both teenagers and horses you may have already noted some similarities in expression and challenge. The teenage “attitude” and equine “attitude” often look ver-r-ry much the same.
The most important relationships make life worth living. The quality of your life is the sum of the quality of your relationships. The quality of your relationships depends on what you do every day. The only reality in life is today. If your relationships aren’t perfect, join the club. The question is what do you intend to do about it? How great is your commitment? What are you willing to change to become the bride or groom you were, the expectant parent you were, the crazy horse kid you were, and the beloved child of Christ that you are?
How can you do it?
Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace, the foundational book of our message, our ministry, and Christian Horse Training is FREE today and tomorrow in Kindle format. [Offer good October 7 and 8, 2013.] Please take advantage of this offer and share it with friends in Bible Study, the barn, at school, at work, and with family members.
As important as it is to share our message, Amazing Grays Ministry seldom offers books for free. No other horse-related title has EVER been offered for free until today. Books are provided to certain ministries at less than cover price as the Spirit leads, but today you can get your own by investing nothing more than a couple of mouse clicks.
If an 18th century Christian suddenly dropped into any church service in the United States tomorrow morning he or she might experience shock and horror. Actually, a better illustration for my experience today would be yanking a 21st century saint out of pew or pulpit, dropping him into an 18th century congregation for a number of years, then returning him home once again to the 21st century.
Such a scenario would almost certainly deliver a body blow of revulsion to this faithful one. The way salvation is being worked out may have changed dramatically in the intervening centuries. My return to the horse show practice pen today got me thinking about how far we may have traveled from the path blazed by first century Christians.
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.
Each day is a gift to be opened with expectation, joy, and love – unless you just aren’t a morning person and would rather rip into the day with a scowl as you wipe goop from the corner of your eyes and have no higher hope than to make it through till bedtime. The ability to live, love, and laugh your way through life is a function of preparation.
What are you going to do today that you love? That makes you giggle? That feeds a passion?
If there’s nothing on your scheduled program that fits into those categories, then perhaps you haven’t planned well enough. The one item on your daily to-do list that you keep forgetting to include may be JOY.
If you parent or teach special-needs individuals or victims of abuse you already know that reaching and repairing broken places is far different that teaching and relating to humans or horses who don’t think, react, or process in completely “normal” ways. CAN’T and WON’T look very different in horses or humans who arrive with obvious physical scars and/or well-established emotional scar-tissue or adhesions.