Stubborn and Manipulative Horses and Christians

Sometimes the most frustrating encounters we have with our kids, dogs, or horses offer valuable lessons for us as children of God. Have you ever stood at an open door or gate and invited your horse, dog, or kid to come in and they just looked at you like they didn’t know what a door or gate is?

Calling the “Flock” to come in.

Recently we went out to the horse side of our barn (we live on the other side) and called the six horses in for the day. Every day is the same, they come in through the gate inside the barn and walk to their rooms. The open layout of our barn makes it possible to see every spot in the barn no matter where you’re standing. There are no full stall walls or separations that might confuse my poor horses.

At the south end of the barn breezeway is a gate that opens to the pasture. Our horses can look inside and be close to us anytime they want, but they do not come in to the barn through that gate.

There is an order of appearance each morning; first Asti, then Bo, then Swizzle, then Shiner, Cooper and Ace. Sometimes Bo makes it in before Asti, but this is the usual routine.

Stupid, Stubborn, or Manipulative?

On this particular day Ace didn’t come to the barn gate. Instead, he hung his head over the breezeway gate and gave us the “Please let me in, don’t forget about me!” look. I told Ace to come around. He just tried to stretch his head and neck further over the gate at the end of the breezeway. When he made no move to come around I closed the breezeway door on him so he couldn’t seeĀ  me and I couldn’t see him.

The horse’s rooms in our barn.

Had Ace lost his mind? He “desperately” wanted to come in and have breakfast. Yet he didn’t go to the gate. I didn’t want to go back into our side of the barn with Ace still outside so I went to the inside gate and called Ace. I walked another 20 feet and called again. Ace finally came around and went in.

You can’t fool God

Guess what happened the next morning? You got it. Ace didn’t come in again; choosing instead to look over the breezeway gate begging for me to open it. I told him to come around and closed the overhead door. The battle for power was on. Ace got a lick in on me the day before when I gave in to his little ploy. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.

Ace was knocking on the door begging to come in – but it was the wrong door.

Jesus tells us that if we knock the door will open. Did you ever consider whether or not you were knocking on the right door?

There is only One Door – Jesus Christ

Ace thought it far more convenient to come in through the door nearest to where he was; the most convenient door. He knew I could open the breezeway gate if I wanted to and he was making a pathetic little power-play to see if I would give in.

But, in my barn the horses come in through the smaller inside gate. That is the only gate I will open and they know it. Horses are better people trainers than humans are horse trainers. God, however, will never be “schooled” by one of us.

God told us which gate He would open. He told us it would be very narrow. He told us it is the only gate that will allow us to enter.

The lost lamb comes home

Once Ace realized that there would only be one open gate, what did he do? He used his own horse power to walk around and in through the open gate. He knew where it was, he just wanted to come in the easy way.

No matter how pathetic your plea, or how much God loves you, there is only one open door. He told you where it is. Will you come in?



  1. SKay Fires:

    Excellent parable message. Isn’t it amazing how our animals try to “train” us, just as we try to get God to give in to our way of thinking?

    • Lynn:

      SKay Fires – animals really are good trainers, aren’t they? God won’t fall for our little tricks… I wonder why we keep trying? It is such a gift to be able to relate to equine or canine spirits that never looked at God’s plan for them and said, “No thanks, I think my idea is better.” When we get that blank stare from a dog or horse it gives us just a glimpse of the face we show God.

  2. LDB:

    It seems so simple. The Bible clearly states Jesus Christ is the only door.

    • Lynn:

      And isn’t that the beauty of horses, that we may learn the simple lessons?

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