Round Pen Clinic – Fear of God or Love?

“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”, yet “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die” for us. How can such opposite messages both be true? Nothing in this life or eternity is truly important except relationship. Allow me to use the human-horse relationship to explain why both concepts are true.

“Please Don’t Bring a Horse that is either Hopeless or Fearless”

The most unique program we offer is the round pen experience with a troubled horse. The set up is simple, a 30-foot pen, an audience, and a horse with an issue. Don’t expect to see any miracles, dust, anxiety, anger, or aggression. I don’t do miracles, I hate dust, and if the horse exhibits any negative emotion I screwed up.

The point of the program is to demonstrate simple worthy leadership. My interaction with the horse in the pen helps those watching understand what causes problems in their own relationships and where they may fall short in any position of authority as well as in their walk with the Lord.

Relationship isn’t the biggest thing, it is the only thing.

The first requirement in establishing any relationship is awareness and focus. When we book a round pen program I caution against bringing a horse who is truly hopeless or one who is completely fearless. I can work with either, but it takes longer than most people want to sit and watch.

As long as a horse is either hopeless or fearless it cannot enter into a relationship with me. Hopeless horses have given up entirely. Fearless horses are usually so spoiled they don’t believe anyone will ever hurt them no matter what horrible thing they do.

When One is Hopeless

Whether horse or human, there is no possibility of relationship until the concept of hope has been introduced. The man or woman who has given up cannot enter into relationship with God until He introduces hope to their spirit. When there is no hope, God enters as  a loving, worthy leader.

A horse who is completely withdrawn by the absence of hope cannot enter into relationship with a human until the possibility of “salvation” returns to their equine spirit. Without hope there can be no relationship.

The Source of Hope

God’s commitment to offer hope and salvation was so complete that He gave His only Son to die for us.

When One is Fearless

Whether horse or human, there is no possibility of relationship until the concept of fear has been introduced. A man or woman without fear cannot enter into relationship with God until He introduces fear into their spirit. False prophets teach that God will never hurt you because He loves you. The one fact left out is the most important one – God saves His own, and that requires a right relationship.

Most fearless horses are spoiled. They may have been slapped, swatted, or yelled at for kicking, biting, rearing, bucking, or refusing to cooperate, but no matter the degree of their bad behavior there was never a penalty that got their attention or respect.

God is faithful to introduce fear into the life of a spoiled human.  God knows how to get attention and respect. Feel blessed when the “horse” in the round pen is you. That is proof positive that you are one of His own.

The fear of God is the beginning of both wisdom and relationship.

Round Pen Relationship

The round pen experience for a horse who is afraid or lacks respect will be very similar. No miracles and no dust. The same may not be true for a horse without fear.

To introduce hope I must prove I am worthy of the horse’s faith in my leadership. Establishing a beginning is usually a slow and quiet process.

The Leader owns the feet.

Introducing fear requires me to convince the horse that I hold the power of life and death over him. Usually this is accomplished by “owning” his feet. If I control the feet of the horse he cannot access his primary means of escape. The faith I ask for demands respect. While there are no miracles, sometimes the fearless horse will kick up a little dust before making the decision to pay attention.

Correction, Education and Motivation

Once a relationship has been established between horse and human or God and man, progress is made through the application of correction, education,  or motivation at the proper time and in the precise degree necessary.

Horses understand both hope and fear. Horses respond to correction, education, and motivation. The same is true for Christians in a right relationship with God.
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Please contact me at to inquire about hosting a round pen program.

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