Friday, November 7, 2008


Whew! I'm back to talking about horsemanship. I started yesterday on a great note, calm, collect, gentle, kind, nice, focused. I should have known something was up when she kept running from me. No, I'm not talking about my wife. Earlier I had Raven in my hand just relaxed almost sleeping. But a couple hours later when I went back she knew what I wanted. Oh, she 'caught' me after a few trips around the paddock. And we began very soft and gentle. We did several ground exercises then I got in the saddle and it went well utnil we upped the pace. You see I'm trying to learn to be more balanced in my own riding, centered, thus able to 'feel' her movements and she is better able to 'feel' mine enabling us to move more in sync. She will understand what I am asking her to and I am able to feel the right time to ask. That works with people to doesn't it? Some may think that my hobby is just that, but I beg to differ. It has made me a better person, more aware of my own faults. Whereas I wouldn't necessarily listen to people the horse has no bias. She tells me very clearly when I am screwing up. Most people who ride think when the horse acts like an idiot that it is the horse. Not So! the idiot is the rider. I am reading an older riding book called, "There are no Problem Horses, only Problem Riders" by Mary Twelveponies. I have come to the conclusion that she is right. The more I try natural horsemanship the more I see myself for who I really am. I think this is one thing that God is using in my life to knock the edges off and make me a mor emellow and gentler Christian, husband, father, pastor and so on. It's kinda like Isaiah getting close to the throne of God and concluding he is a man of 'unclean lips' (Isaiah 6:5) meaning that he is a wicked man. The closer I get to the Lord the more dirt I see in myself. That is just a truism in Christianity. The closer you get to the light the more dirt you see. The only answer is to confess it (I John 1:9) and change (Ephesians 4:22-24). So unlike what some people may think, working with the horse for me is not unprofitable. It is a tool God is using to make me more like Him. For the Kings example of natural horsemanship just read the account of Jesus riding on the colt of a donkey into Jerusalem in Matthew 21:4-9; Mark 11:7-10 or Luke 19:35-38. That is an amazing ride.
I got off track for a minute, but I started out good, but ended in a lather for both of us. I hate to end on a hyper note like that. I usually like to end as it started with both of us calm and relaxed. But I got started too late in our ride with an exercise that didn't go well and instead of quitting while I was ahead, I pushed on. Big mistake. But you know what. Raven is forgiving. I can go out there another day and we can start over again. I can learn from my mistakes move on.
In our lives we often have good intentions, things start out good and calm. But somehow they go awry and we get our shorts all bunched up and leave the situation gasping for air, lathered up, and just plain irrascible. We put out our quills so that everyone around us gets poked too. Just back off, go off in the corner, take some deep breathes confess your sin, debrief the situation and move on. Then come back clear headed and calm again and start over. That's what I had to do yesterday and what I will do today.
It's a beautiful day out there. God is good and merciful, so lets be that too.
The not so nice, but getting there, Jeff signing off.

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