Friday, January 23, 2009


Not alot going on around here. Just finished another sermon for Sunday on 'integrity.' (Matthew 5:33-37) That is something that seems to be lacking in our world today. I see the new pick for treasury secretary doesn't like to pay his taxes either and unlike the majority of us, didn't. But somehow that gets overlooked when you are a pick of the president. How would you like to get audited and found to have missed a few tax payments. Then look your auditor in the eye and tell him or her your just following the bosses lead. I wonder how that would go over. Ever been asked to cheat on something at school or work? Or to fudge on something you were telling another. Or maybe you embellished a story to make it sound funnier or make yourself look better. Integrity, not a long word but one that is packed with meaning and character that is hard to come by except in the animal world. Did you know that horses don't lie? They tell you exactly what they mean when they mean it. If you are adept enough at reading body language, the set of the head, the cock of an ear or leg, a flick of the tail. All of those things are stuffed with meaning depending on the situation. I know for example that my horse is not going to tell me that he wants to play and then quit on me in the middle of the game. He is not going to kick me and then tell me he didn't mean it. Or give me some lovin' only to head butt me (horses really don't love you.). They are prey animals who operate on instinct. That means that their lives depend on honesty. If they think a prey animal is after them they don't play the wait and see game. They are outta there and if you happen to be on their back, you might or might not be outta there to, depending on whether or not you were hanging on. That means horses always have good reason for doing what they do. Horses don't lie to each other either. They don't play 'cry wolf' games with each other. You have never seen a horse warn the others about a predator and when they run say 'got ya' in horse language. Neither do they play them game of come near me and I won't bite you. Then when the other horse comes near he gets bit. No, if you watch them much you will see that if one horse doesn't want the other horse around they are pretty straight forward about telling them. And if they persist in coming around they know the chance they are taking of getting bit, pawed or kicked.
Which brings me to my point. Our job as humans is to be honest with them and thus teach them to trust. But so often people sneak around their horses to catch them. They trick them with feed or some other treat and then wonder why their relationship with their horse is not what it could be. I mean, how do you react to someone who keeps tricking you into doing something. I think you'd be a little wary of them too. So I don't go into my horses with tricks or sneakiness. I go plain as Jane. I go with lead rope or halter in hand so they can see it. My job is to be completely honest with them. That trickles down to whatever I want them to do -- step a foot over or back, move their hindquarters one way or another. It all has to be clearly communicated to them in a way they understand, no sneakiness, no tricks. Then they get rewarded when they do what I ask.
Integrity! It goes along way in personal relationships with people as well as with horses.
Why not try it today!

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