I was riding Wildfire today and was working on his attempts subvert my path and go in the direction he wants to go even though I don't want to go that way. Let me explain. There are three spots where Wildfire wants to jig down when we pass them. One of them is on the power line behind my house. There is a two track that leads back to my place so when we go by that track he, knowing the way back, will often try to make that turn. Another one is on the northwest corner of a track I have surrounding my pastures. There is trail there that goes back in the woods. He will often try to go there instead of staying on the track. A third one he likes to turn down is where I have a gun range. And the last one is when I am by my house coming around the track he will often try to take control and go to the right. In each of these cases I can bend his head opposite and he will just blow out through his shoulder. I eventually get control, through adding my leg to get his butt around, so he follows his nose. But I don't like that he feels he has to take control.
In response to this I started to take him by the place where he always wanted to turn into, tempting him to turn into it and then correct him when he did with several rapid disengagements and switch directions and do the same. Then we would walk off on a loose rein. As I was going through this process and thinking about the dynamics of what was happening, I realized he let me know long before he was going to turn that he wanted to turn. Once that light bulb went on in my mind I started to watch for his indication that we wanted to turn. As we came on those spots and he made is intentions known, by tilting an ear, looking in that direction, or turning his head or leaning in that direction I didn't wait for the actual infraction to happen. I started to correct him by looking in the direction I wanted us to go and then lightly picking up the rein to remind him of such.
It was at this point that I realized there was a spiritual application in this. God doesn't tempt us to sin. He tests us, but he doesn't tempt us. James 1:13,14 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he an man: but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." What I was doing was tempting Wildfire to sin and then correcting him when he did what I dared him to do. That was wrong of me. So then I started taking him by those spots where he wanted to turn and watched for his indications then I would look in the direction I wanted to go and pick up on the rein to remind him where we were going. When I offered that kind of feel he stayed on the course I offered. We did this at the walk and trot. But I ran out of time so I did not try this at the canter.
What I discovered is that I really need to be paying attention to his body language so that I can head off any troubles that may be lurking around the next bend.
This is also true of my life. I need to be paying attention to what is happening around me and paying attention to what God is doing or wanting me to do. I can do this by making sure I stay focused on
His Word and looking to apply what I learn to my life on a daily basis. There are all kinds of distractions competing for my attention, but if I stay focused on prevent turning down those paths that lead to destruction.
Walk with Him today and stay in His Word.