Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Deeper Meaning of Horsemanship

One of my favorite phases of barrel horses is first starting them on barrels and getting them solid in their foundation.  My passion for horsemanship is really put to work as I help develop these horses into not only the athlete and competitor but also give them the confidence that they need and a love of a job through willing submission.

I'm going through this phase right now with a four year old.  I. Love. It. Due to life circumstances; something about having a baby and having four kids kinda slows things down, this mare is behind.  However, that doesn't change the game plan.  The ultimate goal is still the same.  A horse with a solid foundation that will willingly do a job that I ask.  It seems simple right?

When I start a horse on the pattern, some might say that I micro manage.  Meaning, I really spend a lot of time making sure they place their feet right here and there, their body soft, correct, and supple.  I find if I do it in the beginning, I don't have to do it later on so it works for me, even with the not so pleasant title of micromanaging.

As I was working my mare around a barrel, I was riding with two hands.  Although I try to be quiet, my hands are moving, my legs are moving, my whole body is moving to help encourage the horse to take the correct path around a barrel.  One step here, two step there, three step...wait, no, over here....it's a constant game, something like pin ball.  Soon, there won't be so much picking up, moving, or micromanaging, but right now, I feel like I am putting up road blocks here and there with my body to help encourage my horse to take the correct path around a barrel.

And then it dawned on me.  As I was working my colt, it hit me....this is what God does for us.  You see, I know my God has great things in store for me.  Just take a look at Jer 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  However, He doesn't always just open the door right away.  In fact, we find ourselves in trials and struggles, but with God, all things are possible; "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. We might see road blocks here and there, speed bumps, detours, etc. in our journey of life, but through it all, God is there, picking us up here, moving us there, encouraging us too to take the correct path in life.  "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4 His ultimate goal for us is much the same, to be a believer in Christ, be confident in our Lord and Savior, and to willingly summit and love the Lord.

I've always felt closest with God when I'm on the back of a horse.  I don't know why, but I always have.  And then revelations like those today put it all together for me and show me why.
Photo by Tina Graham