There is no question about it, our horses love us! When my mom or i walk up the hill to our arena, our horses usually follow right behind us, so that we will work with them. Sometimes they are waiting for us in the arena before we even go up! Why do they love us? There are a few reasons.
For one, horses desire relationship. They are herd animals who desire the safety and companionship of other horses and sometimes, to our delight, humans! The main reason our horses love us is because we also desire relationship with them. I’ll tell you one thing though, spoil your horse with only love and affection and she will walk all over you.
This leads me to another reason why our horses love us, we discipline them. Now i want to be very clear, we do not use fear, violence, or domination to discipline our horses. That might create a subordinate horse, but it won’t cultivate relationship. We discipline our horses in a similar way that they discipline each other. That might include something as small as raising a finger and looking pointedly at their hind end to get it to move out of the way, or as big as tapping them on the butt to make more of a point. We always start with the smallest amount of pressure, upping the ante until they yield.
Furthermore, our horses always have the option to disobey us. When we ask them to do something, while not backing down when the going gets tough, they usually chose to obey us. In fact, when we correct a naughty horse, they often chew, which is a sign that they feel safe and comfortable. They actually like it when we correct them!
Finally, our horses love us because we are consistent. They are fed and watered daily. We trim their feet when they need it. We work with them as often as we can and try our best to always follow through with our training. When we fail to be consistent, which sometimes happens because we are human, our relationships with our horses suffer, but they still love us just the same.
When it comes to relationship with the Lord, all of the above applies. Unlike us humans, our mighty Creator is always consistent. He never changes and never will change. His promises and provisions are something that we can expect when we are in relationship with Him. Why did God give us free will? Why didn’t he just make us obey him from the very beginning? I liken it to the same reason that we prefer to have relationship with our horses. We want them to chose to follow us, love us, and truly be with us. In my opinion, that is a love worth having.