Faithfulness,  Patience

Training the Trainer

This is one of our volunteers, Alyssa, with our mustang, Pepper. You could say that both Pepper and Alyssa are green. Green is a term that is used in the horse world to describe horses that are barely trained, or not trained at all. One thing that my mom and i have been working on is training Alyssa to train Pepper. As you can imagine, this is a tall order. For us, it is very important for our volunteers to understand the heart of our style of horsemanship which is relationship. As long as the concept of relationship is kept at the forefront of our volunteers’ minds, all other aspects of their training should fall into place.

Everything we ask our horses to do for us is formed as a question or an offer. Now sometimes we might strongly suggest something, but we will never force it. For example, when we lead our horses around, (having them follow us at the end of a lead rope) we make sure never to use any force. This means that as we turn to walk in any given direction, the horse should freely follow us. The minute we feel tension on the lead rope, meaning the horse has stopped or slowed down, we release all pressure and change our tactic. Sometimes this will mean jiggling the lead rope, or turning to walk in a completely different direction. Either way, we do not give up, but we do not force them to follow us by pulling the lead rope either, (which is definitely tempting at times).

Some might say that our tactics are tedious, aggravating, or even pointless. The former might be true, but the latter depends on what your end goal is. Our end goal with our horses is relationship. By cultivating a relationship with our horses, everything that we want them to do for us will follow. The best part about our training methods is that we have a deep relationship with our horses. A deep relationship is exactly what we are training Alyssa to have with Pepper.

When it all comes down to it, we are fallen imperfect people. We can strive to be perfect for God, but let me promise you this: we will fail. One thing that i know to be true is that if you keep your relationship with Jesus at the forefront of your mind, everything else will fall into place. God is training us the same way that we are training our horses. He leads us through life by constantly offering us opportunities to obey and enter into deeper relationship with Him, but He never forces us to do anything. Yes, He sometimes has to jiggle our lead rope, or turn us in a completely different direction to get us to follow Him, but He never gives up. It is, however, up to us to follow.


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