It takes a horse to train a horse. Not too difficult a concept, right? A horse is one thing every horse trainer needs – no exceptions. Yet many people spend endless hours searching out the latest greatest training methods or resources from intellectuals, not practitioners. Some people love to learn but aren’t as keen on doing. If you plan to fully participate in life, selecting instructors is important stuff.
Which isn’t a bad thing in itself. I’ve learned great stuff about what to do – or not do – from total newbies. But I know may women who invest more time reading about horses than spending time with one. They spend endless hours watching videos, surfing the internet for articles, and regularly chatting on horse forums.
The best way to learn about horses is observation
If you want to learn to speak horse, find someone who knows the language and will serve as interpreter until you become fluent.
The best teacher of all things equine is an equine.
You can’t build relationship unless you’re in one and you can’t learn to train a horse unless you have regular access to one.
There’s precious little benefit from reading the Bible without a relationship to its Author. There’s little benefit to anyone listening to folks expound on biblical or horse training issues offering nothing but intellectual positions.
Horse folks slop into the house at the end of the day with manure on their boots, dirt in their noses, and sweat on their hatbands. Horse people wear hay in their hair to Walmart, dangle spurs from the rearview mirror just so they don’t lose them, and consider horse hair a gift – proof that they spent an incredible hour grooming a four-legged friend. Living with horses is a blessed, fulfilling, messy business.
So is life.
Standards for Teachers
God expects authenticity and consistency. Use those standards to select your teachers. Look for horse trainers or saints who’ve been in the arena, tried time and again, who persevered through failure and defeat until they reach a place of success and are willing to share what they learned.
In the meantime, go spend some quality time with your pony.
Consider the banquet of all things HORSE in Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace. Allow these powerful and spiritual creatures to bring you closer to God.
After years working with stallions, I learned that the only way to get a 1500-pound hairy mass of testosterone to offer his obedience and loyalty is to earn it. The secret is simplicity, authenticity, and never breaking a promise.