Would you agree that communication snafus are the cause of many, if not most, disagreements? My husband and I agree on almost everything, but words don’t always mean precisely the same thing both of us. Sometimes we look at each other blankly, unsure how to clarify what we mean.
Before we got engaged we agreed that nothing was more important than our marriage. Not careers, friends, money, anything! We realized that any hurdle was an issue of communication, nothing more. We were already both established and uninterested in anything less than total commitment. That pre-marital chat has served us well MANY times over the past thirty-five years.
Misunderstandings are usually innocent, only escalating if you let them.
People don’t always know what they’re communicating to their horses or understand what the horse is trying to tell them. Horses will never learn English (German, Italian, or Swedish) so the responsibility for establishing accurate communication rests on the human side of the equation.
Rules for Communicating with a Horse
- You are accountable for communication success, not your horse.
- Always give your horse the benefit of your doubt, which is one definition of grace.
If things aren’t working out, there is either a problem with communication, a problem with inability, or a pure and simple REFUSAL to cooperate. Horses can’t provide the solution, so it’s up to you.
When your horse responds in an unexpected way, the first place to look is in the mirror; look at yourself. The horse is telling you that she is confused, angry, afraid, or couldn’t care less about what you asked. Don’t give her a confused, angry, or anxious response. If she disses you, the only remedy is motivation.
What might someone conclude about you if she met your horse? Horses always give the right answer, even when it’s not always the specific answer you want.
“Instructor: What day is it?
Instructor: What day is it?
Student: Uh, the 14thth?
Instructor: What day is it?
Instructor: I asked you a question and you answered correctly, but I didn’t accept it. I asked the same question, so you changed our answer. You gave another correct answer, but not the one I want. The third time I asked you got frustrated and confused. When you don’t reward your horse for giving the right answer, he feels the same way.”
Ask Better Questions
Ask better and more specific questions. They must be simple, meaning that there are some questions you have to get to slowly, laying the groundwork for each successive simple question so your horse has a chance to get to the answer you want.
In most instances, horses are willing and say ‘yes’; people just don’t know what they asked.
If there’s a problem between you and God – it’s your fault. If there’s a problem between you and your horse – it’s your fault. Simple, but true. Don’t let ego or frustration get in the way of wonderful relationship. Problem solve. Ask better questions.
If you care enough, any communication snafu can be resolved. God is endlessly patient with you. Be that with your horse.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.James 4:3
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