Because One Special Horse Taught Me Relationships Are The Most Important Thing On This Side of Heaven
Asking vs. Telling
Who hates being told what to do? I sure do! From the time I can remember when someone told me to do something I resisted with all my soul. But when asked with a “suggestion” or “request” I was more apt to WANT to oblige. Being asked to do something is always much better received than telling in any relationship, horse to human, and especially human to human.
Patience is a Virtue
It’s funny how much I dislike math, more specifically, algebra! The old saying, “what you do to one side you have to do to the other.” Well, fancy that…the same is true in teaching a horse! Horses have an immature corpus callosum, which is the link between the two sides of the brain. So when I work with my horse and I teach on one side I must do the same to the other. For example, when I ASK my horse to move his hind end on his right side, I must do the same on the other. Asking, get a response, receive a reward for even a try, back off, try again, and if he moves it over reward and love him up! Then do the same thing on the other side. The same holds true for human relationships. This reminds me of the verse in John 16:12 when Jesus says to his disciples, “I still have many things to say to you, but you can not bear them now.” I think about one example of when I am sharing the gospel or truth from His word with someone they may only be able to handle a little bit at a time and to hear the same thing again until received well.
Being a Partner vs a Boss
Horses are herd animals meaning they always need another herd bound animal. They are not loners. We have two horses and when we are on a trail ride if one of us travels further away from the other they will begin to neigh at each other and even get a little pushy to want to go closer to their buddy. It is what is called “buddy sour”. As much as we work on this we still struggle with gaining the partnership relationship vs getting bossier. If my horse knows I will keep him safe and am his partner in this relationship, he will respond in a way to show he doesn’t have to have his herd mate with him all the time. I don’t have to have a bossy way about my communication with him to keep him focused on the ride and not worry as he can trust me. Partnership in a relationship vs being overpowering in a conversation or “winning” will lead to one wanting to run away for safety. We work better together in human relationships when we work as partners seeking trust and respect for one another.
Seek the Fruit of Kindness
Over the years I have seen many ways people handle their horses both in training and in riding on trails. There are ones who have the “breaking” mentality where kindness is not present in the human. Training is a special unique relationship between horse and human. It’s asking, being patient, and being a partner. I have a special horse with a very unique relationship because it is based on being kind to one another. Human relationships respond in the same way. Kindness is one of the Fruits of the Spirit and there is a reason for that. It’s always well received and builds lasting relationships.
Communication is Key to Relationships
Boy, when I don’t let my horse know where I am and sneak up on him disaster is at hand! A horse is a prey animal and is always nervous about a predator attacking them so when one sneaks up on a horse you will get what you deserve…a kick…a rear…or a blowout run! The same holds with my relationships with others. Being open with my thoughts and feelings especially in conflict is huge to understanding one another. It helps build the relationship to be stronger and overall healthier. Trust is key in any successful relationship…how do I know…I learned from my special horse!
Since I got Bokoda I have learned so much about relationships! Bokoda has indeed taught me many things. One thing for sure I am thankful for is his patience as it surely isn’t natural for a horse to trust a human. But his love for me is evident by the sweet response of faithfulness in every day! Especially in ministry! Thanks Bokoda we sure do have a special bond!
Peace in Christ and in all your relationships!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee and Bokoda