The Conflict in Their World…
How often do you give thought or awareness that your horse is living in a world that is in constant conflict with who they were created and designed to be? Your horse is a prey animal living in a predator’s world.
The horse innately wants to flee from danger and in the circumstance that flight is not an option, fight becomes the alternative. To brace, resist, and push back against discomfort, the unknown, and perceived pressure.
Similarly to horses we as humans are living in a world that we were not designed to live in. The weight of doubt, fear, judgment, pride, anger, and darkness is not our nature and not the environment we were designed to thrive in. The knowledge of good and evil was not something we were meant to be burdened with.
The truth is that some horses never learn to cope and aren’t given the chance to develop the habits and skills they need to process the challenges of living in a world that feels foreign and a threat day in and day out.
Horses that are labeled dangerous, spooky, anxious, fractious… Those that kick, bite, bolt, won’t load in the trailer, or pull back. All of these are signs and evidence that the horse simply hasn’t been equipped with the skills to understand, process, and thrive with the complexities of the domestic world in which they must live.
Force, fear, and intimidation are a traditional approach to these horses, this approach will shut the horse down and break their spirit. What these horses reflect back to us is the brokenness and double-mindedness we experience in the human experience if we don’t develop the skills and habits necessary to live in our own conflicting world of good and evil.
We too have a traditional system of “training” be it the educational system, government power, or religious constructs designed to shape, control, and manipulate people in how to live and thrive in society.
Much like the traditional methods of training horses have failed overall, in the current time, we are living in… Our traditional societal assemblies are crumbling. Exposing the double-mindedness and reality of the conflicting world in which we live.
Reflecting the Conflict in Our Own
But he must ask [for wisdom] in faith, without doubting [God’s willingness to help], for the one who doubts is like a billowing surge of the sea that is blown about and tossed by the wind. For such a person ought not to think or expect that he will receive anything [at all] from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways [in everything he thinks, feels, or decides]. James 1:6-8
We have chosen to bring our horses into a domestic environment, therefore it’s our responsibility to empower our horses to live and thrive. Our horses seek leadership and guidance from us in how to respond to their environment with caution and discernment. (Not to be confused with fear.)
To live in peace and have a fulfilled life, we must look to God to equip and empower us with the wisdom and discernment we need to face whatever comes up in our life. When you feel unstable or restless, wavering in your thoughts, emotions, and decisions; seek guidance and support from God. Don’t try to figure out all on your own, or looking to other people that have no more wisdom in this world than you do.
Have you ever been riding a horse with friends or at an event, where suddenly one horse decides to spook, bolt, or break in two? What do some of the other horses do? Look to the energy and behavior of that horse, and do the same.
Out on a trail ride one time the horse in front of mine leaped and jumped over a small trickle of water flowing across the trail. My horse and I had been on this trail many times before and had crossed much more intense streams without any dramatic behavior. Yet because of the response of the horse in the lead, my horse mirrored and jumped so abruptly that I nearly lost my seat.
This behavior I believe reflects what we commonly do when faced with trouble or uncertainty. We look to others in how we should move forward. In order to live the abundant life that God has designed and planned for us to live we must seek His wisdom and guidance in how we live in this conflicting world.
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10
The goal with our horses should be that they “ask” or check-in when something feels unfamiliar or worrisome. We want them to seek our guidance and discernment. Over time and development of this habit, they will naturally know what the correct response is, just as we will if we continually seek God’s wisdom and guidance in our lives.
Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. Colossians 3:2
As you work with your horse remember they look to you for confidence, peace, and understanding to make it in the predator/domestic world. In your day to day life, remember that when you feel frustrated, afraid, lost, sad, or disheartened seek God. Check-in with Him and see where is your focus aimed? In what ways have you followed the herd? Have you been reacting from your instincts or responding from the leadership, wisdom, and guidance from God?
Moving forward, as you explore your relationship with your horse, and connect deeper with God, ask Him to use your horse to reveal to you connections and reflections of His heart. You might be surprised at what insights will be relieved.