Tuesday, November 26, 2013

~Is Jesus enough?

   In church on Sunday, as the minister was preaching, he asked a question and it kinda stuck with me. It was: Is Jesus enough? Well I'd like to think He is. But do I live like that's true?
   We were away for two weeks and just got home on Friday. While we were having devotions one morning, Dad asked us how we would be if, while we were gone, our house burnt down and all we had left was what we brought along. My mind immediately went to: Were the horses in the fire? (But I didn't say that. It was just a thought.) As I sat there thinking I told God "I gave the horses to you a long time ago. So if you need to take them, you can." And that is where I try to keep my heart, totally surrendered to God's will.
  Now back to the question: Is Jesus enough?
  If God chose to take my family?... I know the only way I could make it through something like that is because I have a God who loves me enough to do only whats best for me. And I could accept that because He knows whats best.
   So, do I live like Jesus is enough?

  • Do I have to go shopping all the time, to make me happy?
  • Do I run to other people (or even my horse) when something goes wrong? (Instead of God.)
  • Do I continually have to be hanging out with friends, finding new hobbies, or fun entertainment?
  • Am I satisfied with knowing that God loves me more than any man ever could?
So now that I've said that, you all know that I know that. If God is enough it would make me realize that this life isn't about me, but about Him. It would also mean that I am here for a reason.
   That reason? To show others that Jesus is enough.

               Is He enough for you?

Oh by the way 'Happy Thanksgiving!' Lets take advantage of it and be thankful all the time!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

~A time to wait

   I have found that God has three answers for when I ask Him for something. The first one that I think of is "Yes." I probably hope for this one the most! ;) (Who doesn't like it when they get what they want?) But also I realize that God is telling me "Yes, it is time."
  The next one "no," most people probably don't like as much, but think about it. If He is saying no, He has a reason for it. He can see the whole way through your life and tell if it would be good for you or not. God cares about you, and loves you so much that He doesn't want bad things to happen to you. By bad I mean things that will hinder your spiritual walk with Him. Our "bad" isn't always the same as His "bad." So through this, hopefully the next time you ask God for something, you will start off by asking if its "good" for you or not.

    Matthew 7:9-11 says "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask for bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" 

   If we are unwilling to accept God's "NO" then we are not seeking His will but our own. Which also means we don't want His best.
   The third answer is "Yes, but not yet." Just wait...
   The account of Hannah the mother of Samuel comes to mind. She was not able to have the children she very much wanted. For years she longed for children. So one day she went to the temple and just cried her heart out to God. She vowed that if God would bless her with a son, she would give him back to God. And you know what? God gave her a son!
   Through that, you can see that God sometimes requires things of us before He can answer our prayers. If we understand that God has our best in mind we will be able to wholeheartedly accept any of His answers.

My times are in my Father's hand;
How could I wish or ask for more?
For He who has my pathway planned
Will guide me till my journey's o're. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

~Horse sense part 1

How to tell weather your horse needs more work
Please do NOT laugh at your horse if he is doing any of these and say "Oh that's just how he is!" These are problems, vices, hazards, whatever you want to call them, except they are anything BUT good and safe. If you are allowing these things, you are not only putting yourself at risk, but also others around you. I have written here the worst things I could think of at the moment and then later I'll explain how to deal with them.

1.Bucking (Not all the time, but just some.)
2.Rearing (Never let it start and you won't have to deal with it.)
3.Kicking (Worst thing in my opinion. You never know when its coming.)
4.Biting or nipping (Should not be tolerated to any extent.)
5.Knocking you with his head (Terribly disrespectful.)
6.Suddenly takes off with you on trail rides (Obviously you're not the boss.)
7.Walks into you (Teach him to respect your space.) 
8.Runs you into things while riding (Put him in his place.)
9.Freaks out all the time (Contrary to what most people think, you CAN quite easily teach your horse not to be fearful.)
10.Reacts while riding around other horses (Definitely unsafe.)

Please discipline your horse immediately when he behaves wrongly! If you do not, YOU are allowing him to do it. (That's pretty much the same as giving him permission.) 

You say you don't want to hurt him? Well let me tell ya, in the wild when a young colt gets out of line, an older mare will either kick him, bite him, or push him away from the herd (There he is very vulnerable to predators.) until she can see a repentant spirit in him.
Ways to discipline your horse
OK so maybe you don't know how. Well for me I use split reins and wear spurs. (If you are against them I need to tell you one thing. If you use them correctly spurs are a tool and not a weapon.) 

If my horse would say...buck, most times I will grab one rein and spin him in a tight circle while spurring a bit with my outside leg. This is not harsh. I am simply telling him "This is not tolerated and there are consequences for disobeying." Your horse needs to know what is expected of him. So mentally set your rules and boundaries and stick to them consistently. One thing that really confuses animals (and people) is when you are not consistent. If you discipline one time then not the next, you are creating a very unstable relationship. 

Other times a quick swat with the end of my split rein is enough, or maybe just a bang of my legs. (By that I mean using my calves and not my feet.) You will have to judge which method is appropriate for your situation. If it is something really bad, you will need to be more harsh obviously. 

Do NOT yank on the reins as a form of punishment. (Or really ever.) The horse's mouth is very tender and you will most likely just teach it to be hard mouthed, then throw his head up, and maybe even rear. 
If you are on the ground and using a halter then a quick jerk on the lead rope is appropriate.  

Biting or nipping is probably best solved by smacking the nose. Not as if trying to kill him but also not just a little tap. Once your horse knows it is wrong, he will try to find more sneaky ways of doing it. I would start to watch for when he's about to bite and then make a noise or sound that means "No." I usually say "AT!" (I know its kinda different but my dad always did it so I do it too.) It can't be nice and soft. It has to be firm and commanding. 

If you are having trouble with your horse running off with you, you obviously aren't in the front of his mind. Yes, trail rides are to be relaxing but you are still riding so you need to be still guiding. I'd also suggest you go back to the arena and work on being the leader. If he's running off he has too much time thinking on his own. When you ride you need to be directing him. He is not the boss. He is your partner. You ultimately are the leader. Work on keeping his mind busy by directing his every step. If he's thinking about your signals he isn't going to be staging another full charge ahead. So the key: keep his mind busy

OK there's way too much to write about in one post so I'll be doing another part sometime soon. I welcome your comments and questions about what I just wrote. Hope you don't mind me being straight forward but this is how I've been taught to ride and I have a pretty good safety record. I have only fallen off a few times in my life, and been bucked off even less. (Most times I fell off I was jumping bareback on a rolly-polly pony!) I've been riding most of my life but have never had any professional training. Except maybe the movies I've watched. I learned a good bit from Clinton Anderson, Pat and Linda Parelli, some from John Lyons, and lots of people along the way who took time to help. Out of the professionals, I would say how I ride comes the closest to Clinton Anderson . Although I really like watching the Parelli's and seeing what they do while applying bits and pieces to my own riding style. And NO I'm not anywhere near a professional!

Monday, November 4, 2013

~Love NOT the world

(Just a little bit of humor up there, but isn't this how a lot of people live? Like their horses or other animals are the most important things in life.)

Love not the world neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. -1 John 2:15

I may be getting a little personal here but this is from the Bible and we as confessing Christians claim to believe the whole thing, right? So this is part of it.
   Paul encourages here to ‘Love not the world neither the things that are in the world.’He's not talking about people obviously, because we are to love all men. Paul is speaking of the worldly pleasures and the lusts of our flesh. So how does this apply to us as girls? Maybe stylish fads? The latest shoes? The coolest new hair style? We as girls probably struggle with these categories the most. But what is that saying of us? That we are more worried about what other people think about us than what God thinks about us? I'll be honest with you, those don't affect me that much but my love for horses may be higher than it should. I love working with them and learning from them. So please pray for me that I can keep horses in their proper position and God at the center of my life.
  In John 14 verse 21, Jesus gives us a very clear test as to see where we are, and if we truly love God. He says "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my father, and I will love him, and manifest myself to him."      
 Did you notice the test? If you know His commandments and obey them, (with a pure heart) that means you love Him because you WANT to do what He asks. Then if you love Him, you will be loved of God, and Jesus will love you and show himself to you. 
   So do you love Him?

John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments."