Friday, February 28, 2014

~You have the reins

Take my reins Lord, Your will my command
My body your temple, my life's in your hands.
Please use the spur Lord if ever I fight
And try to do the wrong and not right.
Lord I may balk from things I don't know
But if you're with me, forward I'll go.
One step at a time, I'll walk right beside
Because I'm safe, with you as my guide.

In so many ways, the more I learn about horses, the more it reminds me of my relationship with God. He's the rider and I'm the horse. God isn't a dictator, demanding that we obey or else. He's a loving God who has guidelines and boundaries set up to protect us. We have our horses in a pasture. If we didn't they might get hit on the road. This may sound pretty academic but I think it's so neat!
  Most horses are born with a natural distrust for humans. They will hide behind their moms, just out of your reach. Lets say you work with this baby. You show it that when you pull on the halter it is to move towards you. Most times they will pull against you in the beginning; trying to get away from the pressure. If you do it right they will learn to yield to pressure and follow or come to you.
  In that same way God asks us to draw closer to Him. He puts pressure on certain areas of our lives, asking us to make the right decision and turn to Him. (Are you getting this? Or am I just confusing you!)
  When that baby does decide to trust you and follow, he needs rewarded right away. (So he knows he did the right thing.) How? By releasing the pressure.
  God also takes the pressure away that He was applying when we give our wills up to Him and decide to trust Him completely.

 Have you ever round penned a horse? No I don't mean just sending it around to get out some of that energy, I mean Natural Horsemanship- body language. You normally do this when you don't have a very good relationship and you either want your horse to respect or trust you more.
 First you send them away, and make them keep going. In the beginning his focus isn't on you. Its on the other horses, other distractions, or the gate. He doesn't realize yet why he's doing this He slows down, so you quickly apply (Here it is again!) pressure and make him go faster. Such as swinging a rope, or using a whip with a bag on the end, or for the Parelli people a carrot stick. :) There he found out he needs to keep moving and there is someone in the middle of his circle directing him. So he starts eyeing that person, wondering what's going on. (Ok back to you) As he's circling you start backing up and over and make it evident you want him to turn and go the other way. In essence you are now blocking him. He has two choices: (Well he could actually just run over you!) to turn towards you and the middle, and turn around, or turn towards the fence and turn around. (This is so much harder to explain than I thought. Why don't you just come over and I'll sow you what I mean!) Lets say he turns towards the fence. He either doesn't trust or respect you enough because in doing so he has turned his hindquarters towards you and his face away. So that was wrong. Therefore you apply more pressure, making him work harder. Hopefully then he realizes "That didn't work. I turned away and life got harder." Ok horses don't really rationalize like that but do you see where I'm going? God wants to be the center of your world; your total focus. When you turn away he applies pressure to bring you back to Him.
  The last part of round penning is when you have his attention and focus: he's watching you, has one ear turned towards you, and he also starts chewing or licking his lips. They are are signs of a willing spirit. So you step out and ask him to stop. He does, so you turn around and step away. This is the moment. Does he trust you enough to follow or come in to you?
  God does this too. (No not turn his back on you.) He works with you and when He sees the walls come down and the beginning of a broken and contrite heart He tests you to see if you will step out in faith and follow Him.

So, will you? God never fails, He never goes back on His word. 
Can you trust Him?
Will you trust Him? 

Photos by: Tashia

How I talked about it up there is how I have learned to do it. I actually combined my methods of doing this from Clinton Anderson, Monty Roberts, and the Parellis. 

 I got Dunny out just to take pictures for this post. He was like "I know what this is about." Right off he started licking and chewing and trying to come in! I was like "Just hang on fella I need some pictures. Act like we're doing this for real!"

In the end he decided to show off a bit for the camera!

Oh and if you're wondering about those logs in the middle. Well we had a trail course set up and they just didn't get moved yet. I normally don't use logs for round penning!

Oh and by the way, its one of the BEST feelings in the world when your horse walks towards you for the first time. Even if its only a few steps, or one step. He has decided to trust you! Maybe I'm just an emotional person. You don't feel like that? :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

~Sunshine Award

Recently I was nominated for the Sunshine Award by the Calico Sisters (very nice of them to think of me!) And make sure to check out their blog. :) So here are their questions and my answers. I'm not going to pass it on, though. Sorry! But here is a little bit about me!  

Q. What is your favorite thing to do when spring comes around?
A. RIDE! I wait all winter for spring to come so I can do more serious riding. Not just plugging around on the trails. Except then their is so much slop! Oh well dry weather will come sometime.

Q. What kinds of animals do you own?
A. 5 horses; Hank-mustang gelding, Ecco-paint mare, Kat-quarter horse mare, Dunny-quarter horse gelding, Dandy (not sure what he is!) gelding, and 3 cats that spontaneously multiply. 

Q. What experience in your life drew you close to God? / Or / In what way has God really revealed himself to you? 
A. Oh dear. Tough to pin-point just one thing. Well hunting with my Dad probably. I started when I was 12 and have done it every year since. We have had so many great talks about God, life, and what we believe, just by sitting in a shooting house waiting for deer to come. (I know I'm spoiled for hunting like that!)

Q. What is a favorite color of yours?
A. That's easy! Lime green!

Q. Do you like to knit, crochet, or sew the most?
A. I knit a little but definitely sewing. I enjoy especially sewing dresses and jumpers for myself. Also I found a super easy pocketbook pattern at Walmart and I like making them to sell.

Q. Which one is your favorite letters from the Apostle Paul (Corinthians 1 or 2, Galatians, Philippians, etc.)?
A. Probably Philippians. It has so many of favorite or familiar verses in it. One of my favorites is "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." Very encouraging for when you're not feeling quite up to something. God is always there waiting to show Himself strong on our behalf.  

Q. What are some of your favorite old time shows? (Waltons, Little House, Andy Griffith, Father Knows Best, Christy) 
A. I really don't watch that many anymore but I guess I would say Little House on the Prairie. 

Q. What is your favorite thing to bake?
A. I really like EATING Lemon Bars so they are probably my favorite to bake! Actually I don't bake that much! Sewing is more of my avenue...and HORSES. Oh yeah and horses. 

Q. Skirts or dresses?
A. Either way! When I ride I usually wear skirts, like wide layered ones. Very nice and practical. Although I wear pants or leggings underneath because skirts tend to blow around when you are moving so much.    

Q. What household chore do you enjoy the most?
A. The dishwasher. Loading or unloading. I very much appreciate it because I hate washing dishes. :)

Q. City or country life?
A. Country. I enjoy being by myself. We do have neighbors that live within an acre of us but we have plenty of room behind us. I like all the fields around as well. Not city noise and traffic lights. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

~Patience in welldoing

Imagine with me that you are helping out at an elderly person's home (and of course doing your best!) maybe cleaning or something. And here someone comes up to you and starts criticizing you and telling you what an awful job you are doing. (Assuming this person is a non-believer.) How would you respond? If you simply smile and respond kindly you are doing exactly what God wants you to do. (If you have the right attitude as well, that is!) In 1 Peter 2:20b-21 it says 'but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:' 
  God says it is acceptable to him when you respond correctly. And through that, what a witness we can be to others! God brings things like that into our lives for a reason, but we have to choose what we are going to do with it. Get upset, maybe retaliate, or praise God.
  Now something like someone criticizing us isn't really that big a thing, but what about if someone were about to harm you? Would you grab a gun and defend yourself? Maybe even shoot them? Just one question about that: What kind of a witness would that be? Is that how Christ would respond? (oops that was two!) Umm I don't think so. He commanded us to love our enemies, to bless the ones that curse us, to do good to those that hate us, and finally to pray for the people who wrongfully use us and persecute us. (Matt 5:44)
  You may say "Well I need to protect myself and those around me!" All I have in answer to that is "How big is your God?" Is He not big enough or strong enough to take care of you? Yes, what I am talking about here is non-resistance. Please understand that I am writing this out of complete love for all of you out there reading. but if this offends you, I suggest you take it up with God. I got all this from His word.
  I urge you, if you don't agree with this, go talk to Him about it.
To sum it all up: I wholeheartedly believe God IS big enough to take care of us, it all comes down to weather or not we will trust Him and allow Him to do it.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

~Why do you believe?

   Why are you a Christian? 
I always feel kinda on the spot when someone stops me while I'm out and asks me questions about my beliefs or lifestyle. I know in my heart why I'm a Christian but so many times when its popped on me I can't get my thoughts together.
  Do you know that in the Bible there is a command for you to be ready to answer questions like that? (If you don't know the answers yourself then I would suggest going and spending time with God right now to find out.) In 1 Peter 3:15 it says 'But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.' But there is also a verse that talks about not worrying what you will say. (Matt. 10:19-20) Now by this I'm not telling you the Bible contradicts itself because it doesn't. God can't so the Bible can't. What I'm trying to bring across is that there needs to be a balance between knowing it in your heart/living it, and letting God direct your words. I'm really saying this because I see so many young people living a 'Christian lifestyle' because that is what they are supposed to do and they never seem to have it as their own. Their parents say so, or their preacher says so. What they don't realize is that they are missing the intimate relationship God wants with each one of us. Its wrong and therefore its sin. Did you ever think about that? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this to tear anyone down but to push you forward! If you don't have this relationship fall down before God and beg Him for it! He won't deny it! He wants it more than you could ever imagine! You may say you still don't know how to get that. Well if you truly want it and put everything into getting that relationship, God will show you the way. A lot of it depends on you though. How important is it to you, to get it? Two things are necessary to obtaining it though: a broken and contrite spirit.