Well, maybe. Maybe not.
My mentor, Ray Hunt, used to say to me (on more occasions than I would like to admit), “Charley, I do not want to see that horse in trouble, even if you have to get off and lead him.”
He wasn’t kidding around. “Don’t try to get him handy. Get the trouble out!”
Over these many years since those days, I would often hear Ray’s voice speaking out to me. It took me a good long while to truly understand the importance of what he was trying to get across to me.
What is the opposite of trouble? Peace.
When I reflect on peace, I often think about the Lord Jesus and His walk on this earth. He was always at rest, in perfect peace, and yet ready for anything. I marvel at the fact that even at the whipping post, on the day of his crucifixion, he was at perfect rest. No wonder He is affectionately referred to as The Prince of Peace.
It has taken me a good long while to truly understand the importance of that aspect of His life. That rest. That peace that He had. And, because of Christ, I know that I can have peace, His kind of peace, also.
But it comes with a price. I need to exercise due diligence in my thought life.
Because of years and the influence of Christ, I suppose that I look at peace a little different than some. I remember seeing some paintings in an art gallery years ago that was full of these pastoral paintings meant to portray peace and tranquility. There were some lovely sunsets and beautiful landscapes but the one that hit the nail on the head for me was one that had huge storm a blown’. Wind. Lightning. Rain. You could almost hear the thunder.
But down in this little hollow of a big rock was a little bird, just singing its heart out.
Now that’s peace.
Okay. So what does peace have to do with horses?
A lot. Starting with the human.
When I am at peace, it improves my relationship with my horse. In addition, it makes it possible for the horse to find his peace when he is with me. Moreover, a horse that is at peace (i.e. not troubled) is easy to get along with and you can teach him just about anything that he is capable of doing.
So here is something to think about. The next time you go to saddle up, take a pulse first. Are you at peace inside? If so, great. If not, consider taking the time to get to the bottom of your troubled mind or heart before your trouble rubs off on your horse. You will be glad you did.
Blessings and Happy Trails, Charley
For more information about private lessons, upcoming clinics or to trouble-shoot what is troubling your horse, please feel free to contact Charley Snell directly at