Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, are virtues that all of us should like to walk in. As we walk through life we are often aware of one or more of these fruits operating in us, or at least the possibility that we are exhibiting them.
Once in a great while we come across someone who is possessed by all of them, having had such a change in life, of mind, and of heart that fame and fortune are no longer of any importance. For the most of us, however, the unwrapping of these gifts is a process. Piece by piece, this experience, that trial, some wonderful blessing, or a heartache not soon forgotten, shapes and molds our character that allows the unwrapping and manifestation of such beautiful attributes of character.
Our work with horses somewhat follows the same pattern. The horse, which lives in the moment, freedom from trouble is the greatest peace. Some will have a greater desire to accomplish the tasks we ask of them than others. Some of us have seen the really, really troubled horse turn loose and have such a change from the trouble, to freedom of peace, that a blind person could perceive it. If such a horse remains in the confidence of a skilled rider that offers the better deal he will only get more sure and confident in his job.
For many, peace comes in pieces: a little here and a little there, even under the hand of the inexperienced person whose heart is right. It becomes a learning process for both horse and rider that we need to be patient with. What looks like very little change for horse and human in the short run, will if pursued with the right heart, result in many wonderful changes that are enjoyable for all to see and share in over the long haul. A relational bond has developed between horse and rider that is both enduring and productive.
Let us be patient with ourselves and our horses. Let us run the course as faithfully as we can, forgetting not, as Ray always said, “whistle and grin and ride”.
Blessings and happy trails,