Today, I sat down and wrote out a pretty good list of exactly what the goal of horse training is, for me personally. (I will undoubtedly think of more later on!) These are not in any particular order, and most of them are synergistic - in other words, they work together, and build on each other.
- I want the horse to like me and want to be around me.
- For the horse to like having me touch it and direct it anywhere I want it to go.
- To have the horse trust me implicitly, completely, joyfully.
- For the horse to understand that my desire is to have FUN with the horse, and that I am constantly improving the horse's skills and personality as well as my own, because I want what is best for the horse.
- To have the horse willing to do whatever I want.
- For me to be consistent so that the horse expects to have to behave, but also expects its job to be fun and interesting, and safe (even if it looks scary at first).
- For me to be able to pick up on the horse's slightest signals to know what it is thinking and to anticipate its needs/desires.
- For the horse to do the same for me, so that it looks like we think the same thoughts.
- FOR THE HORSE AND I TO BE AS ONE.
Pretty big goals, you say? Um, yeah. You are correct! But, why shoot for less? To me, it is worth a lifetime of "work" to get as close as possible to those goals I just wrote down. The challenges are what make it interesting, and the successes, the moments where things just "flow" between you and a horse, are sooo.... incredible. Just awesome...
Now, look back over the list. God has been showing me the last few months that this is His attitude towards me! (With the exception of the improvements on the trainer's part - He already IS perfect!) Meditate on that thought. Chew it over. These are God's thoughts toward YOU. Talk about awesome!!!
He wants me to trust Him completely. He wants me to like being with Him. He wants me to know that He knows me better than I know myself. He wants me to learn to pick up His small signals to anticipate our next direction.
Having been slowly realizing all this over the last few months, I suddenly realized a while ago just WHY I was born with this love I have for horses. God knew I was going to be a stubborn, fearful person with control issues, born out of fear of the future. He knew I would have a hard time KNOWING and ACTING that He is good and only wants good for me, even if I have to go through hard stuff sometimes to get to where He is taking me. He knew I would be someone who likes directing my own life, and can't quite understand why I should let someone else control all the decisions. (I'm being totally honest here!) So, He gave me a fascination with and deep love for all animals, but horses in particular, and has allowed me to start having my horse dreams come true so that I can see, through the horses, just how much He loves me and what He wants for me. I am even starting to realize that just as I expect a lot from my horse, because that is what's BEST for her, God expects a lot from me because that is what is BEST for me - not because He has anything to prove - He just takes the same joy in crafting my personality/character as I find in copying Him and crafting my horse's personality!
God is so cool. I love this epiphany-in-progress! :-D