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Are you your horse's leader?

By Joshua Rushing

Ever wonder what your horse sees when they look at you?

When God created Adam he gave him authority and dominion over all living things. In fact God brought livestock, beast, and bird to Adam to be named. That's how much man mattered to God. God's call to man was to be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it. Subdue as in cultivate or make use of.

As a horseman I have come to understand that horses crave leadership. Their instincts and herd mentality dictate that each member has their place but only one leader of the herd. Most of the herd finds safety and security under the right leader. This leadership role does not always come easy but ultimately comes down to he or she who moves the others feet wins. Watch a herd of horses and it won't take long to see what horses move around others. Or maybe you see the dominant horse with the slightest pin of the ears send a less dominant horse in retreat. The best horseman know this and have used this in their process of developing young horses.
"horses crave leadership."
It is our job to cultivate any horse into a solid, safe and usable member of our own herd. Ultimately we strive to create servants. Not by abuse or violence but by showing them we are a worthy leader. Our job is to convince them we have their best interest at heart. Show them we can keep them safe and secure. A healthy reverence (fear, respect) is to be established, and there will be moments of pressure, discomfort, and even doubt. The process is worth it and important because the results can be magnificent.

When I walk by the pens all of our horses look up. They practically stand at attention. They don't see me as a food source! They don't see me as a predator or something to fear. I I'm sure they are comes our leader, our keeper, I hope he chooses me today.
I know that most of my horses would lay down their life for me. They would deny themselves and their instincts and ride through any obstacle, river, fire, smoke for me. They are what some might call war horses because they will go when and wherever asked. Even though the circumstances might be less then ideal they will step up to the call I have placed on their life.

If you haven't figured it out we aren't just talking about horses here. Truth is we are all being called. Called to a higher standard, called to a new place, job, deeper understanding, a new position, etc. God is trying to move your feet many of us lack confidence, we don't feel secure, or safe. We have been convinced (by others or ourselves) we are unworthy, to difficult, not good enough. We feel inadequate, we lack skills. Guess what, YOU MATTER, you are worthy and you are important. You have been made a little lower then God! You have been crowned with glory and majesty, you have been made to rule over the works of God's hands. All things are under your feet! (Psalms 8:5-6) Most horses don't have a choice when they are implemented into a training program or a cultivation process. You do! No one is going to rope you and drag you to the training pen. You have to do that part. There will be pressure, discomfort, moments of doubt but it will be so worth it!

"Guess what, YOU MATTER, you are worthy and you are important."

I know not everyone has the kind of relationship with their horse that they want. I've done enough clinics to know that people can't always put it into words but they want more out of their horse journey. Weather life or horses have a little dominion this week! Take some responsibility. Take a little authority over your domain. One of my sponsors slogans is "Lead Don't Follow". Take care of your business! Step into the role that God has called you to.

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