This is an expanded look at the values I have learned from horses and the horse world as first described in the blog post: Why Use Horses?
Buckles was often the bane of my existence… or at least, he was every time I needed to catch him. Because he was so difficult, I typically left him last. I didn’t want the other horses to wait for dinner just because Buckles was enjoying his freedom. When it was his turn to be brought up, I would calmly go into his field and attempt to walk up to him quietly and confidently. No use. He would turn and run and buck and race around. I was left standing in the middle of the field. Since Buckles belonged to someone else, I was prevented from doing things like putting him in a smaller field or attaching what horse people call a “catch rope” to his halter. I tried all sorts of other tricks, but nothing really seemed to work on a regular basis. There were times when I would get so angry with this horse, but it didn’t do any good. My impatience could certainly be seen in my body language and felt by the horse, and it would just make him less willing to come to me. I was being outsmarted and outmaneuvered by a large black horse. Great. However, one day, I tried just going to the middle of the field and standing there. I didn’t look at the horse, or move much at all. I just waited. And waited. And waited. And I watched his every move. Then it happened. Out of curiosity, Buckles started moving ever so slowly toward me. It took what seemed like forever for him to finally get within an arm’s reach, but even then I stayed very still. Finally, Buckles bumped his nose into my chest and lowered his head. He came to me instead of me chasing after him with all my efforts. I was able to clip the lead rope to his halter and take him in. After that afternoon of being still, I was able to catch him on a regular basis (well, most of the time, anyway).
I had to learn to calmly confront this difficult situation and not respond quickly and angrily. When a short fuse got the best of me, all it did was push the horse away, and I can see that often happens with people too. Short words and easily irritated attitudes are not pleasant to be around and usually make a difficult situation much more complicated.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Colossians 3:12