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Posts tagged ‘equine therapy’

Celebrate the Journey

In a recent piece, Building Relationships, I shared with you some of the lessons I am 0923161019learning from my equine instructor, Gretchen.  Like our English Bulldog, Barnabas, she inherited a life goal just by joining our family: be a tool for teaching Scriptural Truth.

In our mind, that goal meant the pets would become therapy animals for others.  It was–and is a good goal…but goals are a direction setter and the journey has some awesome scenery.  It seems that perhaps God’s purpose for them is that they simply teach us.  But maybe the things we learn will bless someone else as well.  So, our goal will be reached even if we never get there :).

With that, I share with you my lesson for the past few weeks:


A friend recently shared a video that would inspire anyone.  A man and his horse in perfect sync…playing, dancing, flying across the country-side.  Partnership and freedom–two powerful longings woven into the DNA of everyone.  Why not stop and enjoy these two before we skid back to my world!

That sort of partnership is an awesome goal…not realistic for me but direction setting, for sure!  The truth is I do not have the horsemanship skills–or the physical ability–to come anywhere near that sort of performance…and time is not on my side.  But it’s okay.  You see, the destination is not the greatest delight for the two in the video.  Each other–and the connection to each other–is the real joy.

A ‘performance’ is just the fruit of a goal that provided direction.  The delight is in enjoying every step taken together toward the goal.  The foundation of the performance is relationship.  That partnership connection developed one moment at a time.

Each of us has what it takes for  building relationship because that is the very purpose for which we were created!  You might say we inherited that purpose like our family pets inherited theirs.  The good news is relationships are God’s purpose…and His purposes find completion.

Relationships are the foundation of life: 

Love requires a relationship to engage it. 

Relationships require love to develop. 

Its a perfect set-up–the expression of God Himself.

Every relationship is unique…and each offers to reveal more of how God relates with us.  Each partner brings unique strengths and weaknesses.  When the mix is rooted in agape love and given the time to develop, incredible results bloom.

Back to the Gretchen Connection:  0924161104dWhat I bring to the table with my horse is inexperience, uncertainty–even insecurity–and a body that doesn’t always like to bend or move fluidly. What she brings to the table is largely unknown to me but broken trust and very different expectations than I have are definite. We are still getting to know each other, building trust, learning how to communicate.  I am realizing I don’t always know what I want and other times I don’t know what I am asking.

Therein is the power and potential in my equine instructor:  those same issues that bubble up with her are truths in other areas of my life.  Recognizing weaknesses is the first step in inviting the Spirit of God to transform me at a deeper level.  At that point, it isn’t about my goal with Gretchen–but God’s goal for me.  All of our life, in every aspect of our life, God is about producing His plans for us.  His plans are always good.

My goals for my horse are a direction that does more than build our relationship or prepare us for something more.  Right goals are a pathway for God to do so much more than we can0908161033a ever ask or think.  Maybe one day she and I will do a dance…but tomorrow and maybe even into next month, we’ll just breathe and listen to each other.  I’ll learn something about me–and something about horses and Gretchen in particular.

We’ll partner with the moment and thank the Creator who lives in that moment with us.  Like a parent watching their child immersed in the joy of play, God will enjoy our joy…because we are His!

We have a tendency to continually think “If this or that, then I will be happy.”  It’s a lie, a distraction to steal the present.  The moment is now!  The God we serve is the Great I AM.

He has given us everything; we choose to enjoy it–or postpone that enjoyment till some future day.

Choose this day to enjoy this moment!




It is my joy to share the excitement of our recent training on ‘Relationships.’  For three days, my daughter, Riesa and our friend Debbie invested our hearts and minds (and bodies) into understanding Relationship Principles that can be visibly demonstrated with horse and human interaction.  I am excited about the content and looking forward to building it into a discipleship model that helps Christians walk out Truths we believe.

In my delight, I wanted to share a teaser glimpse of Lifemanship and what you can expect to read more about in coming months.  As a curriculum/practice, Lifemanship weaves neuroscience, counseling theory, and equine science into the context of free will and building relationships.

Relationships are understood as the basis for whole and healthy living.  God, of course, is my role model for ‘doing life,’ so His way of doing relationship is the only one to emulate.  Lifemanship has captured that in a powerful way.  Every relationship is built on FREE WILL.  Both parties have to choose to be in relationship with one another.  Scripture is clear:  God invites us to connect with Him!

Another principle is that relationships involve give and take.  Committing to a relationship means committing to communication that shares and sticks with requests.  Lifemanship offers principles (tools) to make that happen.  One such principle is mutual benefit:  if something is good for me but not you–it is not good for our relationship!  The life of faith attests to this principle:  God never asks of us anything that is for less than our best…and it gives Him glory when we engage with Him.

Spirit Reins in Texas is a ministry that utilizes the curriculum in a powerful way.  I invite you to watch this little video…and as the Lord leads, please pray as we seek to understand more of this curriculum, practice its methodology and look for ways to share it with others!

Spirit Reins

Fresh Look at the Past is another page on this website that offers help today for those with relationships that hurt.


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