Of Horses and life.

Of Horses and life.

One of the great realities of life is that we have a desire to learn
and grow throughout our personal lives. After 40 years of working with horses, I have come to an understanding that they are the same as us. And so, I have set to write some of my observations down.

There is no learning or growing without relationships. Like us horses are social creatures, in that they will only thrive with other horses. What is amazing about the horse is they seek a greater connection withhumans, not because we force it on them, but because they have the ability to look for it. They understand that there is more to their existence than being a wandering herbivore, waiting for death.

There is no thriving when fear is involved. The fear of hunger is
greater than the fact of being hungry. The fear of being hurt and in pain is greater than the fact of getting hurt or being in pain.There is no learning, growing and thriving when we are tired.

The ability to learn, to grow and thrive, is found from a place of rest. There is always growing and thriving when there is hope. The ability to hope is eternal for both the horse and the human.

The ability to hope gives us the energy to try, and the energy to try allows us to learn, grow and thrive.

I had a filly that l was asked to train some years back. I bought a
saddle horse in my trailer, because they couldn’t catch her or load
her, I’ve seen many like her before. She was young and had a great bitof energy.

She was lonely and fearfully tired. She had about a
half-acre run with a big tree for shelter. I spent more than four hours creating a relationship, while sitting on my saddle horse, before I could put a halter on her. And another two
hours teaching her to load in the trailer.

And so, the relationship had begun. The desire for relationship is overwhelming for the human and the horse. Understanding it takes time to create it. The horse always has the time…

I bought her to the ranch. She squealed and kicked at any horse that came near her pen. She devoured her hay as if was her last meal ever.Her ears were laid back and her tail flagged nonstop for a week. She would run at me to bite or kick the moment I stepped in the pen. I had no problem stinging her with my rope if I felt in danger. But I was not there to create fear, but a relationship.

She was not made to be like this from her present owners who cared about her well being or they would not have taken the time or money to call me. Whatever caused her condition was not mine to judge. It wasonly mine to help.

Letting her rest in her troubled condition is often hard, but hope
brings knowledge and without letting her set into this fearful state
of mind. I began to let her have more contact with my older horses, she kicked at them and she was kicked at. But our relationship had

Our desire to relate is never pretty and often leaves us a with
few scuffs, yet it is not a wrong thing. As a horseman, letting horses be horses is an important thought to keep in mind.

In no time my horses had helped me create the relationship. This little filly began to find rest in her environment. She was not as anxious about being caught or worked with. And by no miraculous existence, this young filly was ridden by its owner just six weeks later.

These little principals allow this horse and many others reach their potential and mine as well.

To create relationships of rest, that dispels fear, with hope of the next adventure, is what horses and humans are created for.

Hard times…

My mom told me often as a lazy teen: “…just because it hard doesn’t make it bad.” Now that l am the one with a lot of life experiences in my past, I see the issue from the other side of life. But relating that to the next generation is often a reality learned over time

Still I am confident that it needs to be said often, for there more to this motto “than just pushing through… and getten er done”. Of course there is a feeling of satisfaction in getting a hard job done right.

Once several years back whilst ranching in the southwest, I headed out a horseback on a warm late fall day, to gather the last of the strays out of a pasture along a sometimes little river. I know some winter weather was fixing to come in the next day and this could be the last day to get them out.

That big piece of country was rimed by steep rock walls and small rocky trails and cattle can get snowed and iced in down there. They got a fifty/fifty chance of making it through without looking after.

Or even worse,  being looked after by someone else. In the big country someone may finding your lost stock and will just push them up a cannon pasture and start raisen calves off of you cows.  I’d hunted for the runaways a few time with no luck,and had a feeling this could be my last chance for a while.

I was lightly dressed, just flees lined denim jacket, a neck rag… (which I alway put on the first of October and don’t take of till the last of April. If l got that silks neck rag on l can stay reasonably comfortable in most weather, but if not it doesn’t matter how many layers l got on.)  …my regular high top leather riding boots, and of course my black wide brim hat. (A good black hat is good cool weather riding gear, cause it catches the sun and warms your head and keeps that same sun out of your eyes, kinda a win win piece of equipment. Honestly I have no idea how anyone can walk around bareheaded outside. Even with a ball cap it doesn’t keep the sun off your neck and ears in the summer and dang sure don’t help at all in the cold. And my leather leggings to keep perfectly good jeans from being tore up.

Well that’s enough of being stuck in a conversational gopher hole. In any case things didn’t go well, like they often don’t, and l found myself in a bit of a jackpot. I got to tracking those cows, that lead me through a down water gap (fence going over the river) and into an abandoned bit of range that went up river for about ten miles of no fences, covered in tall push narrow cannons and quick sand on the boggy place. You can trust me on this one cause it cost a good bit of blood and sweet a time or two.

Fortunately for me, my stud horse Drifty (awesome horse) and border collie Daisy (greatest dog in southwest),   those cows hadn’t gone to far up river. But they had found themselves a bit of a honey hole, to wait out the pending weather. Wasn’t that cold yet, but thick dark clouds were rolling in and you could smell a hint of moisture. It became clear those cows weren’t much interested in going anywhere and we had several miles of tough country to get through.

We went to work and got them pushed through that down water gap and that’s when we started working up a sweet. Those dang cows (and I was calling them worse names than that at this point. ) would go up the river some distance cross over the river,  back to the down to the other side into the river, through missing water gap, and travel back toward their honey hole. There was no way to cut them off and they just ran right over the top of Daisy getting to the river.

It was mid afternoon, and I had no desire to fixing that water gap till spring. But unless I did fixed it and put them through a wire gate half mile up the fence line, (which would add another half hour to getting these cows home) this little game of theirs would go on to eternity.

I did my best to get those wires pull across a horseback against a pretty strong current, and Drifty did his best to keep me dry, but there were some deeper spots that he needed to skirt around and it made for a tough pull. Let me just add that there are not a lot of horses in this world that will drag four strands of barbed wire across running water and hold it tight on a saddle rope, while I work at getting it tied off.

Getting it tied off to a big post set in behind a even bigger flat rock was hard hard work. And in the process of pulling the last two wires out of the current, I slide off the rock and went waist deep in real cold water. And that made me made .

I dang sure wasn’t given in now. In another 10 minutes I had that gap tight and out of the water. I loosened the cinch a couple holes on the best horse, God put life into, swung in the saddle and headed for where my dog had got them four leged demon stopped, few hundred yards off.

I slipped in behind, hissed to the dog, gave out yelp, and we hit them hard and set them running to the river. They came to that water gap, looked back knowing they been beat and head up the fence line at a fast trot, stopped at the gate, and waited for me to open it. Daisy worked the back, whilst I turned them toward shortest trail to winter camp.

Now as you can imagine, the “mad was ware off”, and I was starting to feel the influence of that little swim I’d took. So I began take stock as to the situation l was in.

It was less than an hour till dark, best l could figure. The wind had shifted to the northeast, and pushing straight against us, I was soaked to the shirt pockets, and sweat through my hat. Which was now starting to freeze up, and felt like a metal helmets, rattled cold in the wind, on my head. My thin leather cloves were freezing to my hands, and my boots were frozen solid to my nume feet. I’dthought of getting down and walking to warm up but sure if I could walk any more.

I had to smile to myself a bit, because I didn’t know  to many cowboys that had got themselves in a pickle like this and lived.I had heard a real story or two about cowboys that died of hypothermia, while trying to build a fire, and l didn’t even have any matches. I wasn’t  really thinking about dying, I was thinking about how great of a story this was going to be when I made it through.

Normally it doesn’t take longer than an hour to break out on top, but luck was against us, and it started sleeting hard, and making the rocks icey,. About halfway up it was rough going. Where the rocky trail got narrow cattle were slipping and stopping. And the higher up the trail we went the harder that northeast wind pushed on all of us. The warmer air that was trapped in the valley, was far behind us.

Did l mention that l was getting pretty cold, and the only  thing that kept any feeling in my bare hands, was that stinging icey sleet, my soggy leather gloves had frozen to my jacket pocket some time back, and all I could do was put one hand at a time between my saddle pad and my horse. I sure was glad my neck rag was dry, if it had not been for warm silk, I would have just fallen off my horse and died.

We were kinda at the “all in or done” spot on the trail, with those poor cattle slipping and crawling their way. We couldn’t stay there and wait it out. We all just keep moving forward. Every now then when thing got to slow, I’d give a whistle or daisy a bark, and off we’d go another hundred yards.  

By the time we topped out, it was snowing so much, it seemed to be one huge snowflake going sideways. Normally when those cattle get out on the flat, they tend to just trail on out to the pens. But with hard snow and wind in our faces, those cattle just wanted to spread out and find a place to hide. It was like pushing rope and herding chickens, all at the same. And about now a desperate frustration set in me.

I didn’t blame much and thought about leaving them, knowing I was getting to cold, but with no real shelter for these wayward words of the ranch, that had wasted good time, and energy trying to stay ungathered. And now they were trying to kill me. I know l couldn’t leave them, they would need better shelter and water and rest from the days activities.

There is something a bit different about us cowboys that have truly chosen this life. For whatever reason we tend not have any “give up” in us. There is a weird sense of confidence about ourselves that gets us in some pretty tough places, but it’s that same confidence that gets us through too.

What is amazing, is that it becomes a part of those who work with us. Because that young stud and dog of mine, just keep work those “suldup” old cows, like it was a warm summer day.

So with the reality that it could be done, I let out a whistle and a howell, we hit them hard for a final  push. Swinging the knotted end of my saddle rope to put a little sting in their cold hides. Drifty with ears back went to biting tales, Daisy hit another gear working the flanks.

As you can tell from the fact that I am writing this, we all did live, though it did take two days to get back to normal.

I wondered often about that time and many others when it was hard. It seems sometimes the harder you try, the harder it get, and when you’re sure it can’t get worse… it does. Sometimes life just seems to be against you, and it stays that way for a long long time.

I’m sure we all heard the phase “when life knocks you down…”,and in some of my darkest hours of depression, I’ve had some of the most well educated professionals say that to me. And I would just think, “you have no idea what has knocked me down”.

After much thought on why that phase makes me unsettled, I’ve found this bit of insight over the years.

Life doesn’t knock anything down, Life is the one thing that raises us up. We tend to blame the very thing that well get us back up. We have been created by divine design, with His life breathed into our spiritual humanity. Losing the influence of this reality, exchanges our best to become our worst.

What knocks us down is simply the rhythm of our existence, it is a designed resistance that brings great worth to Life. We are often influenced by social and physical notions of speculations. We habitually label a circumstance with a moral value.

Hard is not bad or wrong. We are created to be in hard and tough places. One of the greatest trip ups for me was a notion, that pushed me to the edge, was thinking: “at my age it should be easier now! “At some many years of marriage l shouldn’t be having a divorce.” “after all my hard work and experience, I shouldn’t  lose my business, and be in debt”. And this was the greatest one of all, “l don’t belong here”! “I dont deserve this!”

Almost all of our religious and professional council is directed at a superficial concept of choice. If you choose to change the physical action, the “bad” feeling will go away. And that somehow you responsible for the for the spiritual realm of influence.

We avoid sadness, and loneliness, those dark and anxious places, but they are The reality of true life. Our greatest troubles comes from trying to escape, it is my personal adherence that all addiction are rooted in the effort of escaping something. Instead of feeling the reality of life, we run faster and faster for a peace that can only come when we are overwhelmed by that which is unwelcome to the superficial view of life.

We in the realm of being human, think we need to choose our feeling, if it doesn’t feel right, it is wrong and I must choose to change it. We can change what emotions we have, but the feelings are a part of our created spiritual nature. They are not meant to be changed, they are designed to be lived in.

There isn’t always someone there for us, or the one that always was, is gone. And as I’ve experienced there isn’t all a reason or answer. But as I sat on the porch of  a little cabin as a stay in the  journey, in a place of great saddness, loneliness and sorrow. I once heard in still small voice, “if I left you just as you are now, would you love. If this were all I had give,  would want me”. I said no at time…  

 The peace of life is not for getting through or above the sorrows that surrounds our existence, but realize that our created spiritual nature is our first reality, when we feel the experience of our existence as we where created to. We are alive.

…Bob’s ghost, the rest of the story 

Now with the first part of this adventure still your mind,  you can understand the reality of the of our situation, as this cow is hooking at this, what appears to be a small piece of white plastic, my dog comes around to a juniper,  clearly annoyed at the straggler and gave her a hard nip in the heel.

This cow jerked her head up, takes off in a panic, brings this huge bellowing  white, twenty foot sheet of constitution plastic, completely draped over her face and horns, blindly racing straight at me and Bob. I figure the wind was just right to make float and flutter some ten feet in the air

The cattle I was holding at the water tank sensed the coming apocalypse, throw their tails in the air and stampeded over a nearby ridge and into the brush. Even the dogs ran off and left me and Bob and the giant ghost to work it out.

I had a few different things going in my mind as time slowed way down. I sure set down in the saddle thinking if Bob blows up or out I was going to go with him, or stepping off and manageing the situation from the ground, all the time wondering how much either choice was going to hurt.

I could feel Bob’s muscles getting as tight as a banjo string, and hear the air rolling in his flared nostrils, looking at a ten foot ghost wildly gliding through the trees and brush bellering bloody murder.

One of the last thoughts going through my head was that nobody would really know how I died, or it they would even find my body,  because in a second the wreckage would be scattered from hell to breakfast.

Now I’ll never know if it was because I was just sitting there on Bob’s back, deep in my own thoughts, waiting for the inevitable, and he  got the notion that I wasn’t concerned, but without a thought or motivation from me, this big young colt started to back up.

He just naturally started to create his comfort zone, and he kept going back at a deliberate pace. His ears where perked and head was high, and still blowing air like a steamboat, but he put himself in a stead reverse, turning slowly in semi circle, always facing the ghost at hand, until she had passed on by at a safe distance.

This poor crazed creature crashed into a big cholla cactus which really got her on the fight, before she was able to get free of that sheet of cow eating plastic. With great relief she shook her head one more time in disgust and embarrassment, and trotted off in the direction of the rest of the herd.

I was astonished at the out come of impending doom and felt myself relax, and as I did, Bob began to step forward right toward that now limp and lifeless shell of ghost material. In about a minute he put his nose on it, push it around a bit and then looked off after the cattle now appearing way down ridge headed away from whatever had been going on up there. Kinda like a bunch of kids that had just broke someone’s living room window.  

Some folks my say I was just lucky, (which i was) and others that  I’m a hell of a horse trainer (which I am) But I can’t really explain the feeling of connection it creates, its just changes life as a whole, to know that someone’s got your back. In the plainold times we spent experiencing life together, something happened to us both. We started to care about and care for each other.

This big red sorrel horse is one of the most brave and confident horses I’ve ever swung my leg over. We’ve been in the thick of it a time or two with wild cattle and the like, but we always have come out with a job well done, and all the important pieces still attached.

If we get in a situation and he doesn’t like. I don’t force it cause he’s looking after me, and if he’s after something and I pull back, he knows we’ll still get it. I’m just looking for a better way.

He has also been a wonderful part of sharing the passion and joy of horsemanship with the next generation. There aren’t any spokes big enough to change the relationship anymore.

I’ve come away recognizing that there is a natural response to relationships, we are all created to care and be care for. It is in our spiritual DNA. It is unnatural to have contention with other living creatures. We were not created  to fight, struggle, scratch our way through the greatest gift of relationship life and living.

I’ve observed that there is a big difference between what is normal and what is natural. Our human nature live in a shallow reality of repatriation that gives us a precipitation of normal, if it happens a lot it is the normal reality of life and we come up with ways to cope with it.

It was normal for Bob to blow up when he felt unsafe. It maybe normal for human beings to fight, struggle and scratch for what we need emotionally and physically, but it not natural. It is not created in us to live this way.

Bob naturally didn’t want to blow up when he was scared. He wanted to be relax and be confident, it just became a normal reaction.  My normal reaction was to get made and a fight for our individual survival could have ruined any hope of creating a great partnership of experiences.

Perhaps the saddest thing of all this is that we are encouraged to except this existence as truth from the very instructions that should know better. When a horse can respond to the nature of comfort and security in another living being, why can’t we?

Maybe it’s just that we have never been told. I have bought this realization up in relationship to the christian faith. If the nature of God is love, then it is natural for God to love and be loveable. The is not struggle within God’s thoughts and feelings as whether to love or not, He can love with ease because His nature in love so it is natural for love to come from Him.

Therefore if He has breathed His life nature and character into our spiritual created humanity, it is natural for us to love and be loveable. Therefore it is easy to love and be loveable.

Yet there is great resistance to this revelation, because it is normal to believe that that we are by nature hateful, and we must fight against hate with the choice of love.  

The cowboy philosopher in my came only say that we are looking at this horse from the wrong end. We will never appreciate the whole horse by simply looking under the tail.

We are loved, loveable and loving by nature. we don’t choose it, we naturally respond to the reality of creation.

This my horse Bob and my boy helping me take a first ride out side on a young horse I was starting for him.

Bob’s ghost…

Bob’s ghost was about as real as ghosts get. The only thing missing was that wasn’t dark. In fact it was in the middle of a sunny morning. I don’t worry much about ghosts, but Bob does and what was coming at us had mighty scarred also.

Bob and have been partners now coming twenty years. We still are although we’ve both slowed some. Back in our prime we were something the team on both sides of the Pecos. There wasn’t often when we did bring home what we went after. He is by far the best partner and friend to work with and play with.

(We used to go fishing and hunting all time. But what we  enjoyed doing the was most is roping wild cattle, and training horses).

If you haven’t guessed yet Bob is a horse. I picked him out of a pen of two year old of from a ranch that owed me money on a training deal. He was just a tail skinny colt that some want-a-be farm hand had tried to put a start, but seems Bob was to much for him.

He had a name that was made up of three long Spanish words I couldn’t make much sense of. So with not much thought I just started calling him Bob. He was a bit of a hot mess for the first few months, and had some serious truth issues.

His most extreme characteristic was the super prower to spoke. This tall young athletic colt could jump twenty feet to either side of anything that caught his eye wrong. He was so quick and unpredictable about the whole thing, that I thought about selling him.

I was a bit of a saddle hand back then, and always stayed with him, but it felt like he was going to jerk my my bones out of my skin and it hurts. We could be riding along in a pasture just relaxed and pleasant,  and a rock or stump would appear to attack him, and he would blow to the side some twenty feet at the speed of light.

After a few months of this, it seemed that it was becoming a game to him. He started to ride around looking for things to blow up about. So being l like to play games too I made some rules so it could be fun for us both.

The game goes like this: Bob can be scared of anything he wants, but instead of blowing out sideways at speed of sound, he can back up until he feels safe again. Then we can look at the horse eating monster far as comfortable distance.  When he feels more confident we can walk forward until its scary again and then back up. Little by little we turn fear into curiosity. We win when he can put his nose on it. It doesn’t take long to turn spooks into rocks, stumps and logs.  

It was mostly half hidden things in tall grass. But the last and most challenging things to get past was flapping plastic. Anything from a kmart bag to a feed sack, any color or size wasn’t  to be trusted. If l had it in my hand it was of no account, but if I we were riding out, and it was with in eyesight, it was scary to the extreme.

Still with time, patience and consistency we made wonderful progress in being partners and companions. This simple foundation of: back to escape, relax, and investigate, made us an awesome team in some extremely dangerous situations.

At the time of this ghost sighting, l was managing a ranch that had a pasture that pushed up against a country highway. As I drove from town one hot Sunday afternoon, l saw some younger cows on that fence line. I had no need for cattle to be up there this time of the year. It was clear that they were lost and would require some assistance to find there was back where they belonged.

As human beings we like to plan our lives. The power to control the whens and wheres of life gives us sense of a accomplishment, and frustration until we realize that each day plans the next. Each day is a gift from our Creator and with that creativity come purpose for tomorrow.

As it was, I grudgingly changed my plan for Monday, knowing that it would be a full days work to get them gathered, moved back where they belong. Find where they got out, and fix the fence. In this rough country of old fences, it was often a two day job, seeing that you might need to haul new fencing material in to do the job right.

The next morning l saddled up young Bob, who was about three or so at the time, and trotted couple of miles, with a couple of border collies trailing along behind. Bob was becoming a steady get er done kinda horse after a year  of ranch work. He stretched his nose out a bit and jogged along with the exception of making cow move.

When we got to pasture where I’d seen those cattle, we found them still handing on the wire fence. I sent the dogs down the fence line to turn them off the fence while  I pushed some chubby calves to a water tank, where l would hold them and let them pair up, before starting them to where they came from. The dogs knew their job and Bob knew his. Everything was going as planned.

Now to paint the picture for you all, I’d like to mention that on highways where folks haul all kinds of stuff,  thing have a tendency to plow off from time to time. As I set there watching cattle drift in looking for their babies, I noticed some white plastic hanging on juniper tree some seventy yards off and a young horned cow was stiffing at it like they have a tendency to do. If it smell ok they will try to eat it.

I once had a cow find a purse and was carrying it by the handle in her mouth. She carried that purse along like it was hers, for over two miles. Looken like she was going shopping for that calf  trailing along behind her. She finally spit out when I rode up thinking it was hung up on her lower jaw and she couldn’t get it out. Funny things happen in the back lonesome country.

In any case Bob had seen it and was paying it no mind. He was working cattle and had better things to do than to worry  on old spooks. Apparently that plastic didn’t smell right to that horned cow because instead for chewing on it, she decided to fight it. She went to shaking her horn at it and gave a little hook to see if it was going to fight back.

I’ve come learn that the very character of trouble, is that it appears very quickly and accelerates even faster. So powerful is the speed of trouble, that in order for the human mind to see it coming , we must perceive time to stand still

Science will tell you the the speed of light is the fastest thing in the universe, but I know for a fact that the speed of trouble makes light look like a snail parade.

So with that in your mind, you can understand the reality of the of our situation, as this cow is hooking at this, what appears to be a small piece of white plastic, and my dog come around to a juniper, clearly annoyed at the straggler and snaps at her heels.

This cow jerked her head up, think that whit thing had bit her, and takes off in a panic, brings this huge bellowing  white, twenty foot sheet of constitution plastic, completely draped over her face and horns, blindly racing straight at me and Bob. I figure the wind was just right to make it float and flutter 10 ft in the air.

The cattle that I was holding at water tank sensed the coming apocalypse, throw their tails in the air and stampeded over a nearby ridge and into the brush. Even the dogs ran off at the sight of it all, and left me and Bob and the giant ghost to work it out.

Thanks joining me. Stay tuned for the rest for the story …

What are we here for….

Now I knew with a heading like that your our expecting some deep physical or theological thies on how to fix some united human problem of life. “Get to the root cause of things” as it where. We are for best or worse a “fix it” society. We have ingrained in our minds that if there is a problem we are endowed with the human power to  Fix it.

This is one of those concepts that I am not naturally good at.  When I fix something it usually brakes again or isn’t really fix at all!  The time and energy applied is never equal to the finished product.

I spent about 30 hours fixing the ATV we use for chores around our little outfit. Its a very handy and economical way to get around in the mud, and get tools and feed around the place. Somehow in all the “taking apart”, it started to work, and in time it took to put it back together. It stopped working again. Oh we can laugh about it now…

I tend to be more of a work with a problem kinda guy. You will often hear a phrase around our outfit that sound like this:

Me:    “…well honey I’m fixen to go to town,  needanything?

She:   “ I’m fixen to make bread, and need some flour and…. Never mind I’ll just come withya”. And yes we do run a lot of words together sometime just to get that bit of communication out at the speed of light, like on the internet.

Now before you come to the conclusion that rural people are uneducated and never learned much good grammar, cause we didn’t get enough schoolen.

Let me just point out that right now there millions of professionaly educated people in the metropolitan areas, that are speaking a paragraph of acronimes to another professional in the same profession, and anyone else wouldn’t have any idea of what was being communicate no matter how educated you are.

My professional wife is educated in knowledge that her colege in the marriage, is very impatient while looking at all those little special ingredients in the bakery ayle, and while in al probity came home with the wrong kind of baking properties requirements for the formation of bread to develop. ( we call this: WKBPRFBD).

Or that he will start to communicate with a colege at the “physicality of equine and bovine substance and husbandry specific material dispensary,”  (we call this: THEFEEDSTORE), and completely forget all about the makings of bread, which she affectionately calls DSOB syndrome.

As a professional husband, I  have learned that there are SJLGT implants that are being activated. (For you laypeople it simplify means … she just loves to go to town…) But I have digrest on this fall day as white stiff cover the green, as well as race by at 30 plus mpr or miles per hour.

Anyway…I have found it interesting that there is a big difference in the feeling  of Fixen To, and Fixing It. And of course it brings to mind another story.

As as horsemanship clinician or EDC, business (I’ll let you have fun figuring that one out by your self). I like to start our time with a little questioner about the characteristics of both horse and rider. Of course the horse can’t talk or even write, it is up to the ride speculate on what their horse is thinking and write the horses response.

Unbeknownst to me at first, was how profound the results were on one question. Why does your horse like you? Over 98% of people answered: Because I feed him/her/it. Now whether you never seen a horse or lived your life on and around these beautiful creatures, there is an amazing revelation as to the our humanity or perhaps our lack of it.

We often live in the shallow existence that leaves us less than who we really are. When we are in  “Fix it” reality, we throw the horse some hay or open the gate to fix the horse/hunger problem,  and go on to fix the next problem of middle school homework .

Life is valued and devalued in every moment of interaction.

When we focus on the hunger instead of the horse, or the homework instead of the kid, we short change the interaction and loses the value of what we are here for. It creates a difference in prospective about of being against a proplem, because problems are bad. Or we are being for the person with the problem, because problems exsit.

Now it’s adout this time in any conversation I have with someone that they feel the need to put some sociological or theological label on it like: “ selfish” or “self absorbed”, “to goal oriented”, “type A personality”.

For whatever reason we find it some how important to give it a name or an acronim. We believe when we can define it, we can fix it. Like my ATV, if I know what part is broken, and find the name of said part, I can spend two hours Googling it. First we Google the problem, then we Google the the possible parts that my cause said problem, then Google prices of said parts for said problem….

That’s why we have so many self help books, religious teaching. We have the problem and it can be fixed when we know what it’s called. We go to church because my neghbers have a morality problem. We read books about Bill Gates because we have a financial crisis…. We search the world thinking we’ve found true love, they meet a another and… there gone.

The “FIXIT” reality is a need driven reaction that comes with many restrictions of time, place, and resources. It often creates problems faster than they can be fixed. We are motivated by the a spiritual influence of being frantic. We emote frustrations based on time and money, and struggle with the insecurities of success and failure.

I have come to a great revelation, that this is completely unnatural to what we are here for. We where not created to be frantically frantic. Our created nature is not designed to fix IT, but to a more restful energy of “fixing to

I had a young man who was honestly interested in a more natural way to work with horses in the occupation of being a cowboy for a local ranch. We were visiting one day as we rode out to check cattle. I asked him who he had worked with and what he thought about their horsemanship aproch.

His response was very common to the culture we live in. He said that so and so had been really good with horses and know a lot but that them, but he was to slow in getting to the point and he got bored. To which I could only reply in response, that learning good horsemanship skills is alot like watching paint dry.

The feeling of need to fix IT, is contrary to our created purpose and as a result we are left with hardships of existence. We are created to give value to the moment of the experience and feel the value it gives to us. We are created to live in a restful atmosphere because our Creator is restful by nature.

The feeling of “fixing to” creates emotional actions of: taking the time it takes. I can give myself the time to find the right tools and information. To naturally except setbacks and unforeseen complications. Understanding that the value is in the moment (fixing to)  and not the finishedness of the task, and often leads to a better fixed situation.

What we are here For… is a natural response that releases us into the creative creativity of our Creator. While what we are against… leaves our  existence shallow and and filled with struggles, the striving with strife, always coming at life from the negative in despration of a need for the positive.

We are not created to struggle and fight fixit all the time.  We are created to have relationship that leads to fellowship. We are created to be for the moment and the humanity of creator. 

Just some thoughts from spending to much time in the saddle. Hope you will hang around for more. Leave a comment and tell me what you think. 


Connections…This word seems to have turned the corner on it meaning in life. It has in fact slowly been demoted to mechanics of progress that often creates more a challenging reality than our human nature can Endeavor.

We have minimize this word to a simplicity of finding the right end to put into the right hole, get the energy required, and it is maintenance free. There is no more effort need.

The mechanical simplicity of the concept also allows us to unplug the connection with little effort as well. Sadly this effortless mechanized connection concept in society a created a shallow reality of life. The energy of life having simplicity, is not intended to be effortless.

I sat in a room sometime back and just by nature began looking over the course of conversations and the people interacting, and to the life in that environment. Not just as an outsider, but as one added to the energy in that room, to the place itself.

What happens inside us every moment, affects those around us, be it school, carrier, family. Whether you are in a boardroom of fortune 500 company suit and tie or a branding pen with dirt in your teeth, we all create energy in our surroundings.

We were very different in all aspects of life. We had never met before. All closed in the area for a moment in time. There was laughter, joking, but also moments of sadness and somber conversation. We moved in and out of the the area and conversations, all at ease with one another as if we belonged there. (And may we did…, but not on purpose).

We were all of different ages, genders, culture, and world view. Yet there was something very different about the interaction of the group.

Now as often is case to me: my mind wandered to another time not so long back, when I was an active participant and looking over of the environment with another group of individuals with different that were designed to interact with each other.

So different to the fact that, only a few of the individuals could communicate with each other. It was a challenging endeavor to make anything positive out of this circumstance. Yet it had been done before and I was confident it would be done again.

For you see what I was looking over that day was a little river valley which myself, horse, had dogs had just splashed through, on our way to a hill that gave us position for the “looking over”.

It was a hot early fall afternoon, and we had been at it since sunup. The other group individuals in this microcosm of time and space, was seven mama cows and six big calves. Whom made it pretty clear, by about 7am, had a very different perspective of what this days activities involved.

It had been a long morning of riding to locate these wayward wards of the ranch, in all this rocky, brush covered land of the southwest. Once we had connected up with the other half of this committee off range management, our communication limitations became apparent.

This community is made up of two teams. One is in charge of eating the grass, and the other team is responsible for where the grass needs to be eaten.

As the team leaders, my horse and I must relay information to the other team leader (most often a older momma cow that knows the country and where her calf is. Cows have an inconvenient habit of hiding there calves in such professional manner as to not be able to find themselves ). The dogs as the other half of my team, are responsible for encouraging motivation of the entire community.

In cowboy speak this simply means: to turn a circle gather them up and headed to the gate. In this instance they were younger cows that didn’t know their way around around much yet and had scattered their lazy calves in the shade brush without a clue as to what shadie bush they had put it under.

They had found them a secluded little cannon that was unbeknownst to me until that day, and were quite confident in their choice of managing the range from this location. Needless to say it took a bit of bawling, barking and whistling to get everyone on the same page.

There frist plan of action is that mommas run off in all directions bawling for their calves, while there calves in turn pop up in various locations and run of in all the other different directions. And then they find it important to all gather up and run off in the wrong direction together. It takes a bit of cowboy grit and horse sweat to get the whole problem headed in the right direction.

Once we have them on a trail that is headed in the general direction, we can slow things down and let everybody drift along. There is no real contention among us, it just the nature of things, and it tends to be rather natural to naturally relate to each other this way.

(I’ve rode with a few folks at had great contention and it always end up with wild cattle, mean dogs, and horses that buck.)

I had ridden across the river to get a better look at what my cows had decided to do. The trail that lead to the river crossing, split off into several smaller trails, that snake there way through the thick heavy brush. The bushy tree like plant they call Salt cedar are loved by cattle and cursed by cowboys, lines the river on both side.

It is common for cattle to stay in the shade brush and go parallel to the river instead of going across. The brush is heavy for a long way to the south, and I’ve found it a great time saver for me to stay on the southern side of the trails, and let the dogs bring them across.

But as is the case they stop and were contemplating going back the way they had come. There was nothing to work off of, except the ability to creating a willing cow. The dogs couldn’t force them across. They had the advantage they could god up or down the river at will and never come home. I can’t force them to do my will…

Whether or not I knew it at the time, I have come to realize, that there a consistent spiritual connection with all created being. As I on that little hill l did know to wait. We often think that waiting is negative reaction that hinders progress.

In truth the feel of waiting is very positive feeling with energy in the connection of life. (I’m sure we can all relate to the feeling of energy knowing that someone is waiting for us at home or a destination. )

After some time I drifted my horse back across the the river, with those dogs trailing a long behind, in plain sight, so they didn’t get the feel I was sneaking up on them to trap them into something. And waited some more.

They sniffed around a bit and looked at the trail that lead out of the river on the other side, and with my horse shaking his head a bit, they simply stepped out and trailed up the other side. As I put them through the wire gate into greener pastures, I had very relaxed and pleasant feeling about me and a great appreciation for this little range management committee.

As I sat in that room that day I had the exact same feeling, relaxed and pleasant. It was a very positive and constructive environment. There was no contention between human beings and yet everyone was being human. It was a very natural to exist.

What caught my attention the most was that it was in a place that should have been the total opposite. A place that should have been full of contention, strife, fear, anxiety, and any other physical emotion you can imagine, was missing.

The place was a large common area room for patients of how had given up their lives by suicide. The clinical term is psychiatric ward for patients that have “tried to commit suicide”.

There was a retired hairdresser who took pills, a young man who drove his car into a freeway pylon, a young lady with rope burns on her neck, a homeless man who laid down in the freeway. And a middle age man with a bullet wound in the side of his head. And several other others not interested in saying why.

When the shallow truth of being human is revealed, there is nothing left but our Creator, and our being of humanity. Regardless my state of physical existence.

Everyone was being human and yet they were not relating to each other as human beings, but as our created nature of humanity. There seemed to be nothing left to the human motivations of being.

The only time I became aware of contention, anxious fears, and negative influences, was when human beings who wanted to help, focused their reasoning on how to cope as humans again. The concept of going back to the very lifestyle that bought on this place in time and space, was a disturbing concept.

We were not created to cope or survive, or to get through. These physical attributes will never give any value to our nature of humanity.

The true nature of compassion in us is a powerful energy not from physical emotion to action, but from our nature of our Creator that transcends the the shallow existence of the physical, even more so change the physical. But the greatest reality is not in our ability to change the physical but experience the spiritual connection of life.

Sitting there that day I realized that I was looking over the truth that there is a natural relationship of humanity that is most relaxed and pleasant when we no longer value the shallow human actions of life and that the struggle to live that truth would be the path less travelled.

The humanity of being human and the horse that could Go. Part two.

“We don’t need to see all of that. Just get on and ride it. “. Now folks when I heard him say that, I’m not near as big as this fellow, and I didn’t know if I could take him in a fight, but I do know I was mad enough to try.

But being the *christian* that l was. I made a choice to hold my anger in, and looked up and said to all three of them “If you want to ride this horse you best be watching what it takes”. All the time letting King move around and having him change directions every half circle or so.


There is eternal conflict when being human interacts with a human beings.

There was a bit low toned talking going on between the three of them, but when nothing more was more said from the big fellow. I went back to focusing on the horse,. But I stopped talking as much because I wasn’t going to waste my breath on stupidity.


(I did feel some bad for those ladys, seeing how they seemed genuinely interested in what I was doing, but this comment had killed any excitement in me to share my thoughts with them).


All I needed to do is show that the horse could ride around and get paid. So I just focused on old King and set him up for success. It wasn’t ten minutes to get him relaxed and willing to be saddled and rode. With Tom close by on another good saddle horse, I stepped up and swung my leg over.


I moved him around in all directions and gates. I was sure to let them know that he did not have much of a stop by just pulling straight back on the reigns. I could tell King was bored with all this fooling around in the arena, and would have rode best outside.


After about ten minutes there wasn’t much left to show them, and so as nicely as l could, I rode up to the women and asked if one them wanted to ride him, seeing how it was their horse.


They talked to each other for a bit, but before they had come to a conclusion, this big fellow pipes up and declares he’d ride him, and before I could turn my head, he was long striding back to his truck and drags, what must have been a good saddle at one time over the fender, and long strides it back.


At this point I didn’t care, and just stepped down and pulled my saddle off Kings back and handed the bridal reigns to one of the girls. Walked to my other good saddle horse and swung in, mostly because I just dislike standing around in the dirt when there’s a perfectly good saddle horse to be set on. And would also give me a bit more mobility if things went array.


That horse could feel this guy from a mile away, but he allowed this fellow to put that wearnout saddle on his back, with his head high and legs straight. Nothing good comes from a high headed horse. And I was a mite surprised that King hadn’t taken off and kick this guy in the belly on the way out by now.


That young horse let this fellow crawl up in the saddle, like an old lady climbing up a step tool, and reach for the gravy bowl at thanksgiving. But when he had made sure this gentleman was settled in that poor saddle. That colt did what God had created him to be.


That colt took off like he was shot out of a cannon, and keep running like he was in the Kentucky derby. This poor man in his broken down saddle was set way back, grabbing at what had been a saddle horn years back, with his bridal reigns pulled straight back to his to his chin, and his long legs straight out in front of him trying to keep his big feet in those sturps.


Just when you would’ve thought King couldn’t go any faster. he hit another gear as if he was trying to break the sound barrier. That fellow made a lap and half around the big arena, before the ride came to it abrupt conclusion. That young horse never bucked a jump, he just ran faster than this fellow could ride, simply fell off the back of a perfectly good saddle horse.


And that finally brings us to where we started in part one. And the great timeless truth of who we are as a created being. As I rode to the scene of the crime, things going through my mind, most of them are a part of being human. I was thinking about how arrogant…, disrespectful…, foolish…, stupid.., and most importantly justice… “I was glad he got what was coming to him.”


( I’m sure you can up with a few while reading this story as well)


As human beings, we all think on a very shallow plain of existence. We think that if we can label “it” we can understand it. If we can give it a name we can fix it. We call it good or bad, right or wrong, and then we can choose the appropriate emotion to “it”, happy or sad, anger or not angry, hatred or loving. And then life is the way “it” should be. We can then justify the bad emotion we have from being disrespected.


But even though I can now justify my emotions , my religion and social morality require that I must choose a different emotion for the sake of another human being, or perhaps to get the money he owes me, for the physical work I have done.


Now this is where the real conflict is. We are not created to live or be motivated by this shallow experience. It is in fact why ,in our human nature, we are never satisfied.


Our Creator breathed more into us more than the oxygen of this superficial world as wonderful as it is. Our first nature is our created spiritual humanity. A breath of relationship and fellowship with another with the same created nature, just as our Creator is full of this life.  


The power of our humanity, does transcend the circumstances of the superficial. That is why there is first conflicted with ourselves and then with other human beings, being human.  Because the life in us lives bigger than the physical ability of choosing emotions. This breath of life is constantly superimposing our created great value. This is our existence, be chosen though superficial mental reason and lived out, but revealed and naturally live in.


(It’s kinda like your house you don’t normally choose to go home every night, it’s a natural response. Why ?, because it is where all your good stuff is. It is natural to our physical existance.) If you do have choose by reason you to go home there something wrong with where you live, and you need to reason away that emotion.


This foundational truth is who our Creator is! This is what He creates everyday, like it is the very first day of creation. This what He feels, and thinks about all day long. Our only responsibility is revealed in our humanity in a natural ability to respond.


The superficiality of being humans lives in realm of Need.

We need love therefore I need to love.

We need respect so I need to be respectful.

We need to eat so I need to feed.

I need comfort and security therefore you need to obey the law.

We need salvation so I need Jesus.

You need salvation even more, so I need to get you saved. LOL.

We need to happy so you need to be happy, and make me happier.


I know you get the point and can come up with even better ones than me.


The great reality is that our humanity is created to naturally want.  

We want to have relationship with something greater than ourselves, so we have families, churches, groups and gatherings of all kinds.


We want to have fellowship (to being, have intimate connection), so we marry, date, have ball teams, and bars. Game night and movies night,  and church socials.


We want to know our Creator, so we search for the meaning of life.

We want to know our Creator’s creation, so we go to the bottom of the oceans, in plastic bubbles. We fly to the moon in an oversized coffee can, with less computer power than my toaster.


We are created to want. That is why it is natural to sacrifice in the physical. That is why we naturally give of our time and money. That’s why we naturally have faith, can believe, and do trust. We naturally have the passion of forgiveness.


We are compassionate. This is the greater reality of our existence. No matter where we are in the physical world or what has happened to us life. That is who we are because our Creator is that.


You may be asking yourself, what does any of this have to with a fellow falling off his wife’s horse? I guess the upshot is. What we think is reality, is the shallow presence of human beings, being human. Needing to control for the sake of the need to be of value,


And whats even worse, is when they don’t get what they deserve, when humans can Go through life arrogant, controlling, and in the end abusive. Taring down other human beings in thought and emotional actions. So we pray to a god of judgment and wait, hoping we will get see their demise, and when it doesn’t seem to be happening on this planet, we sleep in peace knowing they will burn in Hell.


Human beings so unnaturally cling to a shallow contention, with those we want a relationship and fellowship with the most. Believing this how it is. The reality is: our Creator is not in contention with our nature of humanity, He never was.


I was being very human that day. I was giving a lot thought to my money that was in his back pocket. But in the revelation of compassion (relating in my nature of our humanity), I see that there are so much more than who was the better horseman that warm summer morning.


I often wonder what feeling of insecurity, about money or marriage, job, health, that by his need, in thought, justified this big fellow’s emotions of arrogance, pride and control. Knowing now that the natural power of look through the shallow things of being human, is what see who we are created to be.


Thanks for stay with me. Tell me what you think. I am not interested in debate, but trust we can relate.