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Friday, August 11, 2017

Breaking A Wild Horse


Horses are beautiful and strong animals that can be the most useful creatures on the planet.  But a horse is only useful when it learns how to submit to its master. Until it learns how to listen and obey, it can not be placed in situations where it can be of use to its owner. The owner must first 'break' the horse before it can ever accomplish anything with it.

Some of the most broken people on the earth need to be broken. I don't mean they need to be further harmed. I mean they need the Master to come in and teach them how to follow. They are like wounded wild horses. Though they are very needy, they are also very strong-willed. They are used to calling the shots in their life and maybe not afraid to call the shots in other people's lives. They have the potential to do great things, but they have no Master.

God is the Great Trainer.  No horse is too hard for Him to train and no case is too impossible for Him. The article above describes some approaches to breaking a horse. As I read it, I can't help comparing parts of it with how our Master 'breaks' us.

It's opening statement reads:  "In general, a horse's loyalty greatly depends on the type of training or breaking that it receives. Horses that are broken to follow their leader out of respect are much more enjoyable than those that follow out of fear." 

This is an extremely important note. Our Shepherd does NOT use fear to train us. He does not use intimidation, threats, or bullying to teach us. If someone thinks God is using fear to train them, they should question the voice they're listening to. It could very well be the devil's condemning, lying voice, not God's. God's Voice is one of Love. Even in His correction, He is gentle with our hearts.  He earns our respect through His patient, yet steady, firm Hand.

The article continues on with giving practical steps...

Gain the trust of your horse.  Always be sure that there is a connection/bond with your horse. If your horse is afraid of you or doesn't fully trust you, then there is hardly any point training him. Talk to him, groom him (grooming helps connect you with the horse and forms a bond between the two of you) and reassure him if he is spooked by something.

Remember, first and foremost, God is interested in a relationship with us. He doesn't train us just so we can be used. His first priority is to be close to us and bond with us. He understands that if He's going to get anywhere with us, He must first gain our trust. (And let me say this: He does not take our trust lightly. He realizes how precious it is because trust is the highest expression of our faith in Him.) He 'grooms' us with His care over us. He heals us. He reassures us of our worth to Him. He chases out our fears. He pours His great Love into us. Our response to Him is then shear gratefulness and the result is loyalty toward Him and trust in Him.

Train the horse from the ground. Before attempting to mount the animal, it is important to gain its trust with ground breaking.
  • Attach a lunge line to the horse's halter. Train the horse to follow your commands as it moves in a large circle around you. Introduce the horse to the words: "halt", "walk" and "back".
  • Teach the horse to properly walk beside you while leading it with a lead rope. It should learn to stop, start, turn and respect your space as its leader. Try not to let your horse boss you around as he/she will think they can do what they want.
Here's the thing wild horses need to learn the most: THEY are not the boss nor can they boss the Master. The Bible says a master is always greater than the servant. We are not in charge. He is. He is our Friend, but He is also Lord. And He is also the King of ALL Kings. 

Introduce the riding equipment that you will use while breaking a horse.  In the beginning, the animal may be afraid or timid with the unfamiliar sights and sounds of riding tack.
  • The horse must become accustomed to having a bit in its mouth. Begin by placing the bit in the horse's mouth for short intervals of time and work up to longer periods. You can also buy a breaking bit. Lead the horse while it is wearing the bridle.
Here's where things are a little different with God. He trains us not so that He can control us, but so that we will WILLINGLY submit to His Spirit and follow Him. He actually doesn't want to put a bit in our mouths so that we feel forced to obey. He wants to get us to a place where our hearts are so saturated with His Love that we want to always be where He is and follow His Voice - simply because we are in Love with Him and we trust that He is Good and is guiding us.

Psalm 32:8-9 tells us: The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control."

Here's the amazing part of it all: He 'breaks' the wild horse only to lead it into the very best!

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