Learning from Animals – Horses

As I’ve said before, I am convinced that God created things for us to learn from them. There are a lot of things I could tell you about a horse, since it is my favorite animal. But I’ll try to keep this from being too long.

Horses are good mirrors. If you want to know about yourself, spend some time around horses. A horse will respond to you based on how you behave towards and around it, and on the mood it senses from you. If you are mean to the horse, the horse will avoid you. If it can’t, it’ll probably be mean to you in return. If you are kind to a horse, the horse will enjoy hanging around you. If you are excited, nervous, happy, sad, or angry, the horse will pick up on those, too.

While horses will reflect to you what you are presenting to them, they will usually be quick to forgive you if they think that you are sorry, or that they can trust you. They also expect the same speed of forgiveness from you. In a herd, when a horse does something wrong, he is quickly corrected by another horse who makes him move away. At this point, the offending horse can try to do the same thing again, or approach in a different stance of behavior. If the horse tries the same thing again, he is corrected once more. If an acceptable behavior is chosen, the horse is forgiven and allowed to walk near, going on about his horsey business. I would love to always forgive as quickly as a horse can.

Horses are generally easy going and relaxed. But once given some leadership, a horse will be one of the bravest and most loyal animals you will see. If you get a horse going and give him good motivation, he’ll work until he drops if he trusts you to be his leader. If you are a good leader, you won’t let him go that far because you care. It’s like when God calls you to do something; He won’t let you go too far either, because He knows you and loves you.

When it comes to communication, horses don’t say much that you can hear, but they talk with many subtleties in body language. A swish of a tail can mean something as simple as fly-swatting, or something as important as, “I don’t like you standing there. Move, or I’ll kick you.” You learn to be observant if you want to know what’s going on. It may even help you to be more attentive to the people around you. Go quietly watch a herd sometime, and see what you pick up on. You can even just go people watching if you want.

So when it comes to life lessons, a horse can teach you to be observant, forgiving, to treat others the way you want to be treated, and to be faithful with God the way a horse follows a good leader.

You know, I’m not sure how to feel about animals being naturally better at certain things than I sometimes am.


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