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The Created Horse

I have been asked, does an evolutionist or creationist view matter in training horses? My answer is most definitely a yes!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your lifestyle upright. Proverbs 3:5-6 paraphrased What these two verses are saying is that your actions follow your beliefs and your beliefs fuel your thoughts.

Romans 12:2 says, "Don't give in to what this world says to say, think, feel or do any more. Be a different person by God changin' the way ya thing about things. Then you can see and know what God wants - His good, pleasing and perfect will." (Simplified Cowboy Version)

We are called to be transformed from the thinking of those in the world and allow God to renew our minds. The mentality that I find over and over again as a trainer with owners and most other trainers (not so much horsemen) is this notion that you can change a horse into what you want it to be. Don't get me wrong, you can transform a horse with good training, but that horse is still going to be who he is.

Evolution vs. Creation

When you take the approach of evolutionary thinking with horses, you have this notion that you can evolve this horse into what you want it to be through breeding and training. Some of the most harshest of training methods have come from this. I remember Richard Shrake telling us at more than one of his clinics about his dad's method of training. It was basically to tie a horse up and ride the buck out of them until they can't buck anymore. Mr. Shrake said he didn't like what he saw and decided there must be a different way to train horses which is how he coined his Resistance Free Training methods. He told us he literally saw the spirit of the horses he watched his dad "train" be broken and just drain out of them. Yeah, they made docile, quiet horse, but there was no life in them at all. They were "trained" using intimidation, not skill to strengthen a horse and make a partner.

This is still seen greatly today. I see it in the warm up pens at shows. Trainers and riders working to force their horses into a mold they want them to fit into. They use whatever tool necessary to make that horse be what they want it to be. When it doesn't make it, the horse gets tossed to the side and forgotten about. Sadly most of these horses, to save their own skin, do their best to fit into the mold, but at great cost. Most are physically incapable of comfortably moving after they are 6 years old or they loose their minds, literally. I mostly see this at the stock type shows, but I know it is in all different breeds and disciplines.

When you take the approach of creationist thinking, you approach the horse is a completely different manner. You look at each horse as an individual and access their strengths mentally and physically. You compare them to what you are intending this horse to do and decide if the horse is going be able to meet up to your expectations. You understand that this horse is created by God and there is nothing you can do to change how it thinks, moves or how quickly or slowly it reacts to stimulation. These are all factors to take into consideration when selecting a horse.

Also, while training you softly and smoothly work with the horse for the most part. Sometimes we need to get strong and tough to get a point across or humble a horse and prove to them that you are the alpha. Once you earn a horse's respect you will always have it as long as you act in a manner worthy of respect, which is part of being a horseman. When you watch a horseman work with a horse its like watching a couple dance. They are fluid and moving as one. There is no better thing to watch than a horseman work a horse. It's an art form.

I can remember once going to a show and Rick Elson always brought his Arabian, Kamikaze. They were always the ones to beat in the show ring, even though it was a mainly stock type horse dominated show. They were just that good. But one time he had a young horse he brought and his daughter was riding Kamikaze. I watched him work this young, sometimes rank horse, with grace, elegance and ease. The horse would throw a buck every now and then and take off in stead of stay with his rider, Rick never got in this horses face, never inhibited this horse from being who he was as an individual. He would quickly and quietly correct the horse and go on. I realized then that this man deserved the blue ribbon every time for his skills alone. That young horse continued to improve at each and every show and I am so thankful I got to see this. It taught me that perfection is not the ultimate goal, but skill to quietly handle a horse is the number one goal.

Evaluate your thinking

How to you approach your horse? Do you approach your horse as something that you can evolve into what you want it to be? Or do you look that horse over carefully as an individual to see if you can make a partner? God has created each and every horse as an individual and there is a job out there for every horse and most times you have to realize that you may not be the best fit for your horse. The amazing thing about God is that he sees each and every one of us as individuals as well. He created each one of us by knitting us together in our mother's wombs and has a specific purpose for each of us. He gently and lovingly transforms us into something greater than we could ever imagine. In order for us to be transformed we must fist submit to God. Trust in Him alone. Seek him with all our heart and obey his commands. Through this we change our beliefs from our own understandings to understanding His ways, which are perfect. Though this we will live an upright life and through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, we are able to be made perfect in His image.

To see the horse from the Lord's perspective read Job 39:19-25.

Blessings, Greta