Friday, February 1, 2013

Look Further Than The Surface

So often when a horse acts up we have a tendency to blame it on the horse. We'll say the horse is rank, or we'll blame it on poor genetics and that the bloodline doesn't throw good temperaments.

While I'm a firm believer that you should only breed horses with truly good temperaments because genetics does play a huge roll in how a horse works, I think sometimes we need to look a little further for the reason a horse may have acted up. Sometimes it might not be as clear cut as bad genetics and temperament.

Feed can have a huge impact on how a horse behaves. Over the years I've done a lot of research and experimenting with feed. There have many times that I've changed feed thinking it wouldn't make that big of an impact and it did. Sometimes I didn't realize how the previous feed was effecting my horse until I tried the new feed and then it became obvious.

Another factor that effects how a horse behaves is turnout time and management. If you combine that with a hot feed, turnout time has an even bigger impact on how a horse conducts themselves. Turnout time is an opportunity for a horse to wear off some of that extra energy. If they're deprived of that opportunity, they will look for other ways to get rid of that energy.

We need to do the same thing with our spiritual walk. If our actions aren't what they should be we need to take a look at our "feed" and our "turnout time". Are we reading God's word so that we're spiritually fed what we should be? Are we taking enough down time so that we have the energy and the desire to think about Christ in our life? If we don't get the right kind of turnout time, our energy will be spent in ways that aren't productive to our spiritual walk with God.

When things go awry with horses and ourselves, it's worth taking a step back and looking a little further than the surface. Good horsemen gain better understanding of things by always looking a little deeper than the surface.