in the late eighties I was unemployed for a while. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up. I reverted back to my teen years, when my grandfather had helped me learn to ride and start colts. I put an ad in the paper that I would start horses with the resistance-free training techniques I had learned from him. The response was immediate and within a month I had four or five young horses in to ride.

I spent a few days working them on the ground, getting them moving in the round pen. I saddled them, bridled them and bitted them up. I taught them to move out and stop on command. I was riding them soon and after 30 days or so, they were riding well. Most people were pleased with my work and I gained gratification from the change I was able to make for them in a short period of time but sometimes wondered if they would ever ride the horse again.

One lady called and asked me about my work. She wanted to know about my fee and how many days a week I rode each horse. I gave her my information and told her that I worked every horse six days a week. I gave myself and the horses the Lord’s day off. She asked me if she could come out the next day and watch me ride, I told her that would be fine. She watched me ride for a while and said she thought I did well. However, she said she would not be bringing her colt to me because my hands were not soft enough.

I took her comment a bit personally and decided to figure out what she was talking about. I called a trainer friend of mine and we got together and talked about softness. We had a good discussion about how to keep one soft through pressure and release. I had been a little too firm because I was subconsciously not wanting to get myself bucked off. Keeping one soft made the horse more desirable and fulfilled the purpose the trainer had in mind for them.

I read a verse in the Bible that said, “We are the clay in Your hands, You are the potter, we are the work of Your hands” Isaiah 64:8. A good, soft in the face horse, is able to allow the rider to do much more on him than one that is not well broken. I wonder if we are willing to be soft in the hands of the “potter” [Lord]. He has soft hands for us, never forcing His will upon us. His leading us into a personal relationship with Himself will allow us to fulfill the purpose we were created for. Are you soft in His hands?

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