Earlier in July, when we were experiencing record breaking heat, I was in frequent contact with my daughter who lives in Colorado Springs. She kept me informed regarding the fires in that area that devoured thousands of acres, consumed structures, and took lives. People’s lives were challenged by heart wrenching choices, re-arranged because of the fire’s presence, and left with the reality of the environment that now surrounds them.

With any and all fires, three elements are present: fuel, something that will burn, oxygen, the environment that supports the fire, and heat, the ignition source. Firefighters unite together to remove first one, and then all of these elements.

In our connecting moments with horses, sometimes our relationships can become heated, ignited, or out of control. Let’s identify possible “equine fires” and how to extinguish them desirably, back at the starting point.

The three elements I will be discussing are: your relationship with your horse, your role with your horse, and your intention with your horse.
Understanding our relationship with the horse is crucial. We are the predator or the hunter, and they are the hunted. Inside themselves they know this about us; we need to do the same. What is the definition of “predator?” Here are three: 1. Carnivorous animal or destructive organism – a carnivorous animal that hunts, kills, and eats other animals in order to survive, or any other organism that behaves in a similar manner 2. Somebody who plunders or destroys – a person, group, company, or state that steals from others or destroys others for gain 3. Ruthlessly aggressive person – an aggressive, determined, or persistent person. Don’t get discouraged. We have the power of choice. We can connect in meaningful ways with our equine friends simply by choosing not to react, respond, or relate to them as a predator. Are you going to do this perfectly every time? NO! You will not, but what you will do is become more conscious of your anger, illusions, sorrow and fears, to mention a few. This, my NEIGHbor, is worth the connection!

We most definitely need to understand our role with the horse. Horses are true followers! Followers do two things. They follow the leader and they challenge the leader to determine if that leader is worth following. YOU are the leader! There is a HUGE difference between being a predator and being a leader! This is worth meditating on and receiving clarity. True leadership is not about controlling, it’s about connecting. “Being in control” actually is an illusion! Again, there is a difference between the illusions of “being in control” and the fruit of the Spirit of self-control. This fruit comes by being connected, rooted and grounded in LOVE, which is God.

Thirdly, let us talk about our intention with the horse. Horses are sentient in nature. What does that mean? They are conscious, alert, attentive, awake and responsive. In order to survive, they have to be sensitive to emotional energy and the intention behind it. Consider horses in the wild, for example. They may graze peacefully with a lion in the vicinity because they know he has recently eaten and is not hungry, yet, the herd scatters long before a predatory animal comes near, because they are aware a carnivore is on the hunt looking for food for its empty stomach. Horses are in tune to intention! Being the mirrors they are, if you are not clear with your intention, aim, intent, plan, objective or meaning, your equine friend will reflect that back to you. And one more time, you stand in the position of “choice!” Choose well, it’s worth the connection.

In your relationship with the Great Shepherd, you are a follower. He will lead you into green pastures, beside still waters, and restore your soul. Guess what? Goodness and mercy will follow YOU! In your relationship with your horse, be a leader worth following.
Your NEIGHbor ~ Deb Kitchenmaster
Corral Connections:
Connecting with LIFE through a horse
Animal B.E.S.T practitioner

Masako? Who? Some of you may ask, “Where in the hee-haw does this woman get these names?” This Morgan chestnut mare is the 7th (last but not least) equine teacherthat I referred to in ATHENS NOW, dated Sept. 16 – Oct. 6, 2011.

In 2002, it was on my heart to breed sire Big Sky to mare Arianna. This foal was to bear the name meaning “justice”. At the time of the breeding I had no idea we would be packing up and leaving our community of twenty years and heading south.

When I inquired about names that meant ‘justice’, the feminine Japanese name “Masako” showed up. Of course, I had no idea of the gender. See Horse Whispering Column in ATHENS NOW, July 22 – Aug 4, 2011.

As the foal that was to bear the name “justice” was being “formed,” I found myself packing, sorting, getting rid of stuff, simply put, smack dab in the midst of changes, choices and compassion!

Were our horsey days over? Logically, it would simplify our lives if we were to sell the horses. After all, bringing them would require us to look for something much more than an apartment or house. Each time we inquired of the LORD, there was no peace whatsoever in NOT bringing them with. I will say that when God is in “it,” He will provide. Psalm 5:12 became an anchor to my soul and my testimony, “For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous: with favor you will surround him as with a shield.”

Our move to the south included transporting one stallion, one bred mare, two open mares and a gelding. This column does not provide the space needed to tell you story after story of God’s faithfulness, provision and connections. For someone who prefers to have things in “order,” this move released me from a dimension of a comfort zone to a, “be still and KNOW that I AM God” zone! Did I do this ‘perfectly’? No, I didn’t. However, each time I fell down, I chose to get back up. I hadn’t walked like this before to this degree! It was a walk of faith that would birth in me an identity of faith righteousness. I will explain in a minute.

On June 15, 2003, wearing a cap and gown, I walked across a platform receiving a minister of theology degree. After that celebration I threw on some blue jeans and headed out to the horses. Driving down the drive I saw a chestnut filly, with a white blaze and three white socks standing beside her momma. MASAKO! “Justice” was born on graduation day! To me, Masako’s mission statement simply is, “I exist to remind you of peace and a sound mind.” Interestingly, the word justice does NOT appear in the New Testament. Did you know that?

I was surprised when I discovered this. The words “just,” “justification,” “ justified” are there, but you will not find the word “justice” in the New Testament. What you will find in the New Testament because of Jesus’ obedience and because “IT IS FINISHED”, is the word “righteousness”. The meaning of the words justice and righteousness are interchangeable!

I am grateful for equine teacher, Masako! Because of Jesus’ obedience, justice has come to each of us. Because of our faith in HIM and his obedience, we have become the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.

Your righteousness is of the Lord. Jesus did not come to condemn you, but to save you through His rich mercy, grace and love. You can rest in that. Masako to you my “NEIGH”bor.
Deb Kitchenmaster
Corral Connections:
Connecting with LIFE through a horse
Animal B.E.S.T practitioner