The two year old colt is much more mature than the two year old child, much less mature than we want them to be and much less mature than they think they are.

We’ll take a ninety-day colt to a show and I’ll ease them around for a while. As soon as the colt settles in a little, we’ll go through a few maneuvers. Inevitably, I’ll get approached with these two questions:

How do you ask so much of a young horse, and still keep them relaxed? What should you require of them?

Everything they can give you.

The key is to pay attention to just exactly what that is. The trainer is building the horse. You can build a good horse out of anything. You can’t train a horse to do anything. But, you can train any horse to do what it is capable of doing – well. It’s the trainer’s job to know what the horse beneath him/her is capable of.

We recently had a guest stay the summer to “learn horses”. There is a post about her here. Guiding her through the process of halter breaking a couple of weanlings lead me to the concept of the next half inch.

Wild horses see you coming before you even know you should be paying attention. Day one may be you standing next to the stall until they relax. If you don’t have your head in the game, you’ll be in there with a horse that’s not ready for you. You’ll go backwards three days before you can blink an eye. (Or, you’ll get the shit kicked out of you) Either way – Wait and come back the next day. Take that next half inch. If the colt is still relaxed, take the next half inch. If the nerves start there, wait till it’s relaxed… And go home.

It’s a regimen.

You can’t do this if your efforts aren’t worth doing every day. You skip a day or two and you’re back at the beginning. But, if what you’re doing isn’t worth the time it takes to get the next half inch, then you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. Go fish. Or go shopping. Go do something you’re passionate about and every day you do it – take another half inch.

A message was shared with us over at Sacred Heart in Hallettsville about our efforts to get through that eye of the needle we’ve all heard about that camels can fit through. Seems like that’d be a pretty big door, but evidently it’s pretty difficult to get in. 😉

Well, the pastor discussed three pillars (paraphrased below) to a solid spiritual life:

  1. Get your ass to church.
  2. Talk to God.
  3. Be ready for the next maneuver.

1) Church. Attending is definitely great to do, but it’s only a start. It’s the horse show. Can you imagine how craptastic you’d be if the only thing you did horseback was go to the show.

Beginners would never progress. Ever.

Intermediates… not sure how there would be any, but Intermediates would think they were so accomplished while being completely unaware of an entirely different level of competition.

Advanced would have no one with whom they could share their knowledge.

2) Talk to God. Are you in any relationship? Married? Have a Mom? A Dad? Brother? Sister? Got a good friend? Any kind of relationship will do. Do you randomly give them the silent treatment? Nope. Well, maybe if you’re married, but it’s probably really for something that happened four years ago. 😉

Anyway, the point is that you interact with them. It’s routine. It’s your regimen. Back to horses. You get out there everyday and get that next half inch. By the time you go anywhere to demonstrate your horse, it’s relaxed. And it’s bad ass.

So keep the relationship going. Your timing, your feel, your ability to hear that voice that only you can hear… everything hinges on the regimen.

3) Maneuvers. Be ready for the things in life that are asked of capable spiritual people. Be ready for the things in life that are asked of people who need to be more spiritual. Just be ready.

The trainer doesn’t ask the young horse to change leads because it wants to punish the youngster. He/She asks because they believe it can. Don’t look at the things that come at you in life like they’re obstacles. And, don’t try to figure out why God does what God does.

Can you imagine a young horse trying to understand why they are spinning around in circles as fast as they can. Or why they should run… And then stop – for no apparent reason. They’d go cross-eyed and blind before they’d figure out that you’re asking them because you know they can do it. You want them to be the best whatever-your-event-is-horse they can be. And you know that it’s your job to show them that they can do it.

So be ready.

Know only that you can
And worry not about tomorrow.
You’ll gladly take the stand
and confess through tears of sorrow

that you’re finally rid of death
and faithful till your time.
But clinging to the rest
of humanity’s lists of crime.

Only then can your true passion
show itself to thee.
And release you from the rationed
life you’ve insisted that it be.

Every day the heart is warm.
And despite the ways of men
you’ll weather drought and storm
with your faith and regimen.


One thought on “Regimen

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