We have a new addition to our herd, a sorrel mare by the name of Speck. She’s a beauty, an introvert, and “right brain” in the horse psychology of “Horsenality.” What that simply means is an introvert is looking for leadership while an extrovert challenges leadership. A right brained horse tends to be fearful/nervous, defensive, reactive, emotional, unconfident and spooky whereas a left brained horse tends to be dominant, pushy, tolerant, unconcerned, confident, and curious. An introvert has low energy, more “whoa,” is slower and has a tendency to stop. In comparison, an extrovert has high energy, more “go,” quick and tendency to run.
I have come to understand that a “right-brain introvert” horse benefits from a handler who is patient, making choices again and again to slow down, waiting, and allowing the horse to come out of his shell at his own pace.
My new student/teacher combo is my first horse with these tendencies. It was interesting being in her presence because she didn’t seem to look at me through her eyes. It was as if she was within herself. I knew she was ‘internal’ and she felt ‘frozen’. I had hopes that by me being a leader worth following, she would thaw, and we would begin to connect in a meaningful relationship. Little did I know that her tail would be the very part of her body that would offer a significant connection between us.
About her tail; it was more like a board than a tail. There were a few strands that weren’t stuck together, but overall, her tail was one cluster of entangled, compacted, solid hardness!
Preparation to untangle tail was complete. I had tail and mane conditioner, an equine gel for grooming called “Micro-Tek,” infamous baby oil, warm water, and towels. In addition, I had the tools of brushes, curry comb, fingers, a mane comb with a hook on one end, a pocket knife (every horse person needs a reliable knife), and a pair of scissors.
Plan of action to untangle tail was on the agenda for the day. Where do you start? At the end of the tail! What a mess! She was anxious, and I felt overwhelmed. After 3 huge fistfuls of massaging conditioner into her tail, it was no longer about her tail. It was about us. In the alleyway of the barn, we walked together, stopped, backed, turned, and did it over and over again. She was dull, disconnected, and borderline unconscious due to her running away inside herself. Through consistency, patience, and waiting, I offered leadership to her.
Then the “wow” moment happened! She began to release huge amounts of adrenaline through blowing, rolling her eyes where only white was visible. A shift began to take place, and she knew I was partnering rather than being a predator. These animals are amazing!
For the next two and a-half hours, we would work on the tail until a free-flowing tail was excavated from all the entanglements.
Have you ever been stuck? How about a sticky situation? These moments are somewhat uncomfortable and awkward, right? At times you simply are overwhelmed!
I would like to take a minute and untangle a Christmas tale. It’s Christmas time in the city and the country. We are aware of a baby being born in a barn years ago and then placed in a manager. His earthly parents were instructed to name him Jesus. He was born with a purpose, like we are. His purpose was to give his life and shed his blood for the forgiveness of sin. His sacrifice satisfied the wrath of God, and reconciled us with Abba Father (perfect, unfailing LOVE), making us children of the Most High God, and part of a family. Up till the time when the Word of God became flesh, and dwelt among us, we knew God as Jehovah, Yahweh, I AM, LORD. However, we never knew HIM as Abba Father! Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, brought to this earth a new name: ABBA, FATHER!
Yes, it’s Christmas! CHRIST Mirrors Abba’s Smile. Christ’s finished work on the cross has untangled you from sin, shame, and strife. His resurrected life has conditioned you to flow with righteousness, peace and joy. Swish, swish, swish! Use the Christmas “tail” to keep the flies of doubt, unbelief, and fear far away from you.
MERRY CHRISTMAS BELOVED NEIGH’bors, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”