- SOMETIMES THINGS COME UP THAT INTERRUPT YOUR TRUST IN ONE ANOTHER AND LETTING GO OF THE FEAR IS IMPERATIVE TO THE SURVIVAL OF THE RELATIONSHIP.
Something I love about horses is their ability to feel fear and then completely let it go. While when we experience something terrifying or anxiety producing our adrenaline stays up for a significant amount of time before coming back down, horses are the opposite. They can feel an intense adrenaline spike, then immediately go back to relaxation mode. This is incredible to me. The reason God gave them this ability is for survival. A horse must be able to preserve their energy for the moments it needs to run away from danger at the drop of a hat.
When horses spook while we are near them, our adrenaline spikes. Our heart beat goes up because of our instant assessment of any type of danger. These might get in the way of your relationship with your horse if you hold on to the adrenaline and do not let it go. We have to train ourselves to instantly let go of the traumatic moment, because 9.99999 times out of ten, your horse has already let it go. This also applies to traumatic horse experiences. When we carry these experiences in our minds as we approach out horses it is unfair to them. They have already moved on and your anticipation of something horrific happening is only causing them to go back to that moment, too.
When your spouse makes a choice that hurts you – and this happens in EVERY marriage, so know that you are not alone – train yourself to feel the hurt, talk about the hurt with your spouse in a vulnerable way, not in an accusatory way, and then reconcile by finding a way to move forward together.
- IT TAKES BEING INTENTIONAL TO MAKE TIME FOR ONE ANOTHER.
Man oh man, I did not know what people meant when they would say “Once you have kids, everything changes!” Boy does it! My daily life, my relationships, my dreams and my priorities all changed in the blink of an eye. My time is no longer my own. I have to be extremely intentional about my time with both my husband and my horses. What is even harder, is being present during the time I make for them…. I am still a work in progress with this one. Don’t be afraid to pull out your calendars before bed tonight and schedule time with one another.
- LEARNING HOW TO COMMUNICATE IN A WAY THAT THE OTHER PERSON HEARS BEST.
This is a big one! Both your husband and your horses will do much better if YOU would learn to communicate in the language that both of them are fluent in. Learn how your body language affects your horse. Learn how horses communicate and learn in the wild. Ask your husband, “how would you like me to communicate?” And then here’s the kicker…. actually take the time to learn to communicate that way and resist the temptation to complain about it. Remember, in your marriage, YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE YOU CAN CONTROL!
- LISTENING IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN DOING/SAYING SOMETHING YOU REGRET.
Does this one make you sweat? Me, too. Ugh… why is listening so hard? This one requires us to lay down our egos, to set aside our agendas and ideas, and take a stance of humility. This can transform your relationship with both your husband and your horse, though. When we listen to our horses (yes, they are talking… no not literally … just look at their bodies, their ears, their tails…they will all tell you something) we are able to understand that what we are asking might confuse them, hurt them, or encourage them to comply. My favorite part about listening to our horses is that we end up learning a ton about ourselves in the process. We learn if we are leader or not. We see if we are someone they even want to be around… yikes. The beauty of this, though, is once you listen, observe and understand, you will be able to adjust accordingly. Listening will make you better.
In your marriage, listening will bring intimacy, understanding, safety and trust. Listening will transform your marriage. Ask open ended questions of your spouse and listen without readying a response, correction or agenda.
In the end, remember that horses and husbands are not here to serve your ambitions, they are both here to teach you how to be and serve like Christ.