On one chilly May morning in Colorado I woke up to the waning tone of my alarm clock at about 6AM. There are very few things that will get me out of bed early, horse shows being one of them. I love going to horse shows. I love cleaning my horse up, putting on my best riding gear, and feeling the energy of the horse community in action. That particular morning I received a text from my friend Amy Ryals. She reminded me, “today, as you take your horse to her first show, remember to ride with gratitude.” I remember thinking to myself “that is an interesting thought.” It was not until I got to the horse show that I understood what she meant. When we ride with gratitude we become centered in who we are. When we become centered in who we are, we become soft, calm and confident.

Recently I listened to a podcast that discussed the important of gratitude vs. anxiety. Our brain waves and heart waves operate on different wave lengths. When we operate out of anxiety, our brain waves and heart waves become erratic and work against each other. Our body goes into disunity and in-congruency. However, when we become intentional and focus on gratitude, our heart waves and brain waves actually begin to match up and mirror one another. Our entire being (intellect, body, spirit, emotions, and social) becomes consistent and maintains integrity. This is so powerful. When we operate out of integrity we are sinking deeper into our identity in Christ.

How does this impact our horsemanship you might wonder? Horses cannot lie. It is impossible for them to operate out of anything other than integrity. Because of this, they are attracted to people when they become authentic and honest about themselves.

What does authenticity and integrity look like in its purest form? It looks like living out of our God given identity as the beloved of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we set aside our false selves (the self we manufacture so people will like us) we have nothing else to turn to but the pure love of God as our sole source of identity. You are beloved.

Who do you say you are today? Who do you belong to? Does it feel true?