PATIENCE IN THE LEARNING
As one of the CVYR horse team members, I’m usually just doing tune ups on older horses or educating fellow mentors on techniques to understand how horses think and learn. So when we purchased our first rescue, a mare about 6 years old, I was excited to maybe have the opportunity to train one from the ground up. Starting a horse for the first time is something I have done many times, and their progress is quite predictable. Or so I thought, I quickly realized this mare couldn’t move forward due to her complete lack of trust. Her first 6 years of life was filled with very bad experiences with people, so she saw them as feared enemies. This made progress extremely slow, and extra patience was needed. Daily my goal would be one little positive thing, like a softening of an eye or an attentive ear and then I would leave her alone for a reward. Day by day my interaction was short and a good experience. Slowly I saw little signs of her trying to connect with me, but I knew she was in a very fragile state of mind. So I stayed slow and patient.
I know in my heart she could be changed and if she needed more time then that’s okay. Finally, after 9 days of real slow going, she made big changes. Suddenly all fear was gone and she started following me around like a little puppy. She had complete trust in me. Her whole outlook on life was different, now she knows peace, she no longer has to go through life scared and jumpy at every little thing. Her face changed, her eyes were soft, and now her lower lip hangs down because she’s so relaxed.
She discovered a better life, one where people are a comfort, and not to be feared. Meaningful relationships take time and great dedication of both parties. I’m glad for this experience, I could’ve taken the easy way out and told everyone “She’s just crazy and scared, that’s just how she is”. I would have missed out on getting to know a sweet horse, a horse who finally came across someone willing to give her the time she needed to heal from an awful past. I’m amazed at her change, now going out into the pasture she is the first to run up to you! She can’t get enough petting and scratching, she just kind of melts on you, so relaxed.
Jesus does the same with us, freely giving us a future knowing true peace, beckoning us to step out in faith and trust Him to heal us from past wounds. He gives us the time needed, along with people and circumstances that help us to discover who He really is. And then we are never the same.