Wednesday, July 25

Trust and Obey

Meet 'Wild Girl'

Wild Girl is a three year old wild filly who has been on a large ranch here in Colorado all of her life.  She has never been broke or been around people.  She has basically run wild all of her life- without purpose, doing whatever she wanted to do.

Meet Colton.
Colton is the cowboy who, in the space of four hours is going to break, train, and give purpose to Wild Girl.

Captured just the day before, this wild filly was brought into the round pen where we first saw her.

Colton began with shaking a plastic bag on the end of 'stick' to introduce the concept of trust in Wild Girl's life.  She responded by running furiously around the pen, looking for a way out.
Colton's goal was to get her to trust him enough to turn to him in her time of fear.  Eventually she would look at him and even take a hesitant step towards Colton.

Then, he introduced the rope to Wild Girl, capturing her around the neck.
She was not happy!

She spun and flung herself round and round the pen.

Finally she settled, realizing it was not as bad as it first seemed.

He gently pulled on the rope and as soon as she would take a step towards him, Colton would release the pressure, repeating this over and over so she could learn to be led by him without fear.

As Wild Girl learned to draw closer and closer to Colton, he pointed out to us that God wants us to learn to trust Him and to do so even if we are unsure of His direction.

Now it was time to 'meet' Wild Girl personally.  Never touched by a human before, Colton took his time to introduce himself.  First, he blew into her nostrils- the same as horses do to each other when meeting.

Then he reached out to touch her; a scary proposition for Wild Girl.

Colton gently rubbed her on the side of her neck, shoulders, ears, until she was trusting of his touch and closeness.

Getting the rope wrapped gently around her neck and ears was a stretch for Wild Girl.  

She would flinch at first, but you could see that she started to calmly accept what Colton had given her, though she didn't really like it.

He reminded us that God has given us each a gift or a thorn in the flesh that He desires we accept and use for Him.

Next, he fastened his rope around her girth in such a way he could lead with gentle pressure from all parts of her body.

This too, reminded us of God's desire that we would respond quickly to God's leading and stay close to Him.

Colton introduced many scary circumstances in Wild Girl's life such as the noisy, moving sack so that she would learn to be relaxed around Colton and trust him when she was frightened.
Rattlesnakes in the field, jumping animals and other startling events are part of a horse's real world and Colton needed her to run to him and trust him for direction and not run off on her own when these things happen.

Introducing the noisy blue tarp.

Throwing it over her back at this point did not even make Wild Girl bolt or flinch.

Colton placed the tarp on the ground next to the rails with just a very small area for Wild Girl to be led through. She would have none of it.

He moved it just a few more inches away from the rails and with great coaxing, led Wild Girl through.

Colton told us that he tries to give each horse every possible chance to be successful the first time in every difficulty of training.

Next, Colton moved the tarp so there was no empty space between it and the rails.  Leading Wild Girl to walk on the tarp was also a test of her trust in Colton as it made strange sounds and felt so different than dirt.  We could tell it was a hard thing for her to do the first time, but she did not run away.

Colton reminded us it is God's desire for us when hard or scary times come that we trust Him immediately and not run back to the world.

There was another area of her body Colton needed her to relinquish.  Having the rope on her flank was NOT what Wild Girl wanted in her life.
She pitched an all out fit, kicking jumping, and running so wild that she injured herself by kicking the round pen rails.

Wild Girl had not yet given her trust to Colton in this area of her life. Training Wild Girl in this area is vital and, in time, she turned to Colton for help.

When we are under extreme pressure, we must run to Jesus for our peace.  

Colton introduced the rope on her rump to teach her to understand reigning and what to do when the lasso one day would get tangled up in her tail.

Wild Girl made us all laugh when she locked everything up real tight and wouldn't budge.

Have you ever locked up on God and failed to follow His leading?

Now it was time for Wild Girl to give Colton her feet.

One by one he would rope each hoof and gently pull.

As soon as she would take a step towards Colton, he would release the pressure, repeating this until she would willingly follow him.

This allowed Colton to eventually touch each leg and foot for the first time.

This process is vital in case Wild Girl gets tangled up in barbed wire someday.  She must stay still and be willing to give Colton her trust in every area so she can safely go on.

Colton reminded us that God wants every part of us, for His glory and for our good.

Meet Cody.

It is now time for Wild Girl to accept a new person in her life, a saddle, and a rider.

Just as we must accept the new tasks God brings in our lives so that we may serve Him, Wild Girl must allow this new task in her life that will be a significant part of her life purpose.

First, Cody introduced her to the blanket, the saddle, and then eventually his body weight.

He was so gentle and patient.

Cody then led her, teaching her how to move forward.  (Sound familiar in your spiritual walk?)

Cody half-mounted her several times so as not to completely scare her to this new pressure in her life.  Everyone was just waiting to see how Wild Girl would respond.

As Cody began to ride Wild Girl, she started to pitch another fit, giving three or four good bucks.

Colton pulled on the rope still connected to her back leg, immediately stopping her wild behavior, reminding her to trust him and allow her to make her a 'new' horse.

Whew!  Cody stayed on and Wild Girl learned that was not acceptable behavior.

Wild Girl learned to listen to Cody, respond, and turn with light pressure from the rope (no bit, bridle, or reigns in this style of training).

Colton aptly reminded us that only when we spend time with God can we hear His calling and direction in our lives.

Colton and Cody together taught Wild Girl how to stop quickly and back up, as well as learning to trust in fearful situations.

As Cody repeated many of these (noisy bag, blue tarp, barrel in the way) Wild Girl settled into a relationship that evidenced trust and obedience.

The difference in her eyes from when we first saw Wild Girl was phenomenal, as was her behavior.

Look at the way she allows Cody to relax on her as if they had been old friends.
Cody is a new believer and this was his first time to ride a newly trained horse.  I think they both did well and suspect they will be friends for a very long time.

Now that Wild Girl was not so wild, there were plenty of 'brave souls' that wanted to meet her too.

Colton will spend the second day working with her in an open field with another horse and rider along side.  He will introduce her to cow hide and elk hide as she will be facing these in her life as well.

On the third day, Colton will take her out in his ranch and rustle his cows, which will be her new life's calling.

Over the period of four hours it took to break and train this filly, Colton asked us to be thinking of a name for her.  Several were presented; he chose 'Misty'.  

Someone you can trust in every area, a new name, and a life purpose-  how wonderful is that!


* if you made it to the end of this post and read of this delightful experience we had watching Misty become something of value, I am impressed; this has to be the longest post ever.  Thank you for sharing in our lives!


  1. This was wonderful! Such a fascinating way to teach both the horse and the humans of the importance of submission to authority.

  2. This is so nice. It reminds me of a first for us to see such a training a few years ago with the spiritual applications. Incredible and wonderful that this can be done so quickly and God of course can do it for us...if... we cooperate. So thankful we can trust our "Trainer."
    Jeremiah 29:11


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