Perspectives with Pastor Sharon Bretz


A Lesson From My Horse

Over the years, I have learned many life lessons from my horse, specifically in the area of relationships. I have learned trust, communication, respect, teamwork, patience, and many other valuable character traits.

I realize this might sound a bit odd, and maybe even crazy, to those who aren’t familiar with horses but let me explain. 

In a herd of horses, there is always a pecking order. The boss is always the dominate one and the rest follow his/her lead. 

Once the pecking order is established, the horse at the top only needs to pin his ears against his neck and the others back off without a fight. They have their way of communicating with each other. 

It is helpful to understand and use their language as much as possible when working with them. When I am walking towards my horse in the field, if I approach her head, chances are that she will walk away from me but if I approach her shoulder, she will probably stand still. 

In both cases I am approaching her and both seem to be a reasonable option, but I get a different response to each one. 

The same is true in human relationships. You can say the same thing in a million different ways using different words, body language and tone of voice and get different responses. 

How you approach a conversation will often determine the response you get from a person even before they say anything. If you are blaming or accusing someone, their response will probably be defensive but if you are looking for understanding, the response will likely bring clarity. 

Your approach and even your responses are key in effective communication. Proverbs 15:1 (MSG) states it so well, “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.”

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