Monday, November 8, 2010

The Taming Power of the Whisper

 This weekend, I've been working on lots of things,
but really have enjoyed picking up an old hobby.
It starts like this:

 ...progresses to this: eventually become this:

But today, I kept getting interrupted by this:

 I tried to distract her by breaking up a fruit roll-up...

 But eventually gave up the pen.
After all, look at her fingers.
 Those sticky things are just destined for trouble while she's up and about.

So I set the stuff aside until later.

A few hours later, I got everything set up
and stopped for my cup of tea and skimmed through facebook before my work began.

I had to laugh when I saw someone asked about what movies people had enjoyed lately.
I knew what I was heading down to watch as I worked on my next project:
(no, they are not eggs; can you guess what they are?)

I wanted to type in my great "movie":

"In A Whisper"

Have you ever heard of it?

It's a terrible thing for me to watch while trying to work.
I sit capitvated,
amazed at what I see.
I'm engrossed and my hands sit idle too long
and the paint starts to dry on my pen tip.


Violet is my little cowgirl.

About once or twice a week, I hear her say,
"I'm going out to ride on Jake."

"Okay," I respond, "Just be careful and I'll check on you once in a while if you need anything."

A couple of weeks ago, this incident occurred.
When I called outside to check on her, I was surprised to hear her voice coming from the side pasture.  She usually always deals with Jake in the front pasture.

And her response to me when I called her was clearly irritated.
I could tell she was angry and near tears.

My mom happened to have stopped in, so I knew I could head out to the pasture as she stayed with the other two, and I could work with Violet for a while if I needed.

When I got to her, she was standing with Jake by the little creek that runs through the pasture.

Jake is a little guy, as you can see.
Don't let Jake's looks fool you;
this little bag of bones is a strong old goat...
excuse me, Jake...
a strong old donkey.

Violet was FURIOUS with him because he would not follow her to the front pasture, no matter what her small little hands would do to his thick-skinned back and neck.  She'd tried turning him in circles as I'd shown her, but when that didn't work, she'd even tried punching and yelling at him...

but he stood stubbornly on the near side of the creek,
looking at me with sorrowful eyes of pleading.

"Violet, stop hitting Jake like that.  He's not going to like you or listen to you that way.
  You know Jake hates water.  He's not going to follow you through that creek."

"I want him to and I'm going to make him," she yelled.

"Well, have fun with that because I wouldn't even try that.  You see how he acts when it rains.  The creature turns race-horse and heads to the nearest shelter.  Just open this gate and walk him up the driveway around the creek."

"I wanted him to go my way.  Now I'm going to tie him to the shed and make him stand in the rain for 4 days and not feed him any hay!"
(4 days; where do kids come up with their penalty ideas?)

I told her in my blunt, motherly way that she was doing it all wrong and needed to have patience and try to think like the animal she is working with.  Then I helped her ride Jake up to the barn and we headed back to the house for some "home-schooling" on animal care.

I remembered the video my sister in law had let me borrow:

"In a Whisper."

It is a documentary of sorts,
a competition,
a training video.

It is the live presentation of 3 well-known "horse-whisperers."
These are basically the new era of horse trainers.

The old era of horse breakers used rough and tumble means of training horses:
get on and ride that bronco til he tires of the cowboy and calms down.
We've all seen those westerns, right?

The cowboys in this video:
Craig Cameron,
Josh Lyons,
Pat Perelli

all use different but similar means of taming horses through repeated commands enforced with slight pokes and prods and light taps of a whip or rope if needed,
but only after the animal has become accustomed to the touch of these instruments through kindness,
being patted and rubbed with them
so there is no fear of these things.
But no abusive anger is expressed

They each pick out a wild horse from the pens, and have around 2 hours to tame their horse:
saddle it,
ride it, 
perform different commands on it.

It's incredible to watch.
(Well, at least to me it is.)

Josh Lyons actually takes the bridle off his horse in the end and commands him just through his arm movements with the rope while riding the horse.
You can see the horse has gained confidence and trust in him.
At one point in the competition, he is told to lope the horse
(a slow gallop)
and Josh refuses because he says the horse is not ready for that and he'd rather lose points in the competition than force the horse to do something that he thinks will scare the horse.
The care of the horse and what is best for him comes before Josh's ego.

So I plunked my angry donkey-girl/cowgirl down on the floor and told her to watch the cowboys and see how they get these wild horses to listen to them.

She was glued for an hour.
Even Levi enjoyed it.

I can't help but admire these big men taming wild horses.  It's a beautiful strength,
and it reminds me of how I should be with my own children.

Sometimes I just want to use brute force and yell,
"Just do what you're told."

Granted, they do need to learn obedience,
but my kindness and patience and steady, consistent discipline should guide them to it.

Just as Christ's love does for me.
I serve Him because I love Him,
because every day I see his patience with me.

His forgiveness.

The way He guides me to what I need to do,
through the Bible and the Holy Spirit reminding me when I do wrong, or what I need to do that's right.

And I realize,
it's not how loud the yell is,

but the patience and beauty of the whisper.

Warning: this video has a swear word toward the end of it.
ALSO, if you do not have an interest in horse, you will probably not enjoy this video.
It's basically just watching men with horses the entirety of the video.

This post is linked to:
 Mad in Crafts Party #27
Todays Creative Blog: Get-Your-Craft-On-28 


  1. Great lesson! Violet is soooo cute!
    What is the egg?

  2. As you know, it's a lesson I need work in myself! It's hard to always have patience and stay calm, but I'm working on it! :)
    The "eggs" I'm painting are gourds; I'm making them into ornaments. They're fun to do.

  3. That was so good. I loved it! Is Violet going to train Jake like that?
    I thought the egg was a rock. Love you, Mom

  4. You need to think about writing childrens books.

  5. That is awesome! I would love for you to come link up at my Strut Your Stuff Linky Party!


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