Horse Sense

Local diesel truck owners can pay many thousands of dollars more than they need to by not researching reputable options for repair work.

Hearing some of the horror stories helps me grow more and more fond of my faithful 1991 Dodge Cummins diesel truck all the time. Ronald Reagan’s extremely practical quote of “Trust but verify” is so horse sense (as well as truck sense). It is also Godly because it has his elements of mercy and justice in it. Trust compels us to give others a chance, and verification helps us all shed a light on the real situation.

Accountability in listening to and then watching others as they actually deal with stressful situations is really the growth mechanism for all of us students, and teachers (and diesel technicians) in life.

With regard to horses, owners should never leave a horse with a trainer without both individuals first assessing where the horse stands at that point in time. A reassessment needs to be done again after the horse has finished its training. I usually spend at least an hour showing the owner what the horse can do, and how they think and react at that point in time.

Ideally both owner and trainer should evaluate how the horse responds differently to each of them so it can be determined where future training effort needs to be applied. After a horse is well started, most of our effort needs to focus on the rider, since they are the one that will be the new role model for the horse.

A rider needs to know how to test their horse regularly so that they can have more confidence or trust in them when stressful situations arise. High energy horses need to be tested more than low energy horses because they can easily divert their extra energy toward running off, bucking, rearing and more if they are not tuned into their rider.

Before trusting a horse to carry me into battle (go riding), I will purposely do things to try to scare them, and see if I can retain control of them when I am on the ground. If I cannot, then I will work with them until I can or I will not get on their back. Speed is another way to test a horse. I will purposely speed up all of the “hovercraft” maneuvers I ask a horse to do on the ground before I get in the saddle. If at any point, I feel I am losing control, I will not get on until I get that control back.

Many people try to protect their horse from doing things fast – thinking that will keep them calm –  but instead  keeps from building their confidence  therefore making them more dangerous. Known past weaknesses in horses also have to be tested from time to time to see if any backsliding has been taking place. Just as we shed light on potential costly repair bills in life, we shed light on our horse and ourselves to try to avoid costly repair bills to our bodies.

Please feel free to tell me or ask me about your or my diesel or horse “situations.” By sharing, we can all grow together.

How about God’s true religion of truth and light?  This is how we can trust but verify.

Mike Daniels is a horsemanship trainer and barefoot trimming specialist from Raymondville. Email:

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