The horsemanship counterpart to this warning would be “truth.”

Truth can be defined as the parameters God has built into the foundations of the world. These include tools that God has available for all to use, which help us in our communication and productivity. The Second Commandment involved minimizing distractions. This third one absolutely peels away the cover that can give credit to the “distractions” for accomplishments rightfully attributed to God.

Some salesmen love to portray their “gadget” as necessary to a task, yet they can distract from the true essentials.

Mike Daniels

Mike Daniels

One way we can misuse God’s name is by putting his name on our “things.” Another way we can misuse his name is by taking his truths and putting our name on them (similar to copyright or patent infringement).

When we have a positive view of God and his creation, we can see his “tools” clear and distinct from our toys that come and go. An example for a carpenter would be square, level and plumb.

These are the three absolutes that every carpenter enjoys using for excellence in their work fully attributable to God. These truths cannot be purchased; they are part of the fringe benefit of being part of God’s creation.

In horsemanship, we can peel away all the gadgets everyone thinks they need to become good, and be left with three basic body languages to guide our horses. I use mom, dad and God to label these three.

A body language of pressure (mom move), a body language of rhythmic pressure (dad move), and a body language combining pressure and rhythmic pressure (God move).

Many horse owners will combine pressure and rhythmic pressure without purifying them distinctly and separately, with the end result of having one poor body language rather than three good ones.

The first body language was explained in the First Commandment as slow to apply pressure and quick to release (mom), with no rhythmic. The second body language of rhythmic (dad) is emphasized in the Third Commandment because it is pivotal in bettering the other two movement languages. Just as in real life, mom strives for a soft feel, and dad helps get respect for the soft feel as well as the responsibility of the self-worker that God aims for (God body language = mom and dad combined).

We live in a culture that seems to consider most forms of hitting as violent, and has hazy perceptions of good and evil. I like to tell people that one difference between good and evil is all about warning. Warnings give time to respond so that learning can take place. Good has a growth goal for others, whereas evil only wants to appease self and use others. To purify the rhythmic language, I tell people to clearly show their horse the rhythmic hand or stick is coming into its space before coming into contact (hit air before hitting horse). In this instance, we give them time to move out of the way, respecting our more subtle signals (such as pressure) in the process.

How hard rhythmic is applied depends on sensitivity, as well as weighing confidence and respect.

The rules of observing the Sabbath (brainwork) and adultery (self control) play important roles here.

Only when we begin to see the clear difference between Mom and Dad seeing the distinct well-chiseled uniqueness of both, can we imitate God in a good well-balanced way.

In horses, the God language can include rope wiggling or checking (quick tugs) on reins. These are quick reminders in the midst of developing a true self-worker.

In summary, the Third Commandment recognizes and gives credit to God, and the essential truths He has available for all to use (upholding His name rather than misusing it). It sees value in the distinct softness yet determination of mom, and the decisive motivation of dad, molding the true volunteer which represents God.

The first three commandments can also be summarized here. They represent the substance God gives us to live and move. In horsemanship, three languages were given in the first commandment (prayer, mom move, mom nothing), two languages were given in the second (dad nothing, kid nothing) and two languages were given in the third (dad move, God move).

These seven languages can be used to stimulate intelligent thinking; emulating God’s creative design, producing faster results. But they can also be ignored, modeling the religion of evolution with an extremely slow process, as a result of the absence of an intelligent mind.

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