Creditor or debtor rider, part 2

In my last column, I equated the United States’ growing debt problem with riders who expected their horses to serve them rather than them serving their horse.

The unique position that God in flesh, Jesus Christ, took as an example to us of how to truly excel, was to learn how to be a servant. Servants learn to be sensitive to the needs of those around them, which in the long run makes them the best leaders – and the best business owners. This also makes them the best horsemen.

Last time I emphasized how keeping our bodies in shape not only helps healthcare be more reasonable for us all, it helps give our horses a smoother ride. Also, just as we all appreciate those who sweat beside us in the trenches more, horses appreciate those who rub shoulders with them, and rack up the miles beside them to earn the right to get on their backs.

Mike Daniels

Mike Daniels

The more time we spend with horses, the more we can learn to anticipate their moves and overall motion. The sensitivity of a servant learns to sense a horse turning before they actually do. This is true with forward, backward and sideways movement also. One of the reasons we bounce on a horse’s back is that we are at least one beat behind our horse’s movement. The best place to be to hone our anticipatory servant skills with horses is right behind their shoulders on the ground. This is the vantage point where we can see and feel almost everything. This is also the point in which horse and human might be most uncomfortable with each other in the beginning. A longer lead rope can help us gradually move closer to the horse as we learn to trust each other more in our movement together.

To have smooth transitions through all of our movements together, we must clearly signal our horses with our body language before we enforce with lines or sticks. This also helps our horses not to be at least one beat behind us. We do not get this with the magic of Hollywood in a two-hour movie. This is the spiritual consistency of the cotton picker moving down the rows of cotton, time after time.

The last best way we can help serve our horses better and give both of us a smoother ride, is by developing our shock absorber system. The smoothest ride possible for horse and rider is a three-point stance on the horse’s back. The human uses all of their joints to provide a horse a smooth ride. The fingers, wrists, elbows, and shoulders moving in rhythm with the horse’s neck, complement toes, ankles, knees, and hips moving in rhythm to the horse’s body from the stirrups up. Our flexible back and abdomen bridge these two systems moving independently of each other. When we look at the brim of our hat, it should look almost as still as a hat on a hook. Then we will have developed a ride that will help a horse show that they are indeed one of the most graceful creatures God has created.

To sit a horse without bouncing, we must develop our waist and back. Our s-shaped spine must be able to flex as easily as possible, with our abdomen as free as a belly dancer’s. Our best flexion happens while we are leaning somewhat back, whereas with the three-point stance, we are more forward. Horsemanship is the beauty of a boss who works harder than the help to be the example of what an excellent ride is all about.

Just as The United States of America became the greatest country the world has ever known because most American bosses were inspired by Jesus Christ to emulate him, we become great in our horses’ eyes when we do the same.

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