I have been using God’s 10 Commandments to convey horsemanship in a newspaper column every other week.

I came across this idea from a famous horseman who found “the 10 qualities of horsemanship” in nature, so to speak. I grew up kind of viewing religious things as somewhat boring and unrealistic to actual living with gusto in the real world (y’know, like in beer commercials). Through time I began realizing that genuine godliness was far more useful than all our phony substitutes which ignore, exclude, replace or misinterpret God as well as include an adult “baby bottle” (or crutch) of some sort. So when I came across these 10 Commandments in nature, I began to see the true diamonds in what on the surface seems to be advice for old fuddy-duddys , rather than people who are truly interested in running faster and jumping higher in things that really matter, which might include actually running faster and jumping higher.

Mike Daniels

Mike Daniels

As I have been receiving feedback from my biweekly column, the main thing I hear from people is that they are not into horses, and even the ones who are have trouble applying these principles (mostly the motivation realm). Since application is more of a lifestyle than a one or two hour splurge on a feel good fair weather day, I feel I need to emphasize the overflowing nature of these principles into all things. So I will make an attempt to emphasize real life over the horsemanship hopefully helping our horsemanship to come more alive as well. In other words, I feel I need to back off of the specific technique aspects and look more at the big picture.  Since I feel this truly is God’s lumber , it does not limit itself just to horsemanship – hence the label of  “horse sense” as another term for common sense pointing to the creator of  all  things including creativity itself. God’s creativity alone will inspire future horsemanship and help make it more realistic and relevant as well everything else.

Believing that God’s fifth commandment (honor father and mother, listen to “experience”) has us constantly monitoring feed back from others so as to try to determine whether we are passing over any blind spots that for one reason or another we simply are not seeing, I want to give friends and family a chance to dialogue with me intelligently about this. I believe that the Holy Spirit does talk through others to help keep our humility in check, and the more feedback I get, the better.

The feedback I am looking for should question:

  1. Whether I am true to God’s word.
  2. Whether I am relevant, and/or realistic to real life.
  3. Whether I am indeed communicating the way I intended to.

Since my column will appear once a month, I feel I should  go in depth on each of these commandments of God from the perspective of the “working world” based on what this horseman in the desert happened to find, looking from the outside in. I will emphasize boots on the ground efficiency in all work, emanating outward from horsemanship.

Other feedback I have had from actual horse people tells me I need to simplify as well as clarify. I have found that I can explain these laws of life in three parts: Commandments I, II and III = BRAIN; IV, V and VI = HEART; VII, VIII, IX and X = COURAGE (boots on the ground).

Another way to remember it is through the scarecrow, tin man, and lion in the Wizard of Oz story. I will probably focus on these three parts to start with before the in-depth, perfect 10 laws. They will focus in even more than I originally explained them three and a half years ago. The column after this will be called “Those goody two shoes 10 Commandments.”

Once a month columns will give me plenty of time to receive feedback from friends and family before I put it out on the Internet or newspaper. Even then I still welcome feedback from anyone. Oh, don’t we spend enough time talking about the weather, or cattle prices, or other shifty things, rather than the things that stand the test of time. So let us talk about God and the laws he has put in place to help us with genuine excellence. We cannot not talk about God when we see that this stuff permeates everything we do to be productive. When we do not talk about God than we are essentially stealing his lumber. This real life nitty-gritty application can excite us and keep us coming to him for guidance, recognizing that he is the one that gives us the lumber and breath for all of our gusto!

You might say I will be working on part III of motivation for the next year and a half.  The exciting part is that this really is more honey than vinegar (my last columns in the local newspaper were on motivating horses with honey and vinegar).

Sincerely, from a fellow pilgrim in the world and hopefully brother in Christ.

Mike Daniels is a horsemanship trainer and barefoot trimming specialist from Raymondville. Email: rlhorse58@yahoo.com.