"Round Pen Reasoning" by Sue Karges
" I put the words on paper but God put the words in my mind, so the poem is His and of course you may use it. "
For many years I have treasured the task
Of starting young horses on their life’s path.
As I taught I learned
As they worked they earned
My profound awe of what they will try to do
Simply because we ask them to.
We study bloodlines, dream and plan,
For them to do things they don’t understand.
We ask them to yield, and flex and bend
To accomplish goals they can’t comprehend.
We expect their best efforts even when they hurt
We win our rewards from their tracks in the dirt.
No clearer time do I question this than when
I first turn a colt into the round pen.
He comes in scared with his head in the air
Searching for a hole in the wall that isn’t there.
As his feet go faster his brain is on hold
And then the mystery begins to unfold.
As he circles in vain he runs low on air
And begins to see things that are with him in there.
His eyes fall on me and the panic renews
But I stand without threat as his brain gets the news.
He begins to realize it’s just him and me in the pen
And from there on it’s time for his work to begin.
His fear and his own will are what stand in the way
Of the horse he needs to become some day.
As I patiently begin to teach him to trust
I make the “wrong thing” as hard as I must
Yet the “right thing” will be his full life of reward
And that’s when my thoughts turn to my Lord.
How we humans struggle and circle in vain
Thinking we are in control as we go round again.
How tired God must get of our constant willful sin
Waiting for us to “join up” and come in.
How we get mad and fight and run into the wall
Thinking we can ignore God and get away from it all.
What a patient and loving trainer my Lord must be
That He waited so long in the middle for me.
Because He knows my purpose and has His own plan
If I yield to His training and trust to His hand.
I finally figured out if I give Him my reins
Then I am set free from my fears and my pains.
Every colt that I start is a lesson for me
As I’m teaching I’m learning what trusting should be.
The more I ask of them I am learning to see
That I need to be asking 'what God’s asking of me'?
And most of all, just like the colt in the pen
Just to take a step at a time as I listen to Him.
When that colt finally turns a soft eye to me
His eye is a mirror of God’s love for me.
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