Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Bit evasions and Good Friday.

This week I saw a horse who’d had enough. He just took the bit between his teeth, locked his jaw and trotted off on a tangent out of the circle, toward the gate. The rider tugged away but the horse’s neck and determination were set like stone. This riding lesson was over, as far as he was concerned!

 A horse will evade the bit itself or the bit operator. In either case, he’s tried a few options to find relief from the pressure and none seem to shut it off. My job as the bit operator is to precisely time my release to the behaviour I’m after – a shortened stride, lateral flexion or lowered neck. And I need to select a bit that will provide relief when the horse responds – no pressure felt by my horse when no pressure is applied.

 Bit evasions take various forms: raising the head above the bit or curling behind it. Chomping on the bit, rolling the tongue. Research on bit position, bit, and tongue movement has opened my eyes in recent years, to make me a wiser bit consumer and bit operator.

Funny how “clenching the bit” or “stiff necked” are idioms we use for steely determination.

So what’s this got to do with Good Friday? I’m glad for Christ’s steely determination – He had a life purpose, one that involved unimaginable suffering, and He didn’t turn back.

I’ve been reading the historical accounts as we approach Easter. What floors me is that Christ’s determination wasn’t to evade pressure, but to take it in my place.
  • Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. Luke 18:3
  • As the time drew near… Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Luke 9:51
And this, written 600 years before Christ, foretelling His sacrifice: 
  •  I offered my back to those who beat me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard.
    I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting… 
         Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do the Lord’s will. Isaiah 50

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