This is an expanded look at the values I have learned from horses and the horse world as first described in the blog post: Why Use Horses?
Horses are herd animals. They crave companionship and are highly in tune to each other. I have seen many show and race horses that are often kept in individual paddocks develop vices from boredom, ulcers from stress, or even become aggressive from isolation. Young horses learn how to behave from older horses. New horses introduced to a herd learn where to find water and food from those more experienced. Horses that tend to spook more easily find confidence and boldness from those that are calm and unflappable. Within a herd, horses find trust, protection, guidance, and support. In truth, horses need each other to remain healthy and balanced mentally and physically.
As humans, we aren’t much different. We were created to do life with God, and, in turn, with other people. We often think that we can go it alone or do it ourselves, but the truth is that we need each other. Without the love and support of a community of believers, we can quickly find that life is harder and less enjoyable. Isolating ourselves brings an illusion of independence that fades into a very lonely and unhealthy existence. The body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12-26) was meant to help challenge, support, love, and guide each member. Being part of a small group is where we really learn how to live out the example Jesus set before us.