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Naturally Natural

By Meg Lund

To be natural means to act according to the laws of nature, or God's law. Children are naturally natural, which is why Jesus instructs us to become like little children in order to gain the Kingdom of Heaven. I tried to teach my children natural horsemanship, and they were bored with my methods. They don't need to be instructed in being natural, they just need to be allowed to be natural. So, I stepped out of the way so that I could learn from them instead.

We have a 2 year old icelandic pony that is natural. She likes to play, but does not like lessons. I tried to "train" her using natural horsemanship techniques, and she got mad at me. It was obvious that I wasn't natural enough. I ran out of time and left her out in the pasture for a while.

My 11 year old daughter naturally loved her natural icelandic pony. She thought it was only natural that she should ride her pony. She spent time out in the pasture with her, sitting on her whenever the opportunity presented itself. At first, she managed to sit on her when the pony had her head stuck in the hay ring, and my daughter was holding on to the top of hay ring. Then she gradually laid on her and jumped up on her side saddle and finally slipped her leg around her. She climbs all over her and even stands on her now. She has trotted with her as well. All of this, with no saddle and no reins. Just a natural girl in love with her natural pony.

As the story was told, we were made natural by a loving God, and given the garden of Eden where everything was natural as well. It is natural for animals and humans to get along; more than that, to actually enjoy each other's company. I think God allowed us dogs and cats after Eden, so we wouldn't forget.. a couple of animals that somehow weren't frightened by our unnaturalness. What is it in the human hand that makes a dog or a cat melt in ecstasy? It's as if they "know," but do we "know"?

The garden may have been lost due to us falling out of synch with Nature, but we can start to live it again, by learning from our children.
As an update to this article, the little girl is now 17, and she and her pony have become the best of friends. She’s also learned to communicate and partnership with a number of other ponies and horses… a picture’s worth 1000 words: