Friday, June 7, 2013

"Feature Friday- Del Shields- His Songs and The Cowboy Church"

Howdy Folks,
Songs are in his heart and on his lips. Del Shields has wanted to sing about joy, friends, love, life and God for just about as long as he can remember. Music is a wonderful way to help folks have fun, face challenges and make friends, Del believes, and with his songs that is what he does. In recent years Del has cut 4 CDs on his own record label. His songs are uplifting, encouraging and toe taping. They celebrate the beauty of the world, the grace of horses, cowboy and ranch life, and the wonders' of God's love.
Del, a true singing cowboy
For the past 8 years Del's been co-host and a big part of the extremely popular TV show Best Of America By Horseback. "Traveling the country with Pat and Tom Seay has given me the chance to meet some very wonderful people." Del said "The show has a way of bringing folks together. It's like a big family. Sometimes people are having a tough time and riding and visiting together at some of the most beautiful places in America, there's an almost magical kind of kinship that helps heal and energize folks."

Del, a full time minister for 20 years, is also the BOABH spiritual leader. No matter where they are, he makes sure folks have the opportunity to connect with God. "If we gather in the barn, or in the arena or on the in the saddle on the trail, we enjoy a bit of Cowboy Church." Del explained there's something about a group of folks singing hymns in the saddle among the beauty of God's creation that helps cement friendships that will last a lifetime.
Del leading Cowboy Church at East Fork Stables TN
Each summer on the family ranch in Kansas, Del and his family open their hearts and ranch to children who are having a tough go of it. The children are welcomed to the ranch to learn about horses, ride and experience a bit of ranch life. And some horseback counseling. This summer the local school district will bring students who need a leg up in life. "Binging children together in a group with horses helps them gain confidence." Del explained.
With his songs, his words and his deeds, Del Shields is there to offer a leg up, or a toe tapping tune, and I'm honored to feature him here.

By the way, my favorite song of Del's is "The Best Of America" on his latest CD "Let The Cowboy sing."
Check out his music on his website here - 

Visit the Best Of America By Horseback Website here – – Find a ride near you and make some great new friends and sing a few songs with Del!
Del leading a campfire sing-along-
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"It's For The Horse"

Howdy Folks,

There are many different paradigms in the human and horse world. We are free to choose in which paradigm we place ourselves. Is our relationship with our horse based on what we want from it, and the expectations we place on our horse? Is our training for ourselves and our horse based on the outcome, instead of the journey? Is our barn set up for our convenience or the horse's health and well being, mentally and physically? Just a few thoughts and questions that constantly run through my mind. Being a horse advocate I have a little motto that guides my thinking and actions, "It's for the horse." 

When I write stories for Trail Blazer and Natural Horse magazines, or my little blog posts here, and visit with friends in the wonderful world of FaceBook my thinking is always, "for the horse." I strive to point out that in all things, if the horse's point of view guides us, the outcome will be more glorious. More solid.

I remain amazed when people talk about their horses in the negative, and "demand" results, without taking time to appreciate the horse's perspective. Waiting for the horse to understand and process the training, or changing their own paradigm, seems to be a bother to far too many people, even today. Folks say they're going to, "teach" their horse, or "train" their horse. I'd rather suggest, "Learning together with their horse." No matter how many horses a person has known, every horse has more to teach "us," if we're willing to view things from the horse's perspective.
 Barns are still today all too often built and maintained with the human interest as the guiding principle. It's easy to walk down a row of stalls to feed and care for the horses. What would the horse's perspective be about his housing?

Therapy horses, show horses, lesson horses, and every other kind of discipline horses find themselves in; horses have a perspective of how they see their lives. Are they living it in a manner that makes sense to them? Is there something, perhaps a tiny thing, their human can do, or habit they can change, to help themselves see their own world through their horses eyes?

How and what horses are fed can also be considered from the horse's point of view. Is it truly healthy for the horse, or convenient for the person? 
Kessy giving me love
If we follow the paradigm of, "It's for the horse" a number of questions have their own answers.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry