Without Reins

A man of understanding
listens to God’s word,
spoken to his heart,
and obeys what he has heard.

God has bit and bridle
and strong commanding reins,
different forms of discipline,
tools with which He trains.

Consequences for our sins,
conviction of what’s right,
silent heavens, lack of peace,
these are reins held strong and tight.

Yet a gentle voice, a tender nudge,
revelations of His love,
these are the tools He’d rather use,
as He watches from above.

For a Savior who’s both kind and good
first reveals His loving face,
and runs with us, as we respond,
to his goodness and His grace.


“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have not understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near you.”
Psalm 32:8-9

“Reining” is a competitive sport designed to demonstrate the rider’s ability to train and communicate commands to a horse without the use of reigns.  While reins are present in the actual event, the commands are given orally and through gentle pressure from the legs and body posture of the rider.  The portion of the event depicted here is the part where the horse goes from a high speed run to a sudden stop.  As this happens, the specially prepared soft deep soil of the arena is kicked up into a fluid wave of dust obscuring the hind legs of the horse.  While the rider does hold on to the reins, any use of them to control the horse is a deduction of points, hence the title of the piece “Without Reins”.

The sculpture is an open relief, the horse and rider are in 3/4 round.  Here is photo of the original condition of the wood.

Additional information

Dimensions L 6 x W 28 x H 19 in
Wood Type

West Texas Juniper on Mesquite Base

Subject Matter


Feel free to contact Chris to inquire about a commissioned sculpture.
Tel: 970-290-4140
Email: parables@jchristopherwhite.com

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