The good news is, you don’t need to go buy a horse and learn for 20 years how horses work and how you work with horses. They talk to us like no one else can, they tell us things in ways no one else can. It’s in whispers, in actions, in the subtle gestures that speak loudly to our intuition, only if you are intune enough to hear it. They run in a natural hierarchy just like we do. When we involve ourselves in their pack, we have to let them know where we sit on the totem pole. Which, for everyone’s sake and safety, we should be in the top spot. We are the leaders.
But that’s not always the case, some riders allow the horses to take control. If horses have the opportunity they will take the mile you thought was only an inch.. The saying goes “give them an inch and they will take a mile.” I’m sure that phrase has been used in more ways than one. However in my experience with training horses, that saying has always been true.
But, horses are usually incredibly submissive creatures.. They want to please and once they’re “broke” they will do almost anything you ask, work all day, no major complaints coming from their end.. Because, you know, they cant speak after all.
What does that mean for us? We have a lot more control and say than we think we do. We are the leaders. With that, comes a lot more responsibility to get the desired outcome we want. For me, it is training a horse to turn around three barrels as fast as possible. It sounds easy, you just pull here, pull there, slow down, make the turn and so on. The horse can run fast, what’s the problem? How hard can it truly be?
Well, to answer that question I have a question to ask first –
When was the last time you performed a task at peak performance and detail, without verbally communicating with your partner? Did you find one? Ok cool, now a step further? How about they’re not human and dont have a human brain to process the task in a way you do, they don’t just not speak like you do, they don’t even resemble the same language you do. They are very un-relatable as far as understanding the purpose and the mission of their tasks. They don’t think about the future, they don’t make goals, they don’t have interior motives. These are all things that make horses amazing and on the contrary, also very difficult to become a successful team with. But it’s definitely not impossible and once you develop that togetherness with a horse, you spread these wings of freedom and of pureness that will take you far in the sand arena and in every arena of your life. .
Throughout my experience working with horses, I have learnt more about myself. Throughout all the failures, the successes, the setbacks, the let downs, the tears, the overwhelming joy of finally getting the results I wanted; I learnt how to handle it all within my time with these horses.
In this series, I am here to teach you all the lessons these animals have given me. I love when lessons learnt in one area of my life can relate to other aspects. It’s so cool how connected, seemingly opposite things are. In some sense, it’s the yin and yang to life. I have realized, these principles apply to almost anyone. I am here to share how we can apply these teachings I learnt through my life with horses.