This past week, I have noticed something a lot. What has come to mind so often is the incredible amount of strength it may take to do things in a way that’s true to your heart. Of course, being who I am and what I do, this really rings true in how I work with both horses and people.
If you are reading this, chances are your own personal philosophy of horsemanship has a strong basis in the partnership or relationship between horse and human. You may or may not have figured out how to let that be the guiding force in how you interact with your horse, and formulate opinions about yourself for that matter. If you are struggling with letting that be the guiding force, and yet it speaks to your heart, it’s understandable. This is not the governing principle in the majority of the horse world.
There are many unwritten rules and opinions that you may have had cited to you on your journey. Especially when your actions don’t match those of a more traditional nature in the horse world, you may have been the victim of such sharing. I know I have been in and around many training barns where the thought process of why you own a horse has to do with what that horse is capable of producing either through their athletic abilities or capabilities to win awards. If the horse can’t deliver what you desire, you move on to a new one.
Now, I am not saying that this approach is wrong. I am just saying that it is wrong for me. Yet, I hear voices, both inside and outside my head, voicing this opinions a lot. The truth is with the situations and circumstances that are in my life right now, I don’t ride every single day. In fact, sometimes weeks can go by when I don’t actually get on my horses. For me, that is o.k. The choices that I have made, and the directions I am choosing to travel make this true for me right now. At this point I have come to grips with this, but it has taken time, and sometimes I still have to remind myself that doing things my way is the best for me. I still interact with my horses every day, and build the relationships I have with them. I just don’t get on their backs.
I will admit that when I first started bucking the system, so to speak, I didn’t share much with other people. Coming from a dressage training barn background and it’s perspective, I was really wasting time and talent. In my perspective, I was completely devoted to being a new mom and learning about horses and myself in a whole new way. And, I loved those things with all my heart. The more I learned, the more my confidence grew in doing things my way, and then I was able to share. But, I had to build up my ego strength in order to be able to do that.
Many of the people who I work with are working hard to gain confidence with their horses, and sometimes in their lives. Staying true to their hearts, can be such a challenge when they hear over and over again opinions such as: “why don’t you just get on?”, “is that all that you’re going to do?” or “I wouldn’t let that horse get away with that”. Putting your values, and what is most important to you and your horse first is essential to your confidence and happiness. It is what you deserve. Yet, it takes a lot of conviction in your beliefs and strength of character to do so. If you ever need a good dose of encouragement, spend some time gazing into your horse’s eye. Bet that will help! Doing things in your way, that align with your beliefs and what is true to your heart is what your horse needs you to do.
If you need some encouragement or validation for doing things in a way that respects your horse and the relationship, share your story. Maybe we’ll create a revolution in how all of that is viewed! Wouldn’t that be a grand thing…..