Be the best version of yourself through your relationship with your horse
The purpose of a relationship is to help the other become more of who they are. In the process, we also grow and become more of our authentic self.
When people enter into any relationship, with a horse, with a partner, with a work colleague, we have an idea of how we see it going. With a horse, it’s very easy to see how we place our wants and desires onto another being, whether they are interested or not.
A person might buy a horse to do dressage, camp drafting, jumping or any discipline. Yet, if the horse is not interested or capable, the human will seek ways to achieve their goal, regardless of how the horse feels. Saddleries are full of gear to help people control horses such as bridles with bits, spurs, martingales, draw reins and whips. If that fails, they might employ the help of trainers, vets, and healers, with the sole purpose of funneling the horse into a path the human prefers.
There is only a small percentage of people who ask the horse what he or she wants. And once they do, a whole new world opens up as they explore a path where both parties are getting their needs met.
It’s easy to know when you’re on the right track because you have a willing partner. There is more fulfillment and less conflict. You find yourself in flow, both physically and mentally. For example, you may notice the horse moving freely and joyfully. This outer manifestation of flow directly mimics the internal dialogue. Why is the horse moving gracefully and powerfully? Simply because they are intrinsically motivated and feel the benefit of the activity. Not just in service to the human, but because it feels good or is just plain fun.
Once the person removes the gear or even the fencing of a small enclosure, the horse will present their true feelings. If the human is then able to observe and recognize what they see, then the relationship cannot help but improve.
The fascinating thing is that when we start playing with this dynamic in our relationship with horses, then all other relationships in our lives are altered. We are no longer interested in forcing our will on anything. Who says we know best? Who says it must look a certain way? Who is defining success or failure? Is success numbing and desensitizing a horse to the point that he or she no longer listens to their natural instincts? So your horse doesn’t spook. Perhaps this is great for a trail riding or competition horse, but is it really in the horse’s best interest or is it purely driven by the human’s dream?
Are we facilitating learned helplessness or personal empowerment?
How can we help our horses and ourselves radiate inner and outer health and vitality?
How can becoming a better horse person actually facilitate being the best version of yourself?
How can we create and nurture enriching relationships with our human and non-human friends?
These are the questions that interest me and this is the reason why I went on a quest to meet and interview the people who are the best in the world in connecting with horses in a compassionate way. This is what I would like to share with you, so that you, too, can find your unique path, both with horses and in life. What I am offering is a non-prescriptive approach that offers you an alternative to traditional horse methods.