Random Thoughts While Running
Week 131. Ran 4.6 miles today. Cold front day! 🎉
Funny thing about horse ownership, the horse doesn’t know or care if you own them. They care how you make them feel while in your presence. Most of what we do with our horses is unnatural for them and completely unnecessary for their survival. They don’t ask to be ridden, put in trailers (moving caves), or compete. That is what we expect of our horses. We have to find a way to make these tasks palatable for the horse. Often times that means slowing down and taking smaller steps for awhile. Sometimes it means a detour in OUR goals (it’s not the horse’s goal).
Your horse will reflect back to you what you put into the relationship. Are you creating pain, discomfort or tension in your interactions with your horse? Then you will get back tension and undesired behavior. Most of what we do with our horses creates some discomfort. We have the choice to make it like a toothache that we can’t stop thinking about how to get rid of, or we can make it like a strenuous hike where we are enjoying the scenery even though it’s hard work. If we constantly overface our horses, they won’t build a stable relationship with us. They will become detached emotionally and more easily stimulated by their environment.
Our job is to bring a calming presence and be a mentor to demonstrate the energy and actions we want them to mirror in our relationship. We have to build them up physically and mentally for the tasks at hand. Horses don’t want to be stuck in negative energy, discomfort and the need to work for survival. They want to feel safe and secure in your presence.
We must be sure not to treat our horses as a tool or vehicle to reach our goals and remember to work in a way that creates a partner willing to participate in the activities required to reach our goals. We also have to be prepared to put our goals on hold of our partners are struggling.
Horses remember how people make them feel. It's why if they have a poor experience in their first interaction with a particular human, they will react the same way when the encounter that human again. The human has to change the relationship not the horse.