HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE YOUR HORSE ?
Loving your horses encompasses a lot more than simply having positive feelings about them. You may experience true love but people are sometimes trapped by the illusion of love. They can get so wrapped up in how they feel about their horses that they forget to give any thought or consideration toward how their horses feel about them. They identify love with the performance of care-taking tasks and strive to have everything "under control". They mistake this control as connection and nothing could be further from the truth. We all know that real love is a two-way street.
To love a horse is to LET HIM BE A HORSE. We think if it is cold outside, our horses need to be blanketed. If it is morning or evening, they need to be fed. If it is nighttime, they need to be stalled. If there are flies, they need fly spray. If there is not much grass to eat, we must provide hay and expensive supplements. Our thoughts of what our horses need can go around and around in an endless loop. Before you know it, we find ourselves completely obsessing over them.
First of all, obsessing over anything is not healthy for us, our family members, our friends, and it is especially not healthy for our horses. To love a horse is to remain mindful of his true nature. Horses are VERY social animals. They prefer companionship with one another more than anything.... even food. Their two greatest desires are to bond and to follow a leader.
Our responsibility to horses goes far beyond simply taking care of them. Yes, care-taking has a role in the relationship we share with horses but even more importantly, we must educate ourselves about THEIR world and what is natural to them. Putting a halter on a horse and lunging him is no more natural to him than sleeping while standing is to humans. He is only responding to your influence because he is conditioned to do so. The use of tack as a crutchbuilds neither connection nor relationship.
Relationships are built upon a shared bond, trust, respect, and willingness, not by the time of day you feed your horse or by any of the other “duties” we assume while hoping that our horses will like or appreciate what we do for them. Some horse lovers are comfortable as caretakers yet hesitate to provide strong leadership out of fear that their horses won't like it.
Let me assure you that your horse is craving leadership from you! He will offer countless opportunities for you to discover the leader within. A true leader provides motivation and inspiration while guiding willing participants to a common goal. As horse lovers, we must watch our horses to learn what natural leadership means to them. As you become more comfortable in your role as a leader, your horse will reflect what love looks like through his eyes in return. Simply spending time with your horse can create a stronger bond than you can possibly imagine. The magical relationship that develops may transport you to places that only a brave few dare to travel. Your horse is ready.....are you?
Have an incredible rest of the week.
Linda and the herd