14. THE HORSE...
A DISPOSABLE COMMODITY
So many horses, so many riders, yet each horse seems to be so typically a revolving door?
A horse is a horse and a person a person, there are basic fundamentals that work and those that just don't when attempting to master the art of horse ownership and ridden mastership.
Sadly, rather than learn these fundamentals I constantly hear of people selling horses on rather than ironing out difficulties.
I think there are a few misbeliefs coming into play here causing the horse to be treated as a disposable commodity.
The thing is, if you buy another horse you will eventually encounter problems there too.
What if in our everyday relationships with our partners we gave up and traded them in every time there was a disagreement or misdemeanor?
We would never survive a relationship.
People are imperfect, and horses are also, yet we treat the sport of horse riding so mechanically that human or horse error are not tolerated or worked through.
Horses behaviour is relevant to so many factors, but at the end of the day they are an animal, with feelings and choices daily.
Our riding and handling methodology should be built on top of a firstly carefully laid relationship with our horse and that relationship carefully maintained throughout all we do.
However more and more I encounter people who don't want to learn how to ride or handle a horse effectively, but rather they own a horse which has been trained by someone else that they hope will continue to behave as they did under their previous trainer...for them.
This just does not happen.
A horse is responsive in the moment. Cause and effect. If you ride in a way that causes your horse frustration, you can create new bad habits in your horses' behaviour in as quick as 60 seconds to last a lifetime.
Learn learn learn. Einstein once said every man is a genius, facts and truth are available to all alike.
But more importantly and firstly lay a foundational relationship with your horse that will see you through even the hairiest times.
Because you could have all the greatest methodology in the world down pat but if you haven't built a connection between your horse and yourself your horse will work against you rather than with you when the pressure goes on.
Horses need to see you as a parental figure, someone who looks out for and cares for them gently. Whether the horse is a stallion, a gelding or a mare, there are many ways to gently endear yourself to your horse, but I have found a few things to work very successfully across the board.
One thing that will set you in great stead is just going to your horse. See what it's up to, and spend time just quietly and gently talking softly to it, very gently patting it's face etc...
Then make sure all you do when riding etc, is fair and square and keep learning.