Training and Horses - Blog

Being Right?


Blame, accusing, judging, condemning- the need to be right.  We often impose our human need to be right, on our horses, as much as we do on each other.   I am an advocate for the horse. Working to decode our ungraceful attempts to speak their language, one of feel.  One could label me a horse trainer, but the truth is, I am a translator of human for horse, and horse for human.   I try every day, to help people find new ways to view the world, by reflecting back to them how they view the horses they love. The common statements: My horse won’t do "x" or is trying to "x" how do I make him jump higher, or win more? Why won’t he do what I want?

It is a very rewarding but challenging life.  So...   Why am I sitting up at 1:46 am, unable to sleep in my quiet house?  After tossing and turning for a long while I decided to sit down and write it down in hopes of letting it drift off to the world and out of my consciousness. Maybe then sleep will come. At least for a few hours, before have to I get up and tackle another day of being a translator, psychiatrist, physical therapist, and oh yeah, that's actually called "horse trainer".
I am sitting here in the wee hours of the night because I care as much for the people, as the horses, in this small but wonderful community that is my home and my life.  Certian events of the previous day had me watching and listening to some people making stands for who is "right" about the topic of discussion. It felt much like a point earlier in the day when I sat on a horse that planted his feet and made q stand for being right.   We call it "resistance" when a horse does not immediately give to our wishes.  We are "right" and they are wrong, or stubborn or obstinate.  My ride iwas voicing his opinion by resisting going forward.. "I hear you" I say in unspoken words.  "do you remember what bend means?" I add.  "yes, that I know" replies the horse, with a relaxed breath, muscles unlocking, legs in motion once again.  "can we try the other way?"  I ask, and get an instant response of agreement.  A few minutes of bending left, bending right, circling left, circling right, and the moment of impasse is behind us.  I introduce both reins in a request for "give", he pauses then drops his chin, relaxes his neck and answers my question with "is that all? that was easy"
Horses are so much easier than humans.  I think because their stance for being "right" is not about me being "wrong" but simply " I don't understand, or am afraid".  I wonder how many times humans have the same reason for resisting.  Could it be that being "right" and making me "wrong" is more about fear of the unknown, or not wanting to step out of a safe little box.  It is a fact that if two people stand on opposite ends of the arena watching the same event, they would each describe this event very differently.  Both would be correct, but both would feel that their perspective is more correct than the other persons.  There is no such thing as being right or making wrong.  There is simply the observation, or situation and how you perceived it.  So many things can have bearing on your perspective in the moment of the event in question.  Am I hungry, tired, did my dog get sick this morning, does my family member have a terminal disease.... What affects me every moment, is what has affected me all of my 51 years.  So many things have influence on how I perceive this one moment in time. And most are only known to me. . So I try to always consider that  it goes both ways. Anyone around me at any time can be carrying a package of preconceived thoughts and opinions that are  based on things that I have absolutely no knowledge of.
Can we as humans get past the need to be right?   Can we understand that it is just a point of view?  and let go of judgement?   Can we be role models to the young in our community and show them how to communicate from a place without preconceived notions or judgement? Maybe they will learn to let go of fear and become leaders themselves.  I  am looking to my four legged mentors for answers.  To them, when I get stuck, I will ask questions, and listen without judgement. My personal belief is that practicing this skill when I am working with horses, will improve my ability to carry this skill into the rest of my life.

I wish everyone could have the conversations I have with the horses, they have taught me more than any book or school.  Patience, compassion, how to set aside assumptions, how to really feel, and mostly, every day...Respect.  I require respect from my horses, and the people around me, because I respect myself.  And I respect the horses and people that I surround myself with in this beautiful world.

  THAT was a big lesson.

previous blogs

i will be copying most of my previous writing  a little at a time.   more to come...