"Horses are the best teachers for learning to grow trust and honesty, it’s their first language. Plus, they can lift you up and carry you to a better place, in more ways than you can imagine." Anna Blake, Barn Dance
Relationships don’t last long without honesty, from which trust grows. Sportie has truly taught me the benefits of leaving all pretense in my van when I hop out at the barn. I really think with his big beautiful eyes and huge adorable ears he sees and knows all, so why bother trying to hide anything from him? He certainly has never tried to pretend to me that he would rather work in the arena than graze in the pasture with his four-legged friends.
He lingers at the gate before sauntering into the arena, and if I have no agenda that day I allow him to take a moment to think about it, then we enter anyway. He lets me know when my riding cues are unnecessarily heavy, and I let him know when he’s being unnecessarily pokey. He lets me know when he thinks we should wind things down by taking a long head scratch against his front left leg.
It’s a conversation that used to be filled with eye-rolling from me and sighs from both parties and would usually end with Sportie mentally checking himself out. However I have learned to laugh at his opinionated personality and tell him that I wear the watch, not him, and we proceed. When I remain good-natured to match his good nature we always have a good time. Every time I lift myself up onto Sportie’s back I can count on him lifting me away, mentally and emotionally, from a world that is often anything but honest and trustworthy. I am not just sitting out a ride, I am engaged in an enlightening, entertaining, and rewarding conversation for as long as I need it. He is a perfect partner.