Any of you who have read my recent writings or followed my Instagram feed know that I'm recovering from a T.B.I. It is a long process, like nothing I have ever been through before. It changes your perspective on things. I have had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, most of which are about horses because I basically have a one-track mind.
Though thinking about horses is a frustrating topic these days, not knowing how my future with them will unfold is worse. I have had time to think about a lot of the horses I have met and the lessons that they have taught me. This is another rambling on life lessons about horses. I don't think there is enough space on the internet to hold them all. That's why I'm just putting them out there a little bit at a time. I think they will be more appreciated that way.
If You Have Had A Horse...
That Scares You, You Are Lucky
I have had more than one horse that scared me! I mean, I have had scary moments with almost every horse I ever had, just silly little things that happen that remind you of the size and strength they have.
That horse that scared you taught you to face your fears. It also taught you to think about the "why" of the situation. That something happened to make the horse act that way, and it is your job as its rider/handler to be able to figure out the "why" and then what to do about it.
That horse hopefully taught you to overcome your fears! It also taught you one thing that I think many of us take for granted...that is what horses are capable of doing and the danger that they can pose. The fact that, despite how much we love them and trust them, you need to respect their size and nature if you are going to be safe around them.
A Horse That Frustrates You, You Are Lucky
If you are going to be a horse person, you need to know that horses are always going to surprise you. You will have miscommunications and frustrations.
The thing is, though, if you can work out a frustration that you have with a thousand pound animal who doesn't even speak your own language, working out the little frustrations in life that you come across day-to-day should be easy as pie.
A Horse That Confuses You, You Are Lucky
You need to have a horse that confuses you, one that does weird things and makes no sense at all. These horses teach you to think outside of the box when it comes to your riding and training them. Sometimes even just for their care.
They will teach you little lessons that you won't forget. One day, you will hear someone talking about an issue with their horse and remember "this one time you had a horse do that," and then you will be able to help someone else. Teaching other people things that you learned on your own only makes you understand them better.
A Horse That Bruised Your Ego, You Are Lucky
Success with our horses can inadvertently give us inflated egos, and rightfully so. We work hard with our horses and should be proud of what we do with them and how well we do it.
The thing is, sometimes we don't realize when we have gone from being proud of our accomplishments to having a big old ugly ego. Horses seem to know just when that is happening, and then they do things to humble us. It's a cycle we go through with horses and it's for our own good. We learn that we never know with horses, that they are full of surprises, and they keep us humble.
A Horse That Wasn't Suited For What You Want To Do With It, You Are Lucky
If you ever have a horse that is not suitable for what you wanted it to do, you are lucky. This horse taught you to recognize when the horse wasn't being used to it's potential and wasn't happy in its work.
Being able to quit struggling to make it do something that it isn't suited for is a noble thing to do. Admitting you made a mistake, picked the wrong horse, or misjudged a horse is all part of the horsemanship journey.
Letting go of your ego and admitting the horse would be better suited for someone else takes a lot of courage, especially if you are attached to the horse and really want to make it work. This is a big lesson to learn. It relates to life as well, because sometimes things don't turn out the way they seem. You just have to accept it and move on.
A Horse That You Have Loved and Had to Let Go, You Are Lucky
Maybe you had to let it go because you couldn't afford it anymore or maybe because you moved up to more advanced riding and your first horse wasn't up to it.
Maybe you had a horse that was old or hurt. One that you tried tirelessly to keep going or heal, but they were telling you they were tired of fighting.
Learning to make selfless decisions, like when it's time to say goodbye and let our dear friends go to greener pastures, is a big life lesson. Learning to move forward with the lessons they have taught us, and to focus on the good memories we have, whether your beloved friend is going to a new owner, or to horsey heaven, giving up a horse that you love is an experience that will affect you and that you will learn from.
A Horse That You Had To Ask For Help With, You Are Lucky
We all think that we know our horses best and should be able to figure out how to fix whatever it is that might be going on with them. Sometimes, try as we might, we can't. We have to ask for help. Admitting that you can't figure it out on your own and need help is a big step, not just on your journey with horses but in life. We all need to know when to ask for help and to not be too proud to do it.
If You have Spent Any Part Of Your Life With Horses, You Are Lucky
Really, when it comes down to it, if we've been able to spend any of our life with horses, in any capacity, we are lucky! Not only do we have fun and get to continue on our horsemanship journey, but we learn lots of lessons that apply to our daily lives and interactions with the world as well.
If you get to live a life with horses, you are lucky. If you don't get to live a day-to-day life with them, I bet you can find lessons in whatever little time you do spend with them.