I remember when I spent 45 minutes trying to catch one of my horses; the words running round in my mind from horse trainers as I tried to talk myself down. I could feel I was getting more and more frustrated, whilst simultaneously knowing this was making it worse.
This was nine years ago, but I can still remember the frustrations and how I wanted to have a good relationship with my horse, yet didn't know how to create it.
The thing that I know now, is that you don't create it; you allow it. With all the rushing to make a bond with my horse and be a person that they wanted to come in from the field for, I had built up all these pressures that just didn't allow for that bond to happen. The more I tried, the worse it got, until I had to come to terms with the fact that horses don't work under the same expectations that we do.
It would be years later that I fine tuned myself and therefore the ability to be more in tune with my horses and horses in general. I allowed myself time with them outside of pressure and expectations of my world and became instead, engrossed in theirs.
By doing this I learned that when I was patient and respectful of what they wanted, they would allow me the good grace to do what I asked them to do. This became more obvious with my latest horse who had terrible insecurities and trust issues. I took time to let her be and observe me with the other horses, seeing the trust they had in me and my bond with them. I didn't push things; expect things or want anything from her. I just allowed. There were times she wouldn't let me touch her when she was out and she was sometimes hesitant to come in when I went to catch her. She was never aggressive but she was reluctant and mis-trusting at first. I didn't take this personally and recognized this symbolized something in her and not in me. So I remained as I was; open and willing to have a relationship with her.
I was in the field the other day and as I started to walk to get her in I stopped and instead called out her name and asked her to come to me. She came cantering over and patiently waited for me to put her head collar on. This was the moment that I knew without a doubt that we had 'that bond' and it was worth the waiting and patience to allow her to come to me.
It took a year to get there but we got there without me putting myself in danger or without putting undue pressure on either of us to be anywhere but in the moment with our relationship.
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