Have you ever wondered why they do it? I haven’t. Not until last night anyway. I bumped into an old friend in my local pub, and after the usual catch ups and me boring him with photos of my boy band at play, he asked me “I get why you do it, but why does the horse?” Now that really got me thinking!
We could not force these animals to tackle these courses if they didn’t want to…. So why do they do it? What makes them throw themselves heart and soul into trying to achieve for us?
There can only be one reason……they love and trust us. We dedicate ourselves to their care, we spend everyday with them, we discipline them, we nurture them, we love them….. And they in turn, love us, and if we are lucky, they will respect us and allow us to earn their trust, and when that happens……. that is when great things are possible. It is that trust that takes two beings and makes them one. It’s what takes two hearts and makes one soul. Trust is the key to everything.
A horse does not have to trust you to let you ride it, but it will never give you it’s best. It won’t just listen to you and do as you ask without second guessing you, until it has learnt to trust you. You will only be a passenger, not a partnership, till it opens its heart to you.
Now does this mean they aren’t going to argue? Of course not.
Does it mean that they will always accept you are right??? No way!
Does it mean they wont challenge you?
Of course they will.
And does that make them wrong……? If they trust you enough to ask you these questions, trust them enough to give them the answers. All to often I see people punishing horses for not understanding, or for getting it wrong. I see horses slapped and pulled around when all they have done is try their hardest and get it wrong….. what does that teach them? It just shows them they were wrong to trust us.
As the trust gets worn away, the love will remain. They will still look to you for food and care, but they will stop looking to you for comfort and support. They will stop giving their all for you, and striving to achieve your goals for you. They won’t be there for you when you need them. With trust, your partnerships will be spectacular, without trust, you will both just be waiting to get hurt. So remember, next time things are going wrong, it is possible that they are doing their best and trying their hardest, but we are asking them the wrong thing…. or asking them badly. Listen to what they have to say, they don’t lie, trust what they are telling you and reevaluate how you are asking or what you were doing.