Thursday, October 01, 2009

Are You Listening To Your Horse?

True horsemen know their most important lessons in life have come from their best friends- horses of course! Horses teach us to listen, to observe, and patience. Without learning these skills, you won’t be successful with horses. They tell us how to listen to them on a level beyond just the surface and beyond what may seem the obvious. For example, one day while grooming a usually quiet natured, willing, and mild-mannered horse, he was acting quite peculiar from his normal behavior. He would simply not stand still as I brushed on him, squirming side to side, lunging forward on the cross ties. I’d had a busy day at work, was tired, irritable, and his behavior did not help my attitude! I reprimanded him several times for not standing still, until he lifted his back leg and kicked forward with it towards his belly. That was it, “this cantankerous behavior will not be tolerated,” I thought. So I smacked him in frustration, and then looked at him and his wild-eyed expression. Finally, the light-bulb went off with me! He’s got a tummy ache and is “trying” to tell me! I was not listening to him. I felt really badly once I realized he had good reason for his behavior. He was trying to tell me, his “trusted friend” how he was feeling and I was not listening because I was too wrapped up in myself and my busy day to recognize the obvious.

This is an example of horses teaching us to “listen” to “observe” and to “think.” Had I not known the typical behavior of this horse, I probably would not have recognized that this guy was hurting and that is why he was behaving so anxiously. But, I did know this horse, and once I looked beyond the surface, the answer was right in front of me because he was trying to “tell” me what the problem was. I guess he trusted me enough to know I’d eventually “get it” even though I was a bit slow! Point here, slow down and “listen” to your horse! They actually tell you quite a lot if you let them.

From Memphis Horses- A Blog All About Horses in Memphis & Beyond

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