Thursday, June 2, 2011

Horses make so much more sense to me...

This whole new fascination with horses has really confused me the last couple weeks. I was never the little girl growing up who begged for a pony or wanted to be around horses. My cousin had a horse I got on a couple times, but it really did nothing for me, and more than anything it terrified the life out of me. So when I agreed to try a riding lesson a few weeks ago the last thing I expected was to find my "thing". That I would now be considering owning or leasing a horse, that I would be taking any chance I can find to ride, or just be around them was never even something I pondered.

In trying to make sense of this new found interest, it hit me part of why I enjoy being around that they "tell it" like it is...there is no guessing what they are thinking, there are no games....if the horse agrees with something you know it, and if they don't they make in abundantly clear. There is no having to figure out where you stand or what the hidden messages are!

That makes sense to me. I was with a friend yesterday trying to groom her unbroken horse, Abi. Abi wanted no part of it, he didnt stand and pretend he was good with it when he wasn't, he didn't humor us. He stomped his foot, snorted and walked away from us. When Snapper, the horse I ride up in Hugo, wants to eat, he stops and eats, when he wants to sleep, he stops and sleeps, he doesnt care if we are mid ride, or what I want from him. Clear signals, I know if what I am doing is right or wrong.

And he expects clear signals back from me if he is giving me what I need. I actually confused Snapper last weekend because with the strength difference between my left and ride side my cues to him are unbalanced and unclear. He wasn't sure what I wanted from him, so he gave me nothing. They give what they expect to receive - clear commands and responses.

When you are learning to ride they tell you everything you try to communicate to a horse should have three parts. You should warn them what you are about to ask of them, you should ask it and then you should reinforce it. Imagine how easy life would be if all our commications happened like that??

Beyond the most wonderful part for me of being around horses, the fact that it is the only time my mind seems to be able to so concentrate on one thing that everything else falls away, it is also the only time I dont spend time reading into things, analyzing them and questioning everything I do, because the horse gives me honest, immediate, reliable feedback. I dont need to guess because there is no question.

They also take clear responsibility for their behavior. They are proud of what they do and want. They don't half do anything, they don't blame it on others. They either do something or they don't, and if they do they give it 100% or they don't do it at all.

They also do not lose themselves or their needs in things. I am learning horse are MUCH more loving animals than I ever realized. Spending time with Kass and Abi yesterday it is VERY clear they know who Liz and Kathy are, they are bonded to them, they are loving to them and they accept love back. Abi gives the most amazing kisses. But despite that they are true to themselves. When Abi wants to set his foot somewhere, Kathy better know where her feet are because he is doing what he wants/needs despite his love for her. For them being in a "relationship" doesnt mean having to subjugate themselves. There is mutual respect and admiration, but not at the cost of self. I admire that. It seems to me in most human relationships people end up having to lose part of themselves, albeit to gain something in being in a relationship, to make it work. While maybe a worthwhile sacrafice, that we hide behind the word compromise, it still seems wrong to me. The way a horse loves makes much more sense to me. Love means adding to who they are, not becoming someone or something they aren't. Love makes them more secure not less, and too often in human relationships that is a rarity!

Added after posting....

Kass's Mom Liz just posted this on her FB page, it struck me how much it goes along with what I just said...!/video/video.php?v=170752506319821&oid=175055519187765&comments

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