*** This article was published in the August 2017 edition of Natural Awakenings**
Dark clouds roll in from the West. Treetops sway while wind gusts get stronger. Birds seek shelter and people move indoors with dogs in close pursuit. It’s 5 pm in Piedmont, SC. The daily summer storm has arrived. In a nearby meadow only horses remain. Three resident equines graze peacefully, undisturbed by rolling thunder and bolts of lightning. They do not care if rain soaks their coat. They do not mind the howling wind. They are the calm in the middle of mayhem.
Much like Black Beauty gave you an insight on the life of a 18th century horse, this post gives you an insight in the world of a 21st century sport horse. Due to my 34+ years of experience both in the Dutch and American equestrian world as an rider, owner and instructor, while importing, selling and showing Dutch Warmblood sport horses, my experiences visiting hundreds of breeding, training and showing barns, both in the US, in Germany and in the Netherlands, my experiences as a student riding with grand prix level riders and judges, I have first hand international, cross disciplinary knowledge of how horses are treated and regarded world wide, both at home and at the show grounds. I have attempted to use my insights to provide a minimally anthropomorphized point of view from the horse's perspective with science backing up my statements.
Have You Ever Felt a Strange Instant Connection With Someone You Just Met, Leaving You Utterly Confused?
A pulling, a gravitational force, is drawing you toward a person you have never met before. It is not sexual or physical attraction, something deeper, more profound. A strange feeling of magnetism leaves you wondering what the hell is going on with you, are you going crazy? You can't put it into words. You become hyper aware of their presence, and are utterly confused by the sudden sensations in your body, mind and soul whenever your paths cross. Does that sound familiar? Has it ever happened to you?
Have you ever answered the phone and known exactly who was calling you, while there was no way that you could have known ahead of time? Or have you randomly walked into a bookstore and without searching, walked straight to the book you had been looking for for months? Or perhaps someone entered the room, and without knowing this person, you got this funny feeling and just knew they had a major inner burden? Has that ever happened to you? When you knew that you knew but you didn't know how you knew?
A horse that acts up can be frustrating. His antics prevent you from doing what you want to do, and sometimes things get dangerous. You want a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. Yet you also want to have plain fun, galloping your horse through the meadows or doing patterns in the arena. It can be frustrating when the horse says 'no', especially when your values are on the empathic, compassionate side and you aim for collaboration, not dictatorship.
Yesterday I lost the car key. Today I woke up too late, put on two different knee high socks, one white, one blue, was too late for my first client meeting, couldn't get the internet to work (weird!), gave three people the wrong date for an upcoming workshop, and the golden crown on top of it all; instead of swallowing my vitamin supplement and giving the dog his thyroid medication, I mixed the two pills up and fed my vitamin to the dog, and blissfully swallowed the dog's hypothyroid pill. (oh dear..)
If you ride horses, sooner or later there will be a day that you'll unceremoniously come off your horse. Fortunately, most falls don’t seriously hurt rider or horse allowing riders to walk away with nothing more than a slightly wounded pride and a sore behind. Here are 8 tips from women who succeeded in finding their confidence back after a scary experience.
Follow a frightened OTTB’s journey in becoming a confident, playful partner. Read how Meghan applied neuroscience and positive reinforcement to help her horse find safety, relaxation and happiness.
While they don’t take much, each has the power to dramatically improve the relationship with your horse. Are you looking to enrich the relationship you have with your horse? Here are 5 things you should do every single day with your horse.