My favorite part about what you wrote here was how you said that after you go for a ride when stressed about something, when you get home, whatever was bothering isn't that big of a deal anymore. That is huge. There are not many other things in this world that can do that. I can think of a few -- perhaps a great moment with a child or elderly person -- but not EVERY moment you spend with a child or elderly person is going to de-stress you EVERY time. However, every SINGLE time that I put a horse into his or her stall after a ride when I am stressed, I leave the barn with not a care in the world.
There is something major that you did not mention here that, to me, is the most important thing about horses. Horses teach us how to have good relationships. They teach us confidence through their size -- we must be assertive in order to get this large animal to do as we say. We learn about the importance of "say what you mean and mean what you say." We are forced to be clear with our messages....no sort of "wishy washy" message will do with a horse -- you simply will not accomplish anything. Yet, while we must be confident, assertive, and consistent, they also remind us that we must do all of these things with care and patience. If we are unloving, they too will be unloving. If we are untrusting, you can bet that they understand and react to that as well. Horses are a pure reflection of ourselves. Through them our image, personality, and actions are reflected back to us. That is a gift; from this reflection we are given the opportunity to change our behaviors. If we make the wrong change, the mirror will show us. If we make the right change, the mirror will also show us. The beauty in horses lies in their simplicity. They de-complicate us by breaking us down into smaller pieces of which they can understand. Humans too wish for things to be uncomplicated...that is why we love the horse. They give us, for the time we are with them, a simple version of life -- their version -- where only the important things are allowed to play.
Our job, as humans who know the ways of the horse, is to take this simple life and share it with the ones who have not been so lucky to be involved with the horse. You must be the horse in every human relationship you involve yourself with. If you do, you can never go wrong.
Thank God for the horse.