What have horses taught you?
   

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What have horses taught you?

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  • Ability that is taught horses
  • Life lessons horses have taught you

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    10-28-2011, 12:40 PM
  #1
Yearling
What have horses taught you?

The other day, I poked my boyfriend in the ribs to get him out of my way in the hall. He looked at me like I was nuts, but it worked.

It got me thinking about how invaluable the things I've learned from working with horses truly are. It takes a unique mind to truly connect with horses, and sometimes you might not figure out that your mind is unique until it's brought out by a horse.

I've learned to release. When someone does something for me, I give instant gratification. I've learned to communicate my appreciation by actually feeling it, and it's a wonderful feeling. Since a horse can read you inside and out, they can tell when you're irritated or if you're thinking "Whatever, that's good enough." A horse doesn't want to shorthand you. When a horse understands why and how, it will give you 100%, every time. So, when you learn to communicate, you've learned to get the response you want, which leaves you satisfied and grateful.

Which brings me to the next thing I've learned: Communication. When you've got a thousand pound animal following you around, you need to know how to express what you want. Horses are constantly judging you and testing you, whether you realize it or not. Everything about you radiates in a bubble of energy around you, and the horse can see it crystal clear. I've learned to be self-conscious - but not in a way where I care what others think about me as much as I care about how I make others feel. I'm conscious of my actions and how they affect others, and the impression I make based on those affects. If you make a single bad move with a horse, you could ruin your entire relationship.

I am more respectful. When my horse tells me he's done, we're done. This is his life that I am essentially controlling. "Always a willing servant, but never a slave." This is like a dance - one must lead, but it takes the both of us working together and enjoying what we do to accomplish what we want.

I think most importantly, horses have taught me to listen. When I ride or work with my horse, I make sure that the horse is telling me what we're doing is working. I never want to frustrate my horse. Sure, what we're doing may be hard, but if he doesn't understand what's going on and is getting downright upset, it's time to adjust and find an alternate route to meet our goal. This isn't just about what we as horsepeople want, it's what's best for our horses, both mentally and physically. That's when our horses perform to their utmost ability. That's when they move properly and give us something of incalculable value: their trust.

Being around horses these past six years has made me more mature. I pay attention to details and really read the animal, or person, I'm interacting with. Patience, communication, understanding, trust (and trustworthiness), respect, leadership, devotion, and so much more. Horses have made me a better person.

What have horses done for you?
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    10-28-2011, 12:59 PM
  #2
Yearling
I think they've trained me.

Nick: Hey Chip, there's no water in the trough, and where's our hay?

Chip: Hmmm there is normally hay right here at 6:30 am. I don't see any. Maybe it's the weekend again?

Nick: Week end?

Chip: Yeah, our owner gets up later on the weekend. Count five days, then the next two are the weekend.

Nick: Counting, hmmm.

Chip: Yeah, I'll show you! Come over here to the metal water trough, which is just under her bedroom window. Now tap it with your hoof. This is five BANG! BANG! CLANG! BANG! BANG!

Nick: Cool! So this is five, and these two more are the weekend? BANG! BANG! CLANG! BANG! BANG! CLANG! CLANG!

Chip: You got it. Heh heh heh, this is two weeks worth... BANG! BANG! CLANG! BANG! BANG! CLANG! CLANG!BANG! BANG! CLANG!
BANG! BANG! CLANG! CLANG!

Nick: Hey look! There's our owner stumbling across the grass with a hose. She's still in her pajamas!

Chip: Yeah, she's so cute!

Red Gate Farm: SHUT THE HECK UP! HERE'S YOUR WATER FOR PETE'S SAKE!
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    10-28-2011, 01:05 PM
  #3
Yearling
Hahahaha!! ^
     
    10-28-2011, 01:30 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I actually have sort of learned the whole pressure/release thing too well, and occasionally use it on humans (usually unintentionally) to get the desired results. You just find what "pressure" works on someone, and then apply until you get the desired result and then release.

I actually used to do this as a kid to my mother, didn't even realise it then, but whenever we were spending a ridiculous amount of time shopping or whatever I used to stand quite close behind her and do nothing but breathe evenly. For some reason being that close and doing absolutely nothing would really irritate her, so I would put that pressure on, and when we left, stop. Obviously that wasn't the best of things to do as a kid, but its strange how methods we learn in one part of our lives transfer so easily to others. You can actually get most strangers to move if you stand within their "personal space", you can stand there and, perhaps edge closer, and they'll move to release the pressure. Would be a totally weird creepy thing to do to a stranger and I don't recommend it, but it works.

Boyfriends and poking in ribs... yeah it works. Poke in rib until they fetch dinner, soon you just need to say dinner and look at them and you have dinner.

I sound a little mean but I'm actually quite nice! And cook for my friends and stuff regularly (and rarely poke them or stand near strangers), its just interesting how easily these methods transfer.

Horses have also taught me commitment, and the level of commitment others have in their lives. Friends have told me they'd like to get a horse and asked if I'd help them work it out a bit, I'm always enthusiastic but by the time I have explained how in the middle of winter I get up in the morning to feed and rug before class and work even on Sundays, they start to realise that owning a horse might not be for them.

Also the value of regular work with anything. And value of patience and perspective.
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    10-28-2011, 01:48 PM
  #5
Yearling
Horses taught me to remember myself. They taught me to take time and smell the roses, or manure in my world. I always take care of everyone before I take care of myself. Between work, home, kid activities,etc I was neglecting myself.
When I began leasing it was a step in the right direction getting back into horses. When I bought Cooper, and made time for him along with the other things going on, it was giving myself back a part of me that had been missing.

I have since then moved into a rural area, took on a lower key job, and have a different outlook on life. I am able to step back and breathe once in a while. Better yet, I give myself a reason to continue doing for those I love, since I am in turn a much happier mom, wife and friend.
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    10-28-2011, 02:07 PM
  #6
Started
Red gate farm that is to funny .... :) you sound like you have some trouble makers at your place lol

As for what they taught me... if I don't like you I turn my back to you... if you annoy me I turn my back to you... if your awesome and cool and like things I do well hey you can be a friend of mine any day :)

My horses are very picky and either I taught them that or they taught me but I am gratfully all the same for learning it. Saved me many problems and headaches
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    10-28-2011, 02:21 PM
  #7
Super Moderator
Great thread and great post Equilove! Boy, you all said such great things.
What can I add? Well, one thing I learned from horses in the field;
Doing nothing can be enough.
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    10-28-2011, 02:47 PM
  #8
Banned
That people aren't the only ones irritated by late breakfast.
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    10-28-2011, 02:58 PM
  #9
Yearling
Good to hear everyone's lessons :) I thought this would be a good opportunity for everyone to stop and remind ourselves why we do what we do. Next time you get irritated with your horse, stop and ask yourself these questions:

- Is the horse listening? (communication)
- Are you listening? (communication)
- Are you giving the horse enough time to understand what you're asking? (patience)
- Are you giving your horse a reason to think what you're asking is alright? (trustworthiness)
- Have you given your horse a reason to listen to you? (respect)
- Are you giving instant gratification? (release)
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    10-28-2011, 03:03 PM
  #10
Showing
From horses I've learned

That everything doesn't always go as planned and being able to roll with the punches & improvise is a great quality to have.

Being lazy on occasion is okay.

Life is too short to spend it all in an arena.

Falling hurts a lot more now than it did as a kid.

There is no better smell than a warm horse and no better hand warmer than a long mane covered neck.
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