Updated: May 18
One of the biggest mistakes we can make in our lives and in our relationships with horses is being too much of a perfectionist because we are afraid of making mistakes.Many of us dreamed since childhood of owning our own horse but due to circumstances it was never the right time.
When we finally turn this dream into reality, I understand we want our relationship with our horse to be as perfect as our dreams and we certainly do not want to ruin it.
To make our dreams come true, we tend to collect as much information about horses as possible. We read books, watch videos and documentaries from various teachers in the equestrian world.
After a while, we start realizing that there are many ways and methods of dealing with horses and we start asking ourselves the question which person is right or has found the best approach? What kind of approach fits me best? We start to overthink everything we are doing with the result that we no longer dare to work with our horses out of fear of making mistakes.
Now I suggest that you do just the opposite. We must learn to trust our own intuition again and dare to be ourselves instead of being the copy of someone else. Everyone of us is unique which means that each of us will look at horses in their own way. As a result we will all approach horses in our own unique way. For me, this is what it’s all about: finding ourselves again in the presence of our horses. We don’t need to be scared of being judged by them, they accept us for who we are and they allow us to make mistakes.
Of course, we want to be intelligent about our mistakes. If we make the same mistake over and over again we can not be surprised we are creating a bad habit in the horse and as a result the connection between us gets lost. If we try an exercise 2 to 3 times and it doesn’t work out for the horse, then we will need to try a different kind of approach to reach our goal. The right approach is the one that works for the horse and human without putting either over the edge. This way we can never ask too much from them.
If our horses don’t understand what we are asking it’s probably because we are asking it the wrong way or one that doesn’t fit them. Horses will never be stubborn on purpose. If they don’t respond as you want, either they do not understand our request or they think they can not safely comply.
My advice is to try many approaches, making as many small mistakes as possible as long we keep learning from them. In the process, we will discover our own personality and the best way to communicate with our horses.