5. Safety! – Horses are big, and strong and have strong self-preservation instincts. It’s risky business what we do so it’s very important to be as safe as possible. Learn all you can about safely handling, feeding, riding and working with your horses.
4. Read your horse – They are very sensitive and communicative. Horses want to understand and be understood. Pay attention to what they are telling you, listen, watch, learn their language. Often, horses give us plenty of signs and warnings about their needs, sometimes, we are too busy or distracted to pay attention well enough.
3. Might as well feed a good one – There are lots of different kinds and qualities of horses out there and we all know how overpopulated the horse market is. Choose wisely. Find the horse that fits you, that you can trust and you want to spend time with.
2. It’s more about you than you think – I have found more often than not, if I’m having trouble with a horse (or usually several horses) in a particular area of training, it’s almost always me and not them. Horses are mirrors, emotionally, to us and will show us our issues and struggles as well as our strong points and strengths. Look within, let them speak the truth to you. It’s not easy but it is growth inspiring.
1. It’s not about you – I know, I know, I just said it was about you, but listen to me, they are unique, interesting, quirky individuals and have moods and good days and bad, just like us. I learned a long time ago to have less of an agenda about what we’re going to work on and to wait and see what the horse tells me he needs worked on this day. It always goes much better and we get a lot accomplished when I listen to understand, rather than just try to “instruct” my horse.