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April 24, 2018 6 Comments
I know you must love your horse. If you're like me, you're probably a little addicted to horses. But does your horse love you? How can you tell?
"It was 7:30 on a bright, crisp May morning. I didn't sleep well the previous night because all I could think about was the adventure my horse and I were about to undertake. As I stepped outside my little rented cabin on the hillside, I felt the new sun shining brightly through the thin, seven thousand foot plus elevated atmosphere. My cabin was positioned nearly a quarter mile away from my horse, but I could see him from where I stood. He was a small white Arabian gelding, made even smaller by the distance that stood between us. He looked like a toy horse from where I stood. When he saw me, he came to life, like the toy horse in the old "Indian in the Cupboard" story. He whinnied in my direction, even though I was a great distance from him.
To be honest, I didn't know he was calling out to me, for nearly a week. I thought he was just calling out in general. It wasn't until I talked to a friend several days later about him, that I was told he does that every single time I step out of my cabin. When she told me that, I started to pay attention and sure enough, he called every single day. He would nicker, every time I approached. He would watch as I walked down the isle to his stall and be waiting at the gate. I loved it. He made me feel, wanted. He made me feel like I was a good leader. I felt he truly loved me."
That was the first time I had ever felt that deep connection with a horse. He and I could do anything together. I mean anything. From that time forward, I decided I wanted to have that relationship with every horse I owned. I wanted the same thing for every student I interacted with as a professional.
As time passed, however, I realized that many people shared the same kind of relationship, except they couldn't do anything progressive. Their relationship was limited to mediocre activities. I mean, that many people get to a point where their horse will meet them at the gate, or call to them when the door opens, but if they ride for three days in a row, their horse starts to ignore them. In other words, their horse loves them unless they do something challenging.
So I started asking myself the question: "How do I get people to make progress without screwing up the relationship?"
But before I answer this question I've contemplated for most of my horse career. I wonder if you could answer the question for yourself. Ask yourself... "How can I be progressive, try new things, take on new challenges, and... keep a true bond with my horse?"
Can you think of the answer?
Comment below and tell me how you would do that!