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From Training to Listening

Most horse trainers would agree this job requires a lot of sacrifice. Missed family events, unlimited overtime hours, zero paid holidays off, and I forget...what are vacations? As for weekends, they are consumed by lessons, clinics, horse shows, or other horse-related events. There are late nights with a sick horse, and there are sick days spent cleaning stalls b/c the barn help texted in sick. The reward is in the magical moments: watching a foal come into the world, helping a student connect with a horse, seeing the personal growth and confidence gained through working with horses, and such of that nature. The most magical moment for me was seeing how the most complicated horse I have owned (he is my heart horse and a total jerk at times) loves my two kids and views them as an extension of me.  It’s these magical moments that soothe you into wholeness, helping you make the most out of the present.

When I started this crazy Journey I would have summed up my job description by saying I help people with horse problems. Fast forward almost 2 decades , and I

have seen all sorts of Horsemanship and all sorts of lack thereof as well as everything in between.  After working with several hundred horses and their owners, I have learned a lot about how truly forgiving and kind horses are by nature. Through experience and personal growth I have evolved in regards to understanding the capacity of

their emotional depth, and what they mirror back to their human counterpart. The majority "problems" I see in horses are the result of human ego or ignorance, and the effects it had on the horse’s education and emotional health.  Many times it’s as simple as redefining expectations and boundaries with clear communication. It becomes more complicated when the horse has disconnected from having a positive relationship with humans, and it requires both patience as action, and awareness, to understand how the horse got into a situation where the “problem” was his only way to communicate or escape. 

My intent is to help others feel successful and joyful about their horsemanship by sharing what works for me as a trainer, AQHA breeder, and life-long horse lover.  I believe I have a strong partnership with the horses I work with and if can help anyone connect better with their horse, that is a win for me. I'll leave you with this thought until my next blog. I no longer view myself as helping people with horses problems. As an advocate for the horse, I believe that if we except them to relinquish their flight drive and hand over their trust to us people (the ultimate predator), we ought to try and understand their perspective when communication isn’t at its best. 

"Any fool can know, but to understand is the point" 'Albert Einstein

More often then not, I find myself helping horses with people problems. Until next time,

The Mindful Cowgirl.

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