I’ve wrote about the process of growth in horses. But, without a doubt, it also means that we grow along with them. In the end, if we are open to it, we become better horsemen & women. This idea of growth as a circle is really neat and special. It’s another way horses can change and touch our lives.
I’ve found that part of the growth process and learning, comes with lots of humbling. A good horse will do that to you! It’s a love, hate relationship. It’s not always fun in the moment to be humbled, but in the end it proves to be another piece of the puzzle! If you are open to it however, you will learn way more than someone who either refuses to be put in that position or refuses to believe in the idea of “horse humbling.”
Part of my personal growth process is observation. I am not an outspoken person. I am not going to openly express my point of view, opinion or thought with someone. For the most part, I don’t because the person is usually not open to it. And simply, what is the point? I refuse to converse much with people like that. But I will observe them and learn from what I see. Everyone has something to teach and sometimes you learn from things that they don’t actually realize they’re doing!
If you want to be a better horse person, if you want to be a better rider, you have to seek out what you want with honest intent. I’ve toyed with the idea of taking riding lessons again on school horses to continue my riding, but I think this break is needed for me, oddly enough. I know, weird. I may begin riding with an event rider who works with off-track TB’s, which would be a great learning experience and great way to jump-start my riding again. It would after all get my mind off of riding Reason. However, as much as I want to ride him, I am smart enough and care enough to know exactly why I’m not riding and therefore I don’t have the desire to actually ride. In the very least. I have future, wishful thinkings, but not current temptation. If I can’t respect time off, what kind of horse person AM I!? Luckily, I don’t have to figure that out, it’s just, common sense.
Ok so, I guess maybe, I’m quiet for a reason, I’m an observer. But, is that always a good thing? If someone asks what I think, I’ll converse of course. I’m not that quiet..lol. I love learning, asking questions and listening to individual perspectives.
In regards to Reason.. I have to say, I’m a much more confident person. I’m not going to spend time being concerned or afraid. I’m just going to go about my business and invite him to come with me and when he comes, we can learn together. But until he does that, we aren’t going to get anywhere. He’s tested me, not as to extreme like Ink, but he has and he continues to do so. Each time, I have to break down and build-up as strong, as confident as possible to give him a reason to trust me. Only then will he respect my judgement and therefore allow me to be the leader.
I have to say, I see people who think they are in that position as the leader, but are not. Their horse my submit on some things, listen occasionally, but in reality, they don’t really understand nor respect their role. And then again, I see people who take the leader role in the wrong way. “Leading” a horse does not mean you make them do what you want. But rather an open relationship where there is a constant exchange of communication between handler/rider and horse. They have to know you’ll listen and vice versa before any good communication can be established.
I learned a lot of this understanding with Ink. He taught me to listen. There was no way I could ever get through to him, or help him merge into a happier horse, without learning to listen first. Correction came second with him. I had to figure out why he did the things he did, why he reacted the way he did and understand my own reactions to get any type of grasp on what was going on.