Horse Thoughts

19 May

It’s a lot like nuts and bolts – if the rider’s nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans

Carter is ten years old this year. He was brought home as a three year old and throughout these years we’ve grown and learned together. With help from some friends and a trainer as well as Level 1 and Level 2 Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program, I have learned more about myself than just sitting in the saddle. That’s not to say I know far more now than ever on the topic of riding and working with my horse and am far more savvy than I ever was.

It’s not the mechanics of it all or the repititions, the practice, the patterns, or the hours in the saddle. It’s not how feed is mixed or the brand of fly spray. It’s not about flying lead changes, half passes, or long trots. What matters is the mind of the handler/rider. My mind. My attitude.

I learned to relax and not to be so reactive. I have more faith in myself and enjoy my horse so much more. I don’t worry so much about doing something wrong. I simply ask for help. As much as I want to be better at what I do, I only take it one day at a time. If it didn’t happen just right today, I keep working at it.

Looking back over the past 5 years, I realize how frustrated I was in the beginning. Every part of my relationship with my horse had to be just right and if it wasn’t I was failing. When I started looking at where my horse’s brain was, it then I realized I needed to be paying more attention to him instead of getting it exact every time.

There is so much more confidence now with both of us and I can tell that he feels it and enjoys our rides more. As an Arabian he does have his moments. Although he is such a people pleaser and will do just about anything I ask him to, he does easily spook and is always on the lookout for dragons. I cannot say he is a high-strung Arab as many people consider this breed to be. Now that he’s matured, he is much more focused. Today is such a contrast to those first two years of equine adolescence.

We have so far to go yet and continue to learn. But what really matters is that its not work anymore. Although we do have to practice those mechanics, we have alot more fun. I simply enjoy the ride.


Posted by on May 19, 2010 in My horses, Photography


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12 responses to “Horse Thoughts

  1. Virginia Little

    May 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I so totally agree with what you’ve said. I have found that the horse teaches me and if I listen, learn what I need to know ahead of time. I also can “feel” my horse better when bareback..

    Now, if I just “think” or “look” left or right, my mare goes in that direction.

    I can ride her without saddle and just a lead rope and no bridle. It’s so relaxed and relaxing.

    My gelding is more full of himself and we had battles in the beginning. But as trust has grown on both sides, there’s a much better connection. He too looks for monsters and dragons and would prefer to go around rather than through water, but will do as I ask of him, even when he’s scared. He knows I will lead him and I know he can lead me too.

    It’s a wonderful relationship!

    Nice post…as usual…I enjoy your blog.

  2. Anna Surface

    May 19, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    What beautiful horses and a great capture! Amazing in learning how to let go and trust in yourself and the horse. All that teaches and deepens about life; especially with animals… and intuitive horses. Wonderful sharing in your horse thoughts. I enjoyed this. πŸ™‚

  3. Brett Lovins

    May 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

    A nice post. I’ve watched my wife’s progress using the Parelli method. It has been remarkable. Keep up the good work and keep it natural.

    Parelli Central – Pagosa Springs, CO

  4. Doug

    May 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Hi, Anita!

    Stupid Google cut you from my follow list. I thought you stopped posting. I put you back on.

    A horse will bolt for no reason at all πŸ™‚

  5. wildstorm

    May 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Hi Doug. I was beginning to wonder about you since you didn’t show up as a visitor here. So glad you stopped by.

    Brett, thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement.

    Anna, indeed we do learn so much more through our animals don’t we.

    Ginny, you understand. I’m riding bareback far more now and that has increased my confidence more than any other task.

  6. Pastor Larry

    May 21, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Love carter πŸ™‚

  7. angelcel

    May 22, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I haven’t ridden since I was a child so I’d be a complete novice again. I like the idea that you and the horse have to relax to work together properly – an intuitive approach. Sounds good. I really like the photo here. πŸ™‚

  8. Lori

    May 23, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Love this- and you know, I think that could be said with some of our other relationships as well.

  9. Jack Matthews

    May 31, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Excellent post on horse and human. Very deep. I like it. Beautiful photo of your horses.

  10. Jack Matthews

    May 31, 2010 at 9:30 am

    When I am in the field, scanning for deer to count and log behavior, I pay attention to my horse because he sights them first.

  11. Muhammad

    July 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    When I read what you wrote… I feel that the horse is or acts like a metaphor which easly can stand for life… or even better for the ups and downs of our life journey… you are a good writer.

    Thank you

  12. wildstorm

    July 19, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you Muhammad for your kind words and your visit to my blog. I often refer to my horses as such metaphors. It’s all very simple really.


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