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If You've Had A Horse...

Updated on October 30, 2018
Ellison Hartley profile image

Ellison is a professional horse trainer and riding instructor. She runs a summer camp program and offers kids a safe introduction to horses.

Lessons And Perspectives

Though thinking about horses is a frustrating topic these days, not knowing how my future with them will unfold exactly. I have had time to think about a lot of the horses I have met and the lessons that they have taught. This is another rambling on life lessons about horses. I don't think there is enough space on the internet to hold them all. That's why I'm just putting them out there a little bit at a time, I think they will be more appreciated that way.

Kemerton applies to many of these lessons, the one about being afraid, confused,asking for help...he is one of my best teachers.
Kemerton applies to many of these lessons, the one about being afraid, confused,asking for help...he is one of my best teachers. | Source

If You Have Had A Horse That Scares You, You Are Lucky

I have had more than one horse that scared me! I mean, I have had scary moments with almost every horse I ever had, just silly little things that happen that remind you of the size and strength they have.

That horse that scared you taught you to face your fears. It also taught you to think about the "why" of the situation. That something happened to make the horse act that way, and it is your job as it's rider/handler to be able to figure out the "why" and then what to do about it.

That horse hopefully taught you to overcome your fears! It also taught you one thing that I think many of us take for granted...that is what horses are capable of doing, the danger that they can pose. The fact that despite how much we love them and trust them, you need to respect their size and nature if you are going to be safe around them.

A Horse That Frustrates You, You Are Lucky

If you are going to be a horse person you need to know that horses are always going to surprise you. You will have miscommunications and frustrations.

The thing is though if you can work out a frustration that you have with a thousand pound animal who doesn't even speak your own language, working out the little frustrations in life that you come across day to day should be easy as pie.

This little one, fits into the frustration, ask for help and had to let go category for me. Working with her was one of the most humbling experiences I ever had.
This little one, fits into the frustration, ask for help and had to let go category for me. Working with her was one of the most humbling experiences I ever had. | Source

A Horse That Confuses You, You Are Lucky

You need to have a horse that confuses you. One that does weird things and makes no sense at all. These horses teach you to think outside of the box when it comes to your riding and training them. Sometimes even just for their care.

They will teach you small little lessons that you won't forget. One day you will hear someone talking about an issue with their horse and remember "this one time you had a horse do that, and then you will be able to help someone else. Teaching other people things that you learned on your own only makes you understand them better.

Dunkin, oh little Dunkin....he was my personal encyclopedia of horse lessons and life lessons. He fits into many of the categories mentioned in this article.
Dunkin, oh little Dunkin....he was my personal encyclopedia of horse lessons and life lessons. He fits into many of the categories mentioned in this article. | Source

A Horse That Bruised Your Ego, You Are Lucky

Success with our horses can inadvertently give us inflated egos. RIghtfully so, we work hard with our horses and should be proud of what we do with them and how well we do it.

The thing is, sometimes we don't realize when we have gone from being proud of our accomplishments to having a big old ugly ego. Horses seem to know just when that is happening, and then they do things to humble us. It's a cycle we go through with horses and it's for our own good. We learn that we never know with horses, that they are full of surprises, and they keep us humble.

This one bruised my ego,my bones, my heart, everything. My heart horse was the hardest horse I ever handled. I owe her everything she taught me so much.
This one bruised my ego,my bones, my heart, everything. My heart horse was the hardest horse I ever handled. I owe her everything she taught me so much. | Source

A Horse That Wasn't Suitable For What You Wanted To Do With It, You Are Lucky

If you ever have a horse that is not suitable for what you wanted it to do. You are lucky. This horse taught you to recognize when the horse wasn't being used to it's potential and wasn't happy in its work.

Being able to quit struggling to make it do something that it isn't suited for, is a noble thing to do. Admitting you made a mistake, picked the wrong horse or misjudging a horse is all part of the horsemanship journey.

Letting go of your ego, admitting the horse would be better suited for someone else takes a lot of courage, especially if you are attached to the horse and really want to make it work. This is a big lesson to learn. It relates to life as well, because sometimes things don't turn out the way they seem. You just have to accept it and move on.

Then there was Ginny, the calmest most gentle pony ever, unfortunately not sound enough for the pony ride string. Luckily, she didn't have to go far, she is being a companion to my friends old horse and is happy as a clam.
Then there was Ginny, the calmest most gentle pony ever, unfortunately not sound enough for the pony ride string. Luckily, she didn't have to go far, she is being a companion to my friends old horse and is happy as a clam. | Source

A Horse That You Loved, And Had To Let Go,You Are Lucky

Maybe you had to let it go because you couldn't afford it anymore, or maybe because you moved up to more advanced riding and your first horse isn't up to it.

Maybe you had a horse that was old or hurt. One that you tried tirelessly to keep going or heal, but they were telling you they were tired of fighting.

Learning to make selfless decisions, like when it's time to say goodbye and let our dear friends go to greener pastures. This is a big life lesson. Learning to move forward with the lessons they have taught us, and to focus on the good memories we have. Whether your beloved friend is going to a new owner, or to horsey heaven, giving up a horse that you love is an experience that will affect you and that you will learn from.

Saying good bye to Danny after he fought for me so hard, for so long when he was in pain and sick was heartbreaking. He is another heart horse that I learned more lessons from than the internet has room to hold.
Saying good bye to Danny after he fought for me so hard, for so long when he was in pain and sick was heartbreaking. He is another heart horse that I learned more lessons from than the internet has room to hold. | Source

A Horse That You Had To Ask For Help With, You Are Lucky

We all think that we know our horses best and should be able to figure out how to fix whatever it is that might be going on with them. Sometimes, try as we might, we can't. We have to ask for help. Admitting that you can't figure it out on your own and need help, is a big step. Not just on your journey with horses but in life. We all need to know when to ask for help, and to not be too proud to do it.

Oh look it's Zelda again! She is one of many horses that I have had to ask for help with over the years. I have asked for help with pretty much everyone of my personal horses at one time or another.
Oh look it's Zelda again! She is one of many horses that I have had to ask for help with over the years. I have asked for help with pretty much everyone of my personal horses at one time or another. | Source

If You Have Spent Any Part Of Your Life With Horses, You Are Lucky

Really, when it comes down to it, any of us that have been able to spend any of our life with horses in any capacity are lucky! Not only do we have fun and continue on our horsemanship journey wherever it may take us, but we learn lots of lessons that apply to our daily lives and interactions with the world as well.

If you get to live a life with horses you are lucky. If you don't get to live a day to day life with them, I bet you can find lessons in whatever little time you do spend with them.

There is no better life than a life with horses! P.S- Do as I say and not as I do, don't ride with your arm in a cast :-)
There is no better life than a life with horses! P.S- Do as I say and not as I do, don't ride with your arm in a cast :-) | Source

Comments

Submit a Comment
  • Ellison Hartley profile imageAUTHOR

    Ellison Hartley 

    17 months ago from Maryland, USA

    Yep! Lots of life lessons are learned with horses. Thanks for reading my article!

  • profile image

    RTalloni 

    17 months ago

    A neat look at what can be gained through horse ownership! Seeing and applying lessons from experiences means we grow in leaps and bounds.

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