Horse Illustrated: The magic of horses
Writer/artist Huxley Greer returns with this instant classic inspired by the unconditional love, life lessons and teamwork values that horses bring into our lives.
We’ve all had those days when we sadly forget the wonderful joys that horses bring to us on a daily basis. It’s easy to do; you get caught up in the hustle and bustle, whether it be work, riding, school, or whatever else you may do with your days. You end up tired and cranky, and on the worst days going to the barn can almost seem like a chore because all you really want to do is crash on the couch. While it’s true that horses cause inevitable stress in a variety of ways, their magic should not be forgotten. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pleasure rider, an amateur, or a professional. If you stop to realize how horses improve your life on a daily basis, even the darkest of days gets brighter and even the most cynical person can become more positive. Of course, while horses can improve our mood on a daily basis, they can also impact how we grow and mature through our lives.
Horses don’t hold grudges. Sure, your horse might get mad at you briefly, but horses aren’t like people. They forgive easily and won’t hate you for the rest of your life if you forget to bring them a carrot. In a society where there’s an immense amount of pressure to be “the best,” “better,” and “keep up with so and so,” it can be relaxing to have one being in your life that doesn’t care if you’re the best at anything.. .except for maybe the best at scratching their favorite itchy spot. As humans, we all make mistakes with our equine friends. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the ground or on their backs; our horses can’t voice their concerns, hurts, or fears and because of that, we can’t always know exactly what they need. If and when you do wrong your horse in some way, they’re not going to gossip to their neighbor or bad mouth you in front of the whole herd or even not talk to you for a few days; they’ll simply forgive you. Although our equine friends may occasionally let us down, they usually don’t even realize they have. I often joke that my horses are my “best friends,” but in reality, a horse possesses the qualities to be your best friend in the whole world.
Life Lessons & Positive Traits
If we let them, our horses can teach us traits that are both valuable and positive. Now, learning these traits may not be easy. You may learn them because of bad or disappointing things that happen with the horses, but as the saying goes, you learn from your mistakes.
Being a good listener:
When I think about all of the tidbits the horses have taught me so far, being a good listener is at the top of the list. Since horses can’t come out and say, “I’m hurting,” “I don’t like that,” or “I need this to succeed,” we have to pay close attention to what they’re telling us via body language and little clues. When you think about it, if you were to write a narrative about how you found out something significant about your horse, you might find that it would be like reading a good mystery novel – lots of little clues pop up along the way and it’s your job to piece everything together to get to the bottom of the problem. In short, horses can help us read body language and to recognize subtle hints. These are traits that will improve our communication not only with horses, but also people.
I remember being around seven years old and constantly giving up when something got hard. I’ve always been horrible at drawing or anything involving creativity on paper; I would constantly start paint by numbers only to stop half way through. I guarantee that if I were to start a paint by number today, I would finish it. Not because I’m any better at painting (I probably still can’t stay within the lines), but because horses have taught me the importance of never giving up. As horse people, we experience many hardships with our horses – lameness, injuries, setbacks, disappointments – you name it, we’ve probably been through it at one time or another. The key thing to remember is that with a plan and a “never give up” attitude, you can recover from hardships and continue moving forward.
Hard work pays off:
It doesn’t matter what your horsey situation is; any discipline or role in the horse world requires hard work and dedication. There may be days when it feels like all of your hard work is for nothing. I think that at one time or another, we’ve all experienced one of those days. Fortunately, if we keep moving forward and chipping away at our goals, a breakthrough will eventually occur. In the horse world, little tasks that are completed on a daily basis have the potential to really pay off in the end. Paying attention to the little details is a trait that can take you far in life – it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, being detail oriented will help you down the road.
As horse people, we of course have to work together with our horse. It’s way too easy to focus only on ourselves. Having to work with a partner is a constant reminder to consider other’s feelings and needs. Not only that, but because our horses are so wonderful, we learn that teamwork can be enjoyable.
I’ve always had a tendency to be independent; I like to get things done on my own and feel that involving other people can be a real hassle. Of course, when it comes to horses, nothing comes together without an entire support team: farriers, vets, trainers, family, friends, sponsors, and anyone and everyone else who helps during the process. These individuals are a valuable part of a team that every horse person needs. I feel certain that my involvement with horses has helped me realize that I can’t do everything by myself. Forming a team and having help is essential to achieving goals.
Learning the value of teamwork is a trait that can make our lives so much easier while reminding us to appreciate the people that help us along the way. Often, these people not only help us, but fill our lives with joy.
The Magic Never Dies
The next time you’re feeling depressed, down, or discouraged, just remember that your horse will always be there for you. Although sometimes we forget, we’re lucky to be able to have animals in our life that cannot only teach us so many valuable lessons, but also give us inspiration and confidence on a daily basis. Go hug your ponies, thank your lucky stars that you’re fortunate enough to have horses in your life, and enjoy the journey!
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