#TBT: Things I Have Learned From My Horse

Horses are master communicators — and let’s be honest, master instructors. For today’s throwback, we take a look some of the things we can learn from our horses.

By Laura Harris

Photo by Laura Harris.

Horses have a simplicity that I envy. They do not plot, though we may joke, and they do not dwell. They live in the moment, recall their training (mostly), and often do what they are asked, simply because they are generous creatures. In this spirit, I try to be open to all the lessons that my horses have to teach me.

Things I have learned from my horse:

  • Anything worth having is worth working for.
  • Skimping on time or money will catch up with you.
  • Someone is always watching.
  • Your horse is your mirror.
  • Having the most expensive gear won’t make you ride better.
  • Having correct fitting gear won’t perform miracles, but it will sure help improvement.
  • Often those who know the least talk the most, those who know a lot tend to be quiet.
  • Not every rider/horse/program combo is compatible.
  • ^ and that’s okay.
  • Some things transcend disciplines, but each discipline has value.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Always listen.
  • If it can’t be done at the simplest level, there is no reason to try it faster or bigger.
  • Details matter.
  • Every sinner has a future, every saint has a past. Horses change.
  • An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • You write your own story, but it helps to know the language.
  • We are capable of so much more than we realize, and so are our horses.
  • The horse has no agenda.
  • Control your mind, control your emotions, control your body, and you control the horse.
  • Bad consistency trumps unreliable good.
  • No one controls your feelings but you, and you are not responsible for others’ reactions.
  • Someone else has been there and done that, you are not alone in your experience.
  • Breathe.
  • Proper posture will never let you down.
  • The gym is your friend.
  • Sometimes you need the opposite thing you think you do.
  • The foundation is the foundation for a reason.
  • Never underestimate the power of positivity, but don’t get carried away.
  • A negative outlook is not necessarily a realistic one.
  • Drilling can be counterproductive.
  • One-hundred small steps is better than one big leap.
  • How you perform is often how you practice.
  • Things may seem contradictory, but everything has a time and place.
  • Logic wins out.
  • Tension begets tension.
  • Lax is not soft.
  • Sometimes quietness is not kind, and sometimes firmness is.
  • Every creature, from barn mouse to retiree to barn dog to lesson parent, deserves respect.
  • How high you jump, or level you ride, is not an indicator or how well you ride.
  • There is always a stall to be done or chore to see to.
  • There are many ways to do things, some better than others.
  • Be honest, because horses are tattle-tales.
  • Thank god everyone has a different ‘type.’
  • Want better? Do better.
  • You are not your last failure.
  • Nothing wilts faster than laurels that have been rested upon.
  • Smile. You really will feel better.

Go riding.

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