In today’s world, we are so used to being on social media, connecting with others through messages online. Children have so many options and are not used to being bored. Going somewhere without having internet access or WI-FI is almost impossible for some.
When I grew up, we only had a few tv channels and no social media. We spent our days outside, enjoying life.
Being around animals and horses, makes us pause a bit. To be in a hurry just doesn’t work. This quote from Monty Roberts says it all
If you act like you’ve only got fifteen minutes it will take all day. Act like you’ve got all day, it will take fifteen minutes
Being around horses teaches us so much. Any money spent on riding lessons, having a loan pony or owning a horse, will give you or your child so much in return that you both will benefit from the rest of your life.
Here are 7 great life lessons you will learn from being an equestrian
#1 Being Present
For you to train your horse, you have to be present. You need to be calm and focused on what you are doing right now. Building a relationship with your horse is all about listening and communicating. Being around horses teaches you to focus on what you need to do right now in a calm, relaxed state of mind.
Horses communicate with body language. Every herd normally have a clear hierarchy. They are not afraid to tell each other what is acceptable and what’s not. You can see them move each other around, often with very small signals.
You need to learn how to see these signals, for you to communicate safely. You need to pay attention all the time. You might need to step out of your comfort zone, using your energy, your body language and learning how to take action when needed. You need to put yourself out there and communicate with your horse. This is something new for many of us.
You can not train your horse without trust.
You have to to learn how to trust your self and your horse. This is such an important skill for all aspect of life.
When you learn to trust your self and your horse, your confidence will grow as well.
We want the horse to respect us, but we need to respect the horse as well. Trust and Respect belong together – you have to earn them both, and the horse needs to trust you to respect you. When you trust yourself and set your boundaries, you will become a more confident leader for your horse. Consistency and confidence will lead to trust and respect.
Having responsility for a horse, means that your horse depends on you. Daily care and stable work, including training, is all part of the responsibilty. If you are not able to be there one day, you need to make sure some one else can help you. Having a bad day is not enough to put your responsibility away. Being an equestrian means a lot of work and responsibilites, but you will have an amazing relationship in return.
#6 Having the Right Mindset
How you think and how you act, will reflect in your horse.
So many young people (and adults as well) struggle with decision making and to have a positive mindset. Being afraid of taking action because you might fail is more normal than you might think.
Look at the herd of horses again – the one that moves the other one’s feet is the leader. It is not the biggest horse, but it is the one with the strongest mindset and belief in himself.
Think that you don’t have to be right, but you have to take action. There is no such thing as failure. Always look at it positively, you either learn from it or you win – either way it is a learning. This way of thinking will give you the knowledge, grow your confidence and you will have a better mindset to tackle the world.
You will also be better at making quick decisions and replan when things do not go as planned. Horses have a mind of their own, and things does not always go as planned. But that is ok – learn from it and move on quickly.
Learning how to plan your time, is essential in so many areas of life. Whether it is working towards a goal, such as a competition, or just an ordinary day in the stable – it all needs planning. You also have to find out how much time you need in the stable, when to meet up with friends, when you should be home – life with horses is all about planning. However, being in the stable often seem to take more time than we planned for. Sounds familiar?!
Progress over perfection! You will always move forward when you start to take action.
Enjoy your days as an equestrian – you will be amazed by how much better you will be able to tackle the world.