I am sure many horse people who saw this title thought immediately this article would be about the physical connection a rider has with a horse. It is a common topic. But this is instead about the mental and spiritual connection found between a horse and rider. Actually, I should say connections. Because that is what this article is all about. There is no one ideal connection to a horse’s mind and being as each horse and each person is very different.
I began thinking a lot about this topic recently after a conversation I had with someone about their connection to a certain horse. They have been struggling for quite some time to find that same feel and connection to this horse as they had felt in the past to other horses. I have to give this person great credit as they never gave up on the horse and learned many lessons along the way.She knew there were lessons to be learned from this experience. ?One big lesson was to let go of the attachment to the idea of a connection and just be with the process of working with the horse. She also recognized this horse needed something different than other horses did to make any kind of connection. ?She realized that her focus had to be fully in the moment when working with this horse, as any distraction on her part led to a distraction on this horse’s part. The more she let go of the attachment to an outcome and the more she worked with the horse on his own terms the better the results were in her rides.
As I have been thinking more about this, it reminded me that we can’t approach each horse with the same expected result and outcome. Our attachment to an outcome blocks any progress or learning both on a horse’s part and the rider’s part. Not all horses are going to have the same personalities and needs, just like not all people we meet are the same. We need to meet our horses with an open mind of discovery. There are lessons to be learned from every horse we meet no matter what their personality. Some horses, like some people, will be more distant and that is okay. We need to meet them on their terms, not ours. That is when great things can happen. Horses are great mirrors for us in how we travel through life. ?We are often attached to certain outcomes we expect in our lives and we get disappointed and frustrated when things?do not go?as expected. If we take the time to be open and listen to the life lessons horses can teach us we can grow as riders, trainer and people.