The Student’s (Horse) Attitude

If you were teaching, what child would you want?

The child who, when you show up, gives a big sigh, slowly pulls out his schoolbooks, and then finds a million excuses (i.e. going to the bathroom, sharpening the pencil, needing to find clean paper) not to do the lessons…

OR do you want the student who gives a big smile when you enter the room, raises his hand with the abandonded eagerness of a Laborador puppy and who proudly displays the work he has completed on his fridge at home?

What is your horse? Most horses are the first. If a horse could roll his eyes, he might be doing that when he sees his owner approaching with the halter! Oh brother, another day going around in circles….

Now do you see where I’m going with the Curiousity thing? Love of knowledge, seeking answers with an open mind and open heart, and exploring our relationships can start with curiousity.

When we are curious, our mind is open to possibilities. We are in a play mode – life becomes easier and our emotions don’t feel strained. When things don’t go as plan we don’t throw down our lungewhip in a rage but ask ourselves “why?” and go back to experimenting.

What kills Curiousity? Force. Must. Should. Do it Now. My Way or the Highway. Your input is not needed or desired. Sit Down and Shut Up. I am the Master and you are the Slave. Stupid Horse. I have an agenda. The way you’re acting today doesn’t fit with my timeline. I need to get this done now because I only have an hour to ride.

What fosters Curiousity? I am listening. Why are you doing that this way? Did you really hear me and if not, why? Let’s be Together. I like You. Can we be friends? Friends can just hang without doing. I respect you. You respect me. Friends help each other and know what is important to the other. I will never ask for more then you can give me this very moment. I understand your nature.

Here are some common signs I see with owners and their horses. They start out small but can build or simply stand in the way of a better relationship between you and your horse.

Hard to catch in pasture.

When you walk up to your horse to halter him he a.) moves away or b.) makes you walk the entire way to collect him.

When you ask him to follow you on the lead, he doesn’t. He seems to grow roots in the ground.

Won’t follow you through a gate – or bolts through the gate, leaving you behind.

Higher strung horses pick up on your rushed feeling, and starts to fidget while being tied.

Tosses head while being haltered or bridled (no physical reason such as dental for this).

Pins ears during tacking up or grooming (no physical reason for this).

His whole body seems to be dragging when being lead to the arena, grooming area etc… There is no “spring” to his step. If he was a human you would be wondering if he had Mono. 🙂

Won’t stand still for mounting.

Pins his ears when being mounted (no physical reason for this).

Shies with only one person – not only has he picked up on the lack of confidence this person has, but he doesn’t put his faith in that person’s leadership. Or he may have found this is a fun way to liven up a dull lesson. 😛

Jigs. For the horse that is well trained, this agitation comes out because the horse is agitated about how the riding is starting to play out. If he is a young horse, this may just be due to excitement and lack of training, however, like shying, it might the sign of something deeper going on.

Dull to the aids. Although if he is a lesson horse, ridden by many people this is a sign of self-survival and not lack of training testing behavior. If you are beginner yourself, then having a horse dull the aids is not necessarily a bad thing 🙂

Dull to turn. I like my horse easy and light to handle but not overly light. For each person you have your own comfort zone. A horse that is very dead to correctly given turn request has started to zone out.

These are just a few problems that seem to creep up on us as horse owners. The question is has your horse become tuned out and bored with you? Is he getting a bit fed up because you never want to play HIS games? Are you the friend who always wants to talk about your boyfriend but never asks about mine?

Because soon he will be like the kid finding excuses and turning in his homework days late.

This entry was posted in Essays, Learning w/ Play & Curiosity, Mindfulness, Training and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Student’s (Horse) Attitude

  1. Pingback: Don’t let Freshness expire « Horse Ideology

  2. Pingback: Freedom: Horse-led and Deciders « Horse Ideology

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