I haven’t thought a lot about fear and my relationship to my horses but this post made me consider it today.
Horses are big, powerful animals with defenses that make ours look pretty puny. We are actually quite fragile in comparison. I think maybe it’s normal self-preservation that makes us, at least a little afraid, initially. Like when we first started riding or when we ride a horse we don’t know yet.
That’s where trust comes in. Trust overcomes those fears. We learn to trust them and they learn to trust us. (Horses have fears too; they have self-preservation instincts like we do. )
A horse that has never been betrayed, that trusts completely, is an awesome deal. They can go and do awesome things with us, unhindered by emotional baggage that even horses get. That’s the kind of horse a person can trust with our fragileness.
I’m maybe in a bit of a different situation than a lot of horse owners in that I have to rely on them to help me get my work done and to keep me safe doing it. It’s kind of dangerous work and I have to put my life in my horses “hands” pretty often. They have to be something special; they have to trust me so that their fears don’t distract them in a crucial moment. It’s up to me to never betray that trust so that I can be safe.
I’m working on my attitude to be one that my first thought as I ride is: what does my horse need from me? What can I do to help him? and less: “I want him to do this, or that”. More of “What is the kind way to get this done?”
I used to be a bully, try to force things. I KNOW that don’t work.
Yah, I’m scared lots. I cry; I bawl, in fact, I get so scared. I don’t want to tie onto a bull. I don’t want to be out on the prairie in a lightning storm. I don’t want to ride through quagmires. But I trust my horse and if I don’t I figure it’s me that better change and start doing something better.