Horses aren’t Hondas, so stop treating them as though they are.
Our world is fast and easy, for the most part, isn’t it?
We are spoiled and like the ability to sidestep learning.
Horsemanship has fallen by the wayside.
You can learn to drive a car in a few weeks time and be cruising at 70 miles an hour without much trouble (as long as you aren’t texting) by 16 years old.
The car, being a machine, cooperates most days. Even if you forget oil changes and windshield washer fluid or a cleaning it, it goes on without grumbling. You can keep driving 30 miles once the gas light comes on, at least.
We’ve decided to treat horses much the same.
Horses are not devices, though. You cannot hop on, push a button and see a perfect performance.
Driving a car while on summer vacation on a country road at 11 and 12 years old actually may help you learn to drive on the highway, but casual riding of horses on trips to Aunt Judy’s as a child will not help you become a solid horse person.
Horses are massive, thinking, reactive and emotional beings. They are all unique. You can undo their training with your lack of knowledge. You can increase it with your wealth of knowledge.
Horses end up discarded time and time again by well meaning folks because they are looking for a machine. . . point, click, bam. It doesn’t work that way.
People keep looking for the easy path to horse ownership – the dead (inside) broke (literally) horse that has stopped thinking. . .and is 100% safe (no such thing) because they refuse to become a partner to the typical horse. The person refuses to learn. . . anything at all. They want the horse to be a car.
I am sad to see how often I am at horse events and notice decent riders who haven’t take the time to learn how to even load their horses into trailers.
We don’t want to learn.
Horses reflect You. If you do not know, then you will get “I do not know” often in return from your horse. Even if they do know, they will lay that knowledge to the wayside with time, or your ignorance will ruin their previously solid foundation (thus making a nice horse dangerous – happens all the time).
We don’t want to admit there aren’t bad horses – just bad people who ruin normal horses.
We don’t want to admit anytime we pen something saying, “The horses is _______________,” it is actually “we” that lack, not them.
The greatest hill in front of horses today is lack of knowledge in the people who want to “own them” and our unwillingness to admit we do not know (or want to know.)
Horsemanship, like parenthood and marriage and friendship, is a lifelong learning process. The learning does not end. It isn’t something you’re born understanding.
So if you wish to have horses in your life, stop trying to find shortcuts and cheap cuts and push button.
It doesn’t exist, and if that is what you’re looking for, horses really do not belong in your life at all.