Sink or Swim

So many of these learning experiences in my life are related to horses. This particular one, has to do with the very first steps of owning one of those magnificent animals.

I got her when I was 12. She was 12 too. I had 6 years of experiences about life among horses, mainly in riding schools and private stables. She had full 12 years of experience in being a horse. Here we can find a small disadvantage on my side.

I soon noticed, that owning a horse, it was very much a different deal than going to stables to learn to ride them. Owning one is much more, well, wholesome experience. In the very first steps becomes the realization, that a balance and leadership must be attained. This is the game of either sinking or swimming.

You swim, if you manage to win the trust and friendship of the horse. You swim, if the horse understands, that you are worthy of guiding and leading the pack of you two. You swim if you are firm and fair.

You sink, deep, if you are scared of the situation, scared of the half tonne animal, who is now sharing your life. You sink, if you are unfair, if your guidance leads to pain or fear. If you are unreliable, honesty is the key.

The narrow strip between victory and failure is sometimes narrow. It requires a fine balance. As a newbie horse owner, you make mistakes,  sometimes costly ones. You might let the horse push her own mind too far, tripping you down from the leaders position. No fun. You might lead her to a situation that causes her fear, too much pressure or pain. Gaining back the trust from there, is a hard and rocky road, one that has to be walked.

Sometimes you get it right, you reach the surface again and swim. You got her motivated into learning something new, find the excitement in her.  You find the way to get her into a relaxed and open minded position. Lead her to over come a fear. You are her friend and companion, at best. Those moments are wonderful. You find a flow, not just on your own, but you share it with her. You join with that horse, and work together. This is what gets you hooked into this sport, the beauty in those moments.

Yes, I am still missing her.

Thanks to the Prompt of the day: Sink or Swim


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