The Relationship

The Relationship.
The Relationship.

Dr. Deb made a very important comment in one of the talks I listened to today. Though I KNOW this innately and tell myself this often I felt it was important enough to write it down. The end result must never overshadow the RELATIONSHIP that we have with our horse.  Dr. Deb talked about how very talented her horse Ollie is becoming as he matures into himself and learns how to use his body. She said that even though he is showing such great talent it is not important for her to use that talent in a competitive way.

Though I have no designs on showing Billy, sometimes I do think about doing demos and sharing him with a broader audience. What do you think happens when those thoughts sneak in? Stress, anxiety, frustration. All these creep into our sessions. Lately our sessions have been angst filled enough, without adding to them grand ideas of what could be. Not only is that vision not supporting our journey right now, it shows that I’m not in the moment with my horse and feeling OF him.

I was listening to a wonderful little talk by Karen Rohlf and she said something that really resonated with  me…  she does not expect her horse to make her happy. It’s up to HER to make herself happy. To put that all on her horse is to expect an awful lot from him. That really got me thinking. I’m certain that I do that. I have learned that my husband can not make me happy so why would I expect that my horse can? And if he is having a hard time feeling confident with me as a leader, why would I get emotional and allow that to color our next session? Of course, I wouldn’t. If I was aware of it.

So now that I’m more aware of it, I will think about how to change it and just feel my way through my next session with Billy.

Today’s session was interesting and had me thinking quite a bit. Thinking during the session takes up too much time and keeps Billy feeling anxious or unconfident for too long while I try to work things out in my mind. Granted I do that because I don’t want to do the wrong thing and somehow make it worse. So it comes from a good place. I just need to think less and feel more.

It was a very good session that ended in a sweet way with Billy laying down to take a nap in the playground with me sitting nearby on a rail. Just being there for him while he slept.  Him snoring and chasing goats in his dreams, me freezing on the cold snowy ground. But it was worth it. It’s something I used to do at the arena all the time. Lay around in the sandy arena while he napped near by, snoring and running in his dreams. I’ve let that part of our relationship slide and I believe it’s important to Billy that I pick it back up and act like his partner in this way. I suppose the road to being a better horseman looks different for everyone, depending on their horse. If you are watching mine, you’ll see me laying around the pasture while Billy dreams beside me. I just hope the sun is shining!


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