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I’ve Been There

Today I got to share my experience with someone, who is struggling to even enjoy spending time with their horse.

I’ve been there, man…

I’ve gotten off mid ride, bawling my eyes out, because we can’t simply walk, trot, canter in a circle without a shitload of tension.

I’ve called friends and asked for advice about what I should do. Are we even the right match? Should I even be riding the horse?

I’ve avoided the barn.

I’ve yelled at my horse, “I give you everything! Everything I do is for you. Why can you just help me out?! Are we ever going to have fun together?”

I’ve “retired” my horse…twice.

I’ve made decisions I regret. Said things I shouldn’t have. Lost time that could’ve been spent more effectively.


It’s all part of the lesson.

I’m here to tell you, If you feel this… it will get better. It’s just a moment in time. You’ve just got to change your perspective. You’ve just got to find gratitude. It’s not possible to feel stress and gratitude at the same time. Even if it’s just ONE little thing.

I got some of the best advice years ago regarding my horse Kip, the one who changed it all for me. My friend Cara told me, as I called her blubbering in the phone for the 3rd time in a week: “It doesn’t matter what I think, and I’m not going to make the decision for you.” WHAT! SO ANNOYING (thank you Cara). It doesn’t matter what other people think.

Let me say it again. It doesn’t matter what people think when it comes to your relationship with your horse.

That advice helped me let go of the agenda, the perceived judgment of what others thought of our success (or lack there of), the time limit, the expectations… and really made me focus on what I wanted my experience to be with my horse. How did I want to start telling our story…

The broken kissing spines horse who can’t walk, trot, canter OR the horse who comes to me when I whistle, who loads nicely on my trailer, and who makes me smile with his pasture antics.

Ahh… the change of attitude. It’s a beautiful thing.

So if you’re feeling like you’re not getting there fast enough, not getting along with your horse, not enjoying your time… sit back and think about what IS going right, what you appreciate, what you can do in THIS moment to change how tomorrow will go… and then remind yourself that it’s okay if it doesn’t happen.

Try that over and over until happiness and gratitude is the only thing left. If you do that, you WILL have the perfect test, the clean course, and most importantly, the happy horse.

Last bit of advice:

Shake it off, literally, before you go out to the barn, shake your body like a dog getting out of water. Shake off all that old, stagnant, energy and make room for the lesson your animal is trying to teach you.


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