We made it to 2014 and this is the first post of the year. In the spirit of the beginning of new things, there will be a post called Beginnings as the first post of each month. Beginnings will be posts dedicated to the beginnings of many topics in the equine world.
So this will not only be the first post of the year, but also the first post of the Beginnings
. So without further ado, here is the Beginnings of horses.
If you're new to horses, you may not know what makes the horse such a great animal. Though they have the stereotype of being a "pretty pony", they aren't really that at all. Sure they are beautiful, elegant and gentle, but they are also strong and stubborn.
Because they are a prey animal, they don't realise that they are stronger than you and I. They don't understand how much damage they can cause us which is why it's always good to be careful and aware around a horse. They won't try to hurt us to be mean, but will react out of instinct to their situation and then think about it later.
You have to remember that most of what we ask a horse to do is unnatural to them. It takes great trust for them to allow a predator to lock them up in a box or climb up on their back and know that they will be safe.
Once that fear goes away, a horse often becomes curious. That's why some people believe that the term being nosey came from the horse. They often will put their noses into everything out of curiosity to figure out why it was so scary in the first place.
A horse will always test you. Like they would do in a herd, a lower horse will always test to see if the higher horse is still fit to be in his position. That means that a pushy horse isn't being mean, but testing you and you need to make sure that he knows you're still in charge. They don't take things personally so don't worry about hurting a horse's feelings. They are just looking to see if you are still worthy of their trust, respect and loyalty.
There's nothing more rewarding than building a strong relationship with a horse. Whether you're on the ground or in the saddle, both of you become one. You learn each other's quirks and learn what the other is planning on doing before they do it. A horse is an animal that picks up on emotion and vibes very easily and he will act accordingly. If you are nervous, so will your horse because he will be thinking that something around you is dangerous and that is making you nervous. Same goes for the rider. The more you're around horses, the more you learn to understand their language. It isn't so much of a language you can see as much as one you can feel. A good horse person is sensitive to all the feelings around them and knows how to deal with them accordingly.
If you're new to horses, make sure you have an experienced horse person around with you until you are comfortable and know enough to stay safe. Horseback riding is not just a rewarding sport, but a passion as well. Just like everything though, being unaware can get you in trouble especially at a barn.
So that is it for this week, I wish you all a wonderful weekend and all the best with your equine endeavours for this year.
Until next time, happy riding!