Though going to competitions every weekend to add more ribbons to your collection is fun, that isn't truly what makes our sport worthwhile. The beauty of our sport is that two hearts come together to form a team that becomes almost unbreakable. We develop a different form of communication other than words to get our messages across. Both horse and rider learn each other inside and out and they become another part of themselves.
With many competitions and our day to day lives, sometimes we tend to forget just how special our sport is. It's not just a sport, it's a passion and it's a lifestyle. So sometimes we need to be reminded of this and step back to enjoy the privileges we have been given to be able to live with these amazing animals.
Spending time around the barn brushing your horse or watching a herd graze in a paddock is a good way to step back and admire their simplicity and power. I always enjoy watching a herd in a field communicating with each other. I've learned a lot by just taking the time to watch them and understand their language. Seeing how they react and picking up on their subtle gestures has taught me just how sensitive yet powerful the equine species is.
Having a strong bond with a horse is an exceptional gift for any rider. Though some of that relationship may come naturally, most of it is something you need to work on to develop. This doesn't just mean practising in a ring, but outside the ring as well. Spending time getting to know each other until you can communicate to each other just by "knowing" as if almost instinctual. These things only come with time, patience and the desire to learn.
When working with horses, whether it is training, competing or just riding, it should always be for the love of the animal and nothing else. It shouldn't be for fame, social status or money. You should be involved in this world because you want to and because you want to do what is best for the horse. You should be willing to get your hands dirty and to spend time with them for most part of everyday. You shouldn't expect someone to brush and train your horse or expect your horse to understand your language. A true horseman or horsewoman is willing to put in the hours, to get a little dirty and try to improve their communication skills with their horses everyday.
So take the time to enjoy the little, simple things and enjoy your time together. Your relationship will only grow stronger and you'll realise just how grateful your are for having such a wonderful opportunity to experience all the horse has to offer.
Thank you for reading this blog entry and I hope you are all doing well. I wish you all the best with spending more time with your horses.
Until next time, happy riding!