Showing You Care

  Happy Valentine's Day to all of the Pure Horse Sense readers!

  Valentine's Day is a special time of the year where the whole day is dedicated to showing your love to those you care about. Whether they are human or equine, today is a great time to spread the love.

  As horse people, our horses can be one of (if not the most) the most important things in our lives. Because our passion involves trust and respect, there is a true unique bond that is formed between a horse and a rider.

  Now you could buy your horse all of the treats in the world or some new tack, but in the end it really just benefits you more than the horse. What I mean is, although they will enjoy all the treats, they much prefer the emotional connection and time you spend with them. Horses pick up on our emotions a lot easier that most of us realise. They become our mirrors. There is a difference in the way we feel between being with them for a few minutes feeding them carrots and going on a trail ride for hours. Although we might love them just the same, taking the time to just enjoy each other's company without rushing and without distractions is important.

  If you're not a huge fan of trail riding, why not try natural horsemanship? Though it has become quite popular in the last few years, natural horsemanship promotes a strong bond and a more clear form of communication.

  I found this video last week that I thought would be nice to show. You can clearly see the relationship between the trainer and the horse. You can tell that the horse is enjoying himself and kind of playing along with the trainer. Although the man may be trying to train the horse, it's done without being forceful. The trainer is teaching the horse to trust him and to acknowledge that he is the leader in the relationship.

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svhlXhyO3Nk

  What I would you to take from the video is that if you spend enough quality time with your horse, you can gain a relationship just as great (if not even better) than that one. If you look at the video objectively, what he was getting the horse to do was not extremely difficult. What makes it amazing to watch is to see how much of a connection this horse and trainer have. I'm not saying that anyone could just go out into a cross-country field and lunge their horse over a few obstacles with ease. I'm saying that, if you are persistent and you honestly put in the time, you can work your way up to be able to do things like this.

  So, if you don't have any plans tonight, why not go visit your horse and spend some time with him. I'm sure he'd be happy to see you and would love the company.

  Thank you for reading Pure Horse Sense and I wish you all a wonderful Valentine's Day.

  Until next time, happy riding!

Simplicity

  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!