Trusting your horse can help you trust other people believe it or not. Once you start building a relationship with your horse it’s going to become easier to build relationships outside of your favorite equestrian. You learn how far to push it and when to stop. This is helpful in relationships outside of horses because you begin to learn the signs of when enough is enough. When you work with horses you have to watch them. If you don’t watch them and understand them then you aren’t going to be able to understand what they are trying to tell you and therefore, you will probably fall apart in your lesson. Your horse is trusting you to listen to them. In relationships that aren’t with horses you have to do the same thing. Whether it’s your significant other, best friend, or even your parents they are trusting you to listen. Once you start learning how to do that with your horse, listening and how to trust will be like second nature.
With Cutter it was always his eyes. It truly is amazing to really watch a horse and pick up their responses. When we were trying to get Cutter in the trailer we always watched his eyes. The second his eyes got huge and the white parts of his eyes (I’m not sure what the actual name is… oops, anatomy is next semester…) started to come through, I knew that the next thing he was going to do was going to be his reaction to the situation. Most of the time that consisted of a rear and flipping over… It was a long process to say the least. The most important part was beginning to gain his trust. When I started listening to him and understanding what he was trying to tell me I could understand his pain. He began to trust me as I began to learn him better. Ground work was the key. Even the stupidest thing. We have an indoor arena and I played the game where I would set barrels up in the arena and run behind each one with a treat, waiting for Cutter to find me. When he did, it was nothing but praise and reward. Through this “game” he began to realize that I wasn’t a threat and communicating with him started to become that much easier. He trusted me and I trusted him to listen to me when I was asking for something. Eventually he got in the trailer… a year later… but it was a great process for the both of us. I think gaining that trust with him made the world of difference for the both of us. Trust is an invaluable thing to have!
The Modern Equestrian