Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Howdy Friends,

Do you approach your horse wearing your expectations on your sleeve? Sometimes it's hard not to, and in fact sometimes it's the right thing to do. For without expectations there can be no results, right?

What if we think about our expectations from the horse's point of view? Would we see ourselves in a different light? Expectations to some are goals, to others dreams, to still others demands. Expectations, I think, are best when used as gentle guidelines.
Kessy and me having no expectations
It is wholly correct to expect our horses to be polite and respectful, as long as we are too. In our day to day relationship with our horses many things go unsaid, they simply happen. Waiting politely to go through a gait, walking quietly beside us, standing while saddling, mounting, trimming hooves, these are routine and expectations that have become learned, practiced and … expected. They are part of politeness.

There exists another world of expectations, those when we pursue our chosen activities with our horses. Things we need to learn together, whatever they may be, trail riding, showing, dressage, barrel racing, the things we might love to do, they may be the reason we love horses. There will be expectations as you learn to be a team together. Even if your horse did these things before you knew her, you'll both have expectations. If it is new to your horse, or you, you'll both have expectations.

Horses see, feel and hear expectations differently than we do. If we wear our expectations on our sleeve, our horse will see them as confusing demands. It will be difficult for her to relax and understand. When we allow our expectations to drive our thoughts and actions, the horse cannot feel the tiny intricacies that make up the whole picture leading to the outcome we seek.

Our horses need us to keep our expectations as part of the whole, not the main focus. If we see our goal as part of the picture, and also see and feel the tiny steps required to get there, the picture we paint for our horse will be crystal clear. Our expectations will become theirs too.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Heny

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