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Don't take it personal

Taking things personal is something we tend to do all the time. With other people and with horses, it can be a real challenge to stop yourself from doing so. It can however make life so much easier to train yourself to not take things personal.

This is definitely a lesson I learned from working with horses and later translated to my personal life. And in all honesty in my personal life I can still find this difficult at times. But back to horses. Taking things personal can make training or working with your horse much heavier and more intense than it need to be. Yet it’s something I see so often; people get upset that their horse doesn’t do what they asked. They see it as my horse doesn’t love me enough to do that for me. A horse will challenge them, and they think the horse doesn’t like them. So, let’s start with debunking that myth. A horse doesn’t do things for you because it loves you so much. They will not refuse things because they don’t like you. A horse doesn’t cross the scary creek out of love. A horse doesn’t relax in the new arena because they like you so much and a horse will not challenge you because they hate you. It’s not personal. It’s survival instinct from a prey animal. It’s their instincts that will make them not cross that creek, it’s their instincts that will make them nervous in that new arena and it’s their instincts that make them challenge you. So, it’s their instincts that we need to address. We need to take out the like, love, hate and we need to understand that all they are doing is trying to survive. Stop feeling frustrated, hurt or disappointed. Instead accept their challenge and show them that we can be trusted to keep them alive.

We need to grow above overcomplicating our relationship with horses and address their true needs. We need to work on showing them we are strong, fair and kind leaders that will keep them safe. We need to take on their challenge time after time and proof ourselves as their leader. Once a horse knows you are up to the task of keeping them safe, they will cross the scary creek, you can relax them in that new arena, and they will challenge you less and less. And all of that has nothing to do with love, like or hate.

So, it wasn’t about you personally, it wasn’t about liking you or loving you enough, it was their instinct. It was something from within themselves. If we now take this lesson into our personal life. What if the grouchy goodmorning from your boyfriend this morning wasn’t about you but was simply coming from a bad night’s sleep. What if your friend not answering your text wasn’t about you but was simply because they were too busy with their own problems? What if your boss’s bad mood yesterday wasn’t because you underperformed but they were distracted with their own stress? What if we look at the last month and think back to all the little situations involving others that made us feel bad about ourselves and change the situation into it wasn’t about you. This will give you a much better feeling and is most likely true. We need to simply be less “selfish” and stop thinking everything is about us.


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