Those who have been following us on social media probably already know this, but we have a pretty strong opinion about how horses should not be seen as therapist. We should not look at horses and expect them to heal us, I think this is unethical. Animals completely depend on us for their care and their well-being. We are responsible for their happiness, and we shouldn’t turn that around and expect them to be responsible for our own well-being. I would go so far in saying that that is selfish.
But I do think that mindfulness and horse training are connected and working with horses can positively impact your happiness and help you grow. But this can only happen if we drop the unrealistic healing expectations, and if we are willing to look at ourselves and if we are willing to put in the work and to dive into the discomfort of growth. To speak with the words of my mentor, if we truly become who our horses need us to be, we heal ourselves.
When training horses, when we are looking for that true connection, when we really want to help the horse to become better, happier and stronger we quickly get confronted with ourselves and our weaknesses. If we don’t work through those, we will find ourselves stuck in the training, we can’t truly be who our horses need us to be. If we open ourselves up, drop our egos and expectations and look and see the horses there is so much we can learn.
And that’s where we found the connection between mindfulness and horse training. We felt we needed to be better for our horses. We needed to be able to control our emotions in order to always work in the horse’s best interest. We needed to be more aware and present. We needed to learn more patience, drop our high expectations and not let our moods interfere with our training. And that’s when we started to look into mindfulness, we started meditation practice and started to learn more about living more mindful. And this started to pay off so fast. We became better trainers; we were able to read horses better and we actually got better results.
And then this also started to translate into our daily lives, we became happier. We were doing this for our horses and to become better at our jobs, and we never expected to see so much change in our daily lives. But we noticed we could handle stress better, we were better at communicating with others and the most important thing is we just simple learned to enjoy life more.
And as we became so much more aware while we were working with horses we started to see all the lessons that were there. There’s so much we run into with the horses that translates into lessons for our lives.
So, horses and mindfulness are connected. We can learn so much from working with horses. And so much we learn from working with our horses can help us in our daily life, in our connections with others and with ourselves. We just have to be open, aware and take the control ourselves and stop putting unrealistic healing expectations on others, especially on our horses.