At first, I wanted to say that your horse is your therapist. Let's face it - there are equine assisted therapy programs sprouting up rapidly these days, and for good reason. Interacting with horses really do teach people many things about themselves.
But then I realized horses do more than just that.
If you're lucky enough to have horses in your life on a regular basis, you will know that horses create opportunities that develop a person in every way possible. It's not just about the mental/emotional aspects, although those are certainly key areas that develop thanks to the horses. It's about everything.
So I considered the possibility that horses are more like life coaches. Life coaches help a person with every aspect of their lives - professional, physical, and personal goals. The list can be endless.
Yes, horses will help you understand and improve more aspects about yourself than you could ever imagine.
If you're lucky enough to have a horse in your life, you will likely have examples of many of the following ways a horse can help you on your path toward self-improvement and growth:
- Gives a great hug (makes a great companion)
- Helps you focus on something NOW (takes your mind off everything else for a couple of hours)
- Gets you walking - in mud, dirt, gravel, sand (who gets to walk in sand on a regular basis?)
- Calms you down (as you pet/brush him)
- Kissable any time (!!)
- Improves core stability and balance
- Gives opportunity for weight lifting (carrying buckets and saddles)
- Helps you find like-minded friends
- Improves fine motor skills (buckles and more)
- Builds self-awareness (physical and emotional)
- Encourages life-long learning (and humility)
- Develops leadership skills
- Is the reason for life-changing opportunities (horse events, shows, rides, performances)
- Creates confidence (doing things you never thought you could)
- Encourages responsibility (take care of your horse first)
- Listens (for as long as you need to talk)
- Pushes you past your fears (keep working on personal bests)
- Teaches you to take feedback/advice from others
- Develops your perseverance and the satisfaction of a job well done
- Shares the natural world with you (on the trails, in the pasture)
- Invites quietness and reflection
- Teaches body language
- Is the reason behind setting lifelong dreams and goals - and helps you fulfill them
How has your horse enriched your life and taught you something about yourself? Comment below.
Finally! The Ultimate Rider-Centered Program!
Ready for something completely different? If you liked what you read here, you might be interested in the new Horse Listening Practice Sessions.
This is NOT a program where you watch other people's riding lessons. Start working with your horse from Day 1.
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2016 was our fifth anniversary! In celebration, we put together the best of the best into one beautiful little book.
We're commemorating the event by compiling the top 20 most popular articles from the blog, covering topics such as:
- rider position (hands, seat, legs, elbows, upper body)
- improvement of the rider's aids (kicking, inside rein, outside rein)
- and more!
Read more here:
17 Wise Reflections - Straight From The Horse's Mouth! My horse, Annahi, is full of words of wisdom for those horses around her who are willing to listen.
Eight Legs Plus Two: A poem.
42 Ways to Learn, Play and Grow With Your Horse: Horses give to us in countless ways. We play, learn and grow with them, making horseback riding not merely a sport (which it truly is, like no other), but so much more.
Good Day For A Little Horseplay: Snort, snort, snort, SNORT! My gelding couldn’t tell me in any clearer terms how much he was enjoying the moment.
The Top 8 Perks of Horse Keeping: Here are a few positives that keep us going when everyone else is enjoying their leisure time.