The above bumper sticker is one that makes us horsey people smile and it adorns a bumper or two in our stable parking lot.
For non-horsey people, it may be hard to understand why horsey friends or partners are so consumed with horse ownership and spending time with their horse. I think my grandfather summed the obsession up well as he quoted Winston Churchill, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”. Of course, we need to make that old saying gender neutral because this infatuation is true of women and men.
Why do horse lovers flock to the barn to feel fulfilled and to de-stress? This is an interesting question to ask and as we look for the answer perhaps we will discover a hidden truth of what horse ownership brings to horse-loving friends and family.
The horse/human relationship is a non-verbal communication, which takes us away from the “noise” of our daily activities and includes a body language and an awareness of living in the moment. In a successful partnership, that every horse owner strives to create with their horse, they learn how important leadership is and how to gain respect, love, and safety in return for learning to effectively speak the non-verbal language of the horse. It is enriching to know that without words you can achieve such a partnership. Equally as important is that time spent with a horse is all about living in the present and being aware of what is happening at a moment in time. Horses teach us to daily assess what is happening, to problem solve and concentrate on what is important right now whether the problem is with the horse or with ourselves.
Submitted by Janice Ecclestone,
Inukshuk Farm, Selwyn