To find a definition of the word friend is not as simple as it might appear. Everyone’s personal perspective and opinion on just what a friend is could be very different. To some it is a word used to describe every person that they meet.
Yet to most of us it has a much deeper meaning that we reserve using only to describe those rare individuals that we have allowed to earn this lofty title which means more to us than most anything. In fact, the last definition is the one we all treasure! Is it possible to have this type of relationship with your horse? Well that is a question that only you can answer. In this article I will do my best to describe for you what my interpretation of the word friend means to your horse. After all isn’t it true that in order to have a true friend we must be one first!
Your horse has already made the first move in this journey to friendship development. How you might ask. By listening to you and not judging you or telling everyone they see your secrets. Horses are forgiving and kind and don’t care a thing about your past, how you look or how much you have or don’t have!
They accept you as you are.
How then can we return the favor to them?
Does petting on them and feeding them sugar or carrots really show your horse that you are their friend? Yes, if you want to be taken advantage of and pushed around or ignored or worse physically hurt. What are you saying Mr. Cappel? You mean to tell me that feeding treats and hugging and petting on my horse is not what my horse needs and wants? They might want you to do these things but they do not need you to do them. Do they do these things to other horses? No!! Petting and treat feeding are the human striving to gain a friendship from their perspective, not the Horse’s.
What then does the horse want? They want to be protected and they want a leader and they really really want to be allowed to feel safe and comfortable in your presence. In the Horses world there are the dynamics of the herd and their very survival depends on that.
To be the true friend to your horse means that you have done your homework and you have learned how to act like a confident leader that has proven to be the same in any situation. I mean that you have earned the trust of your horse by allowing your horse to feel the release of any pressure with every step and your horse knows where the boundaries are on each side of him and that when he stays between them that he or she will feel the peace that comes from that.
Just like in human relationships, true friends are as rare as hen’s teeth. True friends to the horse are hard to find. Are you willing to become a true friend to your horse? If you are up for this worthwhile challenge contact me to find out how.
Picture Your Ride,