It’s NOT normal for a horse to be spooky.
It’s NOT normal for a horse to be pulling on your hands when you ride.
It’s NOT normal for a horse to be tense around their saddling and it’s sure as heck not normal for them to bite when you do the girth up.
It’s NOT normal for a horse to play up when you ride away from home.
It’s NOT normal for a horse to make themselves sick with separation anxiety.
It’s NOT normal for a horse pull on your lead rope, leap and jump around or drag you around when you lead them somewhere.
It’s NOT normal to have to wrestle a bridle on, or spend minutes trying to convince a horse to open their mouth for the bit.
It’s NOT normal to have a nervous horse on a float.
It’s NOT normal to have a horse worried about picking their feet up.
These things might be COMMON – but they’re NOT normal – they shouldn’t be happening – they are a symptom of a horse’s fear and they are a symptom of us not knowing how to fix it.
Biggest of all… These fears and tensions of all these things and more that I haven’t thought of – they don’t suddenly vanish when you throw your leg over the saddle – they are right there, lurking in the background, ready to bite you on the butt – as soon as anything goes wrong.
Fear and tension and resistance are cumulative – each fear and tension and resistance adds on to the next until you have a spooky horse who shouldn’t be spooky, until a horse is reacting adversely to things that shouldn’t bother it – even exploding – until even a good rider’s confidence is shaken.
I can’t tell you how many emails I get from people telling me about old accidents where they got hurt and how often I hear that it “came out of the blue.” I’m telling you right now that IT DIDN’T come out of the blue. Out of hundreds of emails, maybe one or two really came out of the blue – all the others I could have predicted as accidents waiting to happen.
Fixing any of these issues with stronger gear is an admission of failure.
Writing this article I found myself holding my head in my hands and rubbing my face with frustration and having momentary tears at all these people and all these horses feeling crappy unnecessarily.
Having horses isn’t supposed to feel like that.
Having horses – riding these glorious creatures is supposed to be an act of reverence for the beauty of their soul, it’s supposed to be peaceful and fun and even exciting.
But it can’t be all those good things while ever that crappy list above is happening. You have gotta fix these things folks.
If you think you don’t have the time to commit to the year long Fast Track program, then don’t settle for crap – DO SOMETHING ELSE ABOUT IT. Pick up 10 private lessons that you can have live or video, 10 makes them really cheap (you could transform your life with your horse in 10 weeks) – look at the Ease and Grace program – even find another teacher that has reverence for the amazing beings that our horses are (ONLY a teacher that has reverence for horses) . But WHATEVER you choose…
Just save me sitting here in tears reading about yet another person who has been hurt who didn’t have to be, on a horse who shouldn’t have been so afraid.
Fast Track to Brilliant Riding – for a combination of a beautiful, super empathetic and connected riding seat, real confidence for horse and rider, a deep spiritual connection between horse and rider and VERY practical effective results.