Ok, ok, ok, I know it sounds a little hokey,
and more than just a little like a corny 70’s song from England Dan & John Ford Coley,
“Shine on us allllll let us seeeee, love is the aaanswerr… ohhhh let it shine”
but hear me out for a little Valentine’s Day message and some important food for thought…
Don’t worry- it’s not just mushy gushy… there is science to back this up!
Ok ready for it?
If there is a secret to getting your horse to give her heart to you, this is it…
What if everything, all the techniques, and horsemanship philosophy just came down to this one basic line…
Love is the answer.
(Probably the answer for everything but let’s specifically talk about training and working with your horse.)
This is a universal truth, I don’t think you can argue this, regardless of your religion or spiritual beliefs. I am not preaching up in here. So don’t tune out when I pull out a quote from the good book. Let’s break it down.
The bible defines love as the following…
Love is patient,
love is kind…
love does not dishonor others,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs…
It always protects,
The verse says ALWAYS, not sometimes, or when I feel like doing it. (when you really think about it, none of this is too easy to be perfect at on a daily basis)
Yeah, yeah you say but “what does this have to do with my horse?”
Well, a lot.
It is the definition of the perfect relationship…
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to say,
“My horse is patient and kind, he never disrespects me, or is quick to get mad at me, and forgets about the stupid mistakes I made yesterday when riding, he always protects, trusts, never gives up hope in me and always perseveres.”
“I am patient and kind, I never dishonor my horse by force or unfair treatment, I am not quick to get mad, I forget things that have happened in the past and let it go… I always protect my horse from mental, physical or from her spirit being broken, I always trust her to do her best never give up hope and always persevere day in and day out.”
In the journey to have purpose and meaning in my life I must follow these guidelines. Sure, I don’t have to if I don’t want to.
God, nor anyone else is not forcing me, but I know, to feel fulfillment, happiness and meaning that is what I must strive to do (man, do I ever fall short, but like Paul I press on).
It’s the same with a horse.
We can’t force him or her to be a partner or to love and respect us.
We can only strive to inspire them to want to be.
The other side of this, is what love with your horse is not.
Perfect love does not mean you are a push over. It is not just spoiling them with affections, but holding them also to the standard we are holding ourselves to. The horse has to follow the same principles we do. It is just our task to teach them the guidelines. To be patient, kind, respectful, not quick to anger…
One more thing for you to treat with love. YOU!
The big book also tells us to “love our neighbors, as we love ourselves”. So, that includes drawing boundaries, asking for respect and keeping yourself safe.
So here’s the science behind this…
“Recent studies conducted by the Institute of HeartMath provide a clue to explain the bidirectional “healing” that happens when we are near horses. According to researchers, the heart has a larger electromagnetic field and higher level of intelligence than the brain:
A magnetometer can measure the heart’s energy field radiating up to 8 to 10 feet around the human body. While this is certainly significant it is perhaps more impressive that the electromagnetic field projected by the horse’s heart is five times larger than the human one (imagine a sphere-shaped field that completely surrounds you).
The horse’s electromagnetic field is also stronger than ours and can actually directly influence our own heart rhythm!
A coherent heart pattern is indicative of a system that can recover and adjust to stressful situations very efficiently. Often times, we only need to be in a horse’s presence to feel a sense of wellness and peace.
In fact, research shows that people experience many physiological benefits while interacting with horses, including lowered blood pressure and heart rate, increased levels of beta-endorphins (neurotransmitters that serve as pain suppressors), decreased stress levels, reduced feelings of anger, hostility, tension and anxiety, improved social functioning; and increased feelings of empowerment, trust, patience and self-efficacy.” source: RidingBeyond.org
Let’s all put more intentional “love” in our rides today and win our horse’s heart as we give ours.
Happy Valentines Day!!
Love you with all my heart, Jenny & my team Hippo, Charlie, Gracie, Raven, Ryan and Will
P.S. To make this actionable be sure to check out the video above for 4 ways you can start this today & you can download the slides here for easy note taking 🙂