One of the things I see missing most when people talk about the horse-human relationship, whether they specifically mention that term or are talking about anything concerning horses and humans, is an understanding of what relationship is really about.  Most of the time, people focus on training a horse to do a certain task – stand still, move, trailer load, change lead, you name it – without recognizing that everything we do with a horse revolves around the relationship we have with our horse.

As I tell my clients and clinic participants, the relationship you have with your horse is similar to every other relationship you have.  A horse is not a human, and a human is not a horse.  But in our culture, we equate not being a human to being something less than ourselves, something that can’t possibly truly understand what relationship is and means.  We are wrong in that assumption and the sooner we let that idea go, the sooner we can open ourselves up to a better relationship with our horses.

Take a look at horses in a herd.  They are constantly engaged in relationship, such as grooming behaviors like the one in this photo of gentled Mustangs.  If you look at wild Mustang herds, for example, you’ll find that horses live in familial relationships as well as friendship-based bands (bachelor stallions who don’t have their own family yet).

Relationship is something that is natural, and it is something that horses want.  As humans, we need to acknowledge that and work harder at developing a real relationship with our horse.  How do we do that?  Well, that’s something I’ll be exploring more in my blog at The Horse-Human Relationship.  Some of the concepts that I’ll be exploring include the concepts of balance, center and connection; our “conversation” with horses when we ride;  mindfulness; understanding what boundaries really are all about and how to establish them; learning what “feel” is and how it relates to you and your horse; and much, much more.

For the horses,


Copyright Joanne (Jo) L. Belasco, Esq.  May not be reproduced without express written permission.  Visit to read more entries by Jo.

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Comment by Jo Belasco on February 14, 2011 at 8:27am
Thanks, Vicki!
Comment by Vicki Holmes on February 13, 2011 at 7:00pm

Thank you Jo. I enjoy reading about our relationships with horses.


Comment by Jo Belasco on February 11, 2011 at 5:39pm
Thanks, Jackie.  I have an article about that issue that my nonprofit posted on its horse blog awhile back.  I'm hoping to get it redone a bit and posted as a blog and maybe a video as well.  :-)
Comment by Jackie Cochran on February 11, 2011 at 5:35pm

I really appreciated the posting on your site about the fact that horses do not see us as predators. 

Keep up the good work.


Comment by Jo Belasco on February 11, 2011 at 5:28pm
Thanks, Cyndi.  I appreciate it.  :-)
Comment by Cyndi on February 11, 2011 at 3:28pm
I'm always interested in learning more about relationships with our horses.  I've got your blog bookmarked and will check it out regularly.

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