Rob Boudon / Foter / CC BY

Horses are every-day miracles.  They let us do the craziest things.  They let us jump on their backs and they carry us all over the place.  They step into boxes on wheels to travel to completely unknown destinations, possibly to never see their friends and family again.  They stand on three legs while we inspect or clean their feet, even though it's in their nature to be ready to run.

Horses stand in paddocks guarded only by fencing that they can clearly push over or jump whenever the mood takes them.  (My brother's pony used to crawl through the fence any time we were late with his dinner and I would find him helping himself to the hay shed.  Otherwise he stayed in his pen.)

They allow us to strap all manner of tack and gizmos on to their bodies.  They cross obstacles and they travel around in circles for hours with no clear idea why we find it so interesting.  Horses try hard for us at competitions even though we are wound up tighter than a cat watching birds through a glass window.

Many a generous horse tolerates beginners learning to ride and bouncing on their sensitive backs.  There are so many horses and ponies all over the world that handle children with care even though a slight jolt would send the kids flying.  (One of the ponies I leased would weave in and out of pylons regardless of what cues his little rider was giving.  He knew the exercise and the kids were beaming with their accomplishment. )

Show horses stand patiently while they are bathed and buffed to a shine.  They let people pull on their

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Foter / CC BY-ND

hair and manipulate their manes into tiny braids.  The allow their hooves to be polished and their ears to be clipped.  Yet, if you let those pretty ponies go free, the first thing they do is roll in the dirtiest spot available and rub the braids out on a fence post.

When you are feeling fed up or frustrated with your horse and you're ready to sell, or give him away or pay someone to take him off your hands remember the good things your critter does in his partnership with you and praise him.  There's something he does that's kind and generous.

Focus on the positive and build your relationship from there. You don't need a unicorn!  (If you did have a unicorn and his head got itchy and you weren't paying attention...well we don't want to think about that do we?)

What makes your horse special?  Write it in the comments!



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Photo credit: Rob Boudon / Foter / CC BY

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Comment by Heather Nelson on July 22, 2013 at 10:33am

Thanks Jackie!  You had a very special guy there.  It reminds me of my first horse, Maplestreet.  She was 4 when I got her, straight off the track.  It wasn't an ideal situation for a beginner but she taught me to ride, train and understand horses.  She is still with me and she is 26 years old now and keeps all the other horses grounded and in line.  

Comment by Jackie Cochran on July 22, 2013 at 9:47am

My first horse, Hat Tricks, was an angel from heaven.  He was a 5 year old just gelded Anglo-Arab with just 3 weeks of training when I got him as a elementary level rider.  He taught me how to ride, how to train, how to teach, how to raise kids and how to be a good human being.

I did not need an unicorn, I had Hat Tricks!

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