The question:Emotional horse, emotional rider?

The one thing I have noticed ….. when working with the horses, you don’t show any outward emotion. All your actions are non offensive even when you are pushing them away or driving them. This is the part I struggle with when I work with my own horses, I get emotionally charged and they know it, I take any disrespect personally and I show way too much emotion. When I help out others I can be much calmer as I don’t have that emotional connection to their horse. Weird, I know. Any tips?

Actually I don’t think it is weird at all.

If you know that being calmer tends to work better…why would you not ‘be calm’ when it is needed the most…with your own horse? The answer may vary from person to person but one reason I see over and over is that we think OUR horse is a reflection of us.

If we are handling ‘someone else’s’ horse and things aren’t going well, it is easier to keep from being emotional….it is less likely that people will think less of you if it doesn’t go well.

It is tough to be connected and not think that the ‘connection’ automatically causes that horse to be a direct reflection of you.

What if instead of your horse we said you had this same reaction with your kids or your spouse? I know that personally it was hard for me earlier in my marriage when my husband and I had different thoughts on a subject. I would get emotional because it seemed like his thought (which I disagreed with) would reflect poorly on me…after all, he is my husband.

Learning to accept that each one of us, horse or human, is unique…and that is a good thing….has been a wonderful life lesson. Difficult at times when they challenge me. Rewarding when I grow from the challenge.

And the real lesson for me is that my reaction to the differences or difficulties says more about me than it does about them.

As I have grown I am thankful that I found this ‘balance’ early on with my horses. And I am thankful that I am finding that balance now in my ‘people’ relationships.

Jesse and Stacy Westfall

Jesse and Stacy Westfall