Sitting down to write a post for this week and I still have many questions people have sent in that I will respond to over the next weeks.
However, one thing that stands out in all these posts is how much we all love our horses.
And in contrast, how little we seem to love ourselves.
I think I should explain this a bit.
Almost every person who has contacted me about this blog, and about horses and confidence in general, feels a strong emotional connection with their horse. They will go to great lengths to keep their horse safe, comfortable, healthy – and invest their time and money in this in many ways: field maintenance, vet bills, chiro and physio visits, attending clinics to be a better human for their horse.
However, many of the people I work with and talk to every day spend FAR less time, money and effort on caring for themselves.
I don’t mean they don’t look after themselves physically – but rather they seem to feel that spending time and money on their own emotional wellbeing is not worthwhile, they do not deserve it – or they should be spending that time and money on other things.
In one way this is admirable – putting your horse above yourself is a good trait. Our care and concern for our horses is a key part of who we are.
But what happens when we don’t take as much care of ourselves?
When we don’t care for ourselves – and I mean love and care for our own emotional wellbeing – then things can get out of balance and, in fact, end up being bad for our horses.
I have often heard “I am letting my horse down”, “I am not good enough for my horse” or “I shouldn’t have horses”. Sometimes it’s “I have no right to do anything with my horses, they are happy enough out there in the field so why should I interrupt them?”
I do believe we all think these things now and again – when we have a bad day, or when things don’t go as well as we hoped – that is normal—however, if we are thinking this constantly it can be very bad for our confidence and our horses.
I see horses left in the field, with little or no human interaction, because their human feels “unworthy” or “unable” to spend time with them.
Whilst I am sure a horse is just fine hanging out in the field with other equine companions, and in fact my horses can be left for weeks at a time with just each other for company apart from the daily checks and the hay being thrown over the fence – I also feel that when we do not spend time with our horses we are missing a huge opportunity – for ourselves AND for them.
A horseman I respect once gave me his perspective on why horses and humans are so good for each other. In his view it’s all about how the souls of the two creatures interact.
The human soul is very future focused, analytical, rational – the capacity to plan and think things through – and when we connect with a horse, the horse gains access to these aspects of soul and therefore is enhanced and benefited by the connection. In return, the horse’s soul is very anchored in the here and now, the “being” side of living – and this is what we humans get from our connections with our equine partners. Both of us, horse and human, have our souls enhanced and enriched by the connection.
Whether you agree with this or not, the fact is that both horses AND humans benefit from the connection, and when we feel unworthy we are depriving our horses AND ourselves of some great joys and pleasure through the connection.
So what happens when we don’t value ourselves enough?
– We start thinking we are annoying our horses with our requests and time with them
– We start thinking we are not good enough for our horses
– We start questioning our abilities
– Our confidence goes down
– So we spend even less time with our horses
And a spiral begins that can be hard to get out of.
When we DO love and value ourselves – what happens?
– We head out to our horse happy and full of excitement
– Our horse feels this positive vibe and responds in kind
– Connection is easy
– We take time to have coaching and learning for ourselves – becoming better humans and so able to offer more to our horses
– We learn more about ourselves – which is often the key to confidence
So here is something to think about:
How much do you value yourself?
What IS good about yourself?
What would happen if you allowed yourself to love yourself as much as you love your horse?
How can you invest as much time and effort in YOURSELF as you do in your horse – to help both of you become the partners you DESERVE to be?
Yours, in confidence