In the middle of February amid the bitter cold, the darkness and mud, there is a lot to dislike about having horses and it can be difficult at times to remember why we love having them in our lives! Valentine's Day, a day of love, is maybe a timely opportunity to remember the good bits and what drew us to horses in the first place ....
1. Horses are the best form of therapy money can buy
Those quiet times, you know, when it's just you and your horse - maybe you're out hacking in the sunshine, taking in the gorgeous scenery, chatting away and baring your soul or perhaps you're just standing in the stable with him, grooming while he munches on hay - these are the moments that 'feed' us, that bring clarity and grounding. Our mostly silent equine friends offer us time to unwind, connect (with ourselves as well as with them) and make sense of the thoughts that have been racing around our heads all day.
2. Horses teach us HUGE life lessons
Over and above purely learning about how to take care of another living creature and keeping them alive, if we watch and listen to our horses, they can teach us so much more. Patience is the first thing that comes to mind and if it's not a quality you hold before having horses, you'll have to develop some pretty quickly if you want to a have a succssful relationship with your horse! Trust is another enormous trait you develop through owning and looking after horses. Half a ton of horse can do you a lot of damage if it wants to and to have a respectful relationship with your horse requires trust from both sides.
3. Horses give us focus and responsibility
Having any dependent, equine or otherwise, forces you to get up regardless of how you're feeling and ensure that their needs are taken care of. Unlike your children or your dog however, your horse doesn't live in your house! On the days when you just can't be bothered or the weather is rubbish or you're feeling under the weather, your horse requires of you to turn up and make sure they're taken care of. It might not seem it at the time, but having the responsibility of horses prevents us from becoming lazy, bored or idol.
4. Horses are beautiful and inspire us everyday
There's no getting away from the fact that horses are stunning creatures to look at and their movement and poise have inspired some of the greatest works of art humankind has ever made. Just watching them grazing as a herd, communicating with one another through their body language is an amazing thing to watch. When you take the time to really watch them, their beauty, the peacefulness of watching them together and the simplicity of their lives always puts things in perspective for me and inspires me to do better.
I'd love to hear what it is YOU love about horses - is it the freedom they give you riding on their backs? Is it that smell as you walk in the barn? Is it the thrill of tackling a big XC fence together? Whatever it is, I'd love to hear it!
KAEquestrian on YouTube