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Honesty & Horses- A Few Thoughts While Flying Back from WY

As I was driving the four hours from my remote WY hideout to the Salt Lake City Airport I began composing this blog in my mind. Then as I boarded the plane for the first leg of my trip home I encountered a young family with two small children with their father relying completely on his Seeing Eye companion. As his trusted pal guided him carefully and calmly down the narrow plane aisle I felt a slight lump in my throat and started to think back to all the times that I'd felt that same feeling from horses that I had been working with.
My personality is very much "Need to see it/experience it in order to believe it." As I interact with society I am constantly stressed by the general "chaos" people accept as their lifestyle and their feelings towards this "living in the gray" to think that this level of stress is normal to have in their lives.

In my opinion many people are drawn to horses because there is a calm that the horse can offer us. The person may not realize what exactly it is that the horse is offering, but I find there is an honesty in our horses that is rare to find within people. The horses treat us with an honesty that the rest of society does not. In doing so, they wind up building a relationship with us, and because of the "safety" and "honesty" they offer us, they end up being a person's emotional outlet.

After settling in on the plane I opened the in-flight magazine and was struck by the irony with the first article I read, which was written by the Harvard Business Review and was titled "The Long Term Effects of Short-Term Emotions."

I will include the first paragraph:

"The heat of the moment is a powerful, dangerous thing. We all know this. If we're happy, we may be overly generous. If we're irritated, we may snap. But the regret- and consequences of that decision- may last years, a whole career or a lifetime. At least the regret will serve us well, right? Lesson learned- maybe."

Here people were thinking that operating in the "chaos" was the norm and that good things would result of it. For years I'd been working with people trying to clear the "gray" areas out of their relationship with their horse, and now a BUSINESS magazine was trying to do the same thing to get people to make clear black and white business decisions. Wow.

Horses tend to strive at operating within the "black and white" area and that is what allows them to survive and gain confidence in life, leading them to clarity and a calm mentally, emotionally and physically. It is unnatural for people to demand that of one another, but with horses, it's mandatory for clear communication and trust building. There is something about surrounding oneself with animals that demand honesty from us at all times that is emotionally relieving for us. I can't recall the number of times a client and their horse has struggled and persevered to reach that euphoric high from finding a clarity with their horse. Their tears tend to come flooding out soon after!

Working with the horses is rewarding to me because no matter what has happened in life their honesty never waivers. They aren't moved nor do they care about however "good or bad" our day was. They don't care if we woke up in a good or bad mood. What they do care about is the honesty that affects the quality of our communication and OUR mental availability towards them. If WE are not 100%, how can we ask our horses to be? I joke in some of my clinics about "leaving reality at the door" when a person heads out for a ride.

I believe if we treated our horses as if our life depended on it, just as the man with the seeing eye dog on the plane did, the honesty and clarity of our interaction and how we communicate with our horses would allow us to build a trusting partnership in our horses from the start…

To honesty- Sam

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