Being a horsewoman/horseman is not a specific discipline (like jumping, dressage, or reining), it’s a way. A way of thinking about and approaching horses in all situations and disciplines. It involves developing partnership, understanding and clear communication with the horse as a priority before adding challenges to the relationship like competition or personal goals. The Horse’s mental, emotional and physical well being comes first.
Horsewomen/men are interested in and study all areas aspects of the horse, not just training and riding. They learn in depth about how to feed and care for horses. The importance of healthy movement, hoof care, the digestive system, physical rehab, and what horses need to be mentally happy and healthy.
They are not committed to only one way of looking at things or training/teaching a particular horse or student. They strive to learn many different systems and techniques and take the best knowledge from each that applies. They are open minded and will always try to look at and connect to the “big picture”.
A horsewoman/man always puts the horse first, not their own goals, ego, and expectations. They stand against abuse and measures of extreme force or pressure in training.
They love the process and not just the final result. It is the journey that really matters and they take joy in seeing small changes and improvements in horses and people, because they know each little success leads to something amazing built over time.
A true horsewoman/man does not come from a place of judgment. They support fellow horse lovers and instructors. They are passionate about continuing education and personal growth. They believe there is something to be learned in every situation. They believe that you never “arrive” at a place of “all knowing” or ever stop learning and being a student.
They know how to set goals and boundaries for themselves and make time to focus on what is most important to them, their horses, students, and in personal life.
Horsewomen/men strive to not get emotionally involved or angry when things go wrong with a horse and work hard not to project their own emotions, goals, ego, and thoughts onto a horse (or student).
Most importantly, horsewomen and men make mistakes (lot’s of them) but they try to learn from each one and use them as valuable information on how to be better in the future. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about things falling apart and still getting up each day and striving to improve and be better, some days you are, some days you aren’t, but you keep learning.
Horsewomen/men are leaders, they inspire others to think differently, learn and grow, but they are also, always, eternal students of the horse.