1. Stand up for yourself. My chestnut mare is the boss in her herd. She doesn't let any of the other horses push her around, and when it comes to people, you earn her trust and respect, and then you can negotiate with her. These are traits we all need. I have struggled with standing up for myself, and when I'm feeling challenged, I think about Secret, my chestnut mare, and how she would handle herself in that situation.
2. Sometimes it's okay to overreact. You never know, that sparrow may be dangerous. It's better to get to a safe place and then evaluate the situation. What I've noticed in life is that many times we put on a happy face - or push our emotions to the side. My mare wears her heart and emotions on her sleeve. And sometimes those emotions may cause a reaction that's a little over the top. But you always know how she feels. By reacting to things as they happen, we can all avoid the emotional breakdown later when putting on a happy face is no longer an option.
|Riding in Pennsylvania, July 2016.|
4. It's Okay to Hide Your Head From Time to Time. When the farrier comes to trim feet, my mare hides her head under my arm for the majority of her trim. It reminds me that she is sensitive, and that we all need support from those around us.
5. Eat Every Meal Like It's Your Last. Seriously, I've never seen a horse eat the way this one can. When we are camping, I always make sure that she eats first, because she acts like it's the end of the world if another horse gets fed first. She was raised in a herd in a run-in shed. Even though food has always been plentiful, she enjoys every meal she gets. And why not?