I had a proud moment the other day, and I think it’s worth sharing because,to me, these two epitomise why I work with horses.
So my ten year old client went to his first ODE last weekend, and with a bit of knowledge from his Mum, I asked him to tell me about the day. He was pleased with his dressage test but thought his serpentine loops weren’t very even. He was pleased with his clear showjumping round. Cross country went well, he told me, until he approached the ditch at a funny angle. His pony ran out so he got angry and quickly retried, but on a bad line so they got another run out. Then my client got his act together and gave his pony the best opportunity to jump the ditch. The rest of the round was successful.
Now it doesn’t sound like much, except for a mature and fair evaluation by a ten year old. But what I liked was that the pony wasn’t blamed in the slightest: my rider took full responsibility for his error. Afterwards, he hotly defended his pony when he heard that the commentators had called the pony naughty – “but he’s not naughty, he jumped everything really well.” One of the professional photos they bought shows my rider enthusiastically patting and praising his pony through the water, a weak area in the past. Yes they wanted to win that competition, but they thoroughly enjoyed themselves having a go.
So what can we all learn from these two? The simple fact that we should love and appreciate our horses all the time. And value our relationship with them.
And enjoy every moment we share with them. Thankfully I get this reminder whenever I see them; this boy throws his arms around his pony’s neck at any opportunity and has a permanent grin on his face. It’s total adoration and it makes me so happy to see someone riding and spending time with their pony for the simple reason that they enjoy their company and love them. Everything else is a bonus.
I think we can all learn a lesson from them when we get caught up in the stress of life, success and failure. Love your horse and just enjoy them.