Saturday, October 27, 2012

Love or Respect?

Everyone dreams of having a beautiful and loving relationship with their horse. I recently saw a post by a very renowned horse trainer regarding "touching your horse's soul" and not basing the relationship on merely respect. 

I have seen many horse owners (in and out of my barn) attempt this and then at the end have a horse that they are affectionately bonded to and is overly anthropomorphisized but has utter disrespect for their owner and other humans (not vicious, just disrespectful). 

When push comes to shove a human is a human, a dog is a dog and a horse is a horse. If I treat a dog like a horse and then a horse like a human it is bound to be just as disrespectful to the animal as if I treat a human like a dog. We all have unique needs as species. 

A relationship with a horse is more like a marriage than a teenage romance. Young romance is merely puppy love - they touch each other's souls as first loves but they have no respect for the person or the bigger picture. A marriage is 30% adoration, love and soul searching, 60% respect and the ability to accomplish goals together and 10% the inability to live without the other. 

Love can grow out of respect but respect cannot grow out of love. 

... and when it comes to horses, the absence of respect (whether horse or human) is incredibly dangerous.

Be careful just how idealistic you are because the best of dreams can easily become nightmares.