Working with young and green horses through the decades has taught me a lot, and although I’m certainly thankful for the practical skills I’ve gained, I’m even more grateful for the the life-lessons they’ve unwittingly passed on to me. In a few hours, my oldest baby-greenie turns a whole five years old (!) and as I reminisced tonight over his growth — a little teary-eyed, truth-be-told — I realised that there were ten priceless things he and my other youngsters taught me:
1. Humility. It’s difficult to be prideful when you’re sitting in the dirt on your butt thanks to a series of unscheduled, and very athletic, airs-above-ground.
2. Humor. Sometimes all you can do is laugh about whatever situation you’re in.
3. Flexibility. Come to a young horse with a plan, and watch how quickly they’ll make you change it.
4. Flexibility. Working with babies sometimes requires a great deal of physical maneuvering — evasive and otherwise. Yoga helps.
5. Vision. Look at life as a series of potentialities! Not every rough rock produces a diamond . . . many of them produce sapphires, opals, emeralds, and all manner of things much more colorful and precious.
6. Kindness. Be kind to your fellow travelers on this mortal coil; we all need it — animal and human, alike.
7. Patience. We wait for them to be born, we wait for them to nurse, to walk, and to poo, we wait for them to learn to tie, lead, and be saddled …
8. Appreciation. Because mastering even the “simplest” skill can be a giant step forward in a young horse’s development.
9. Endurance. Even when things seem impossible, stick with it, they will get better.
10. Wonderment. Ever watch foals interact with their world? Everything is new, amazing, and wonderful in their eyes. I try to keep a bit of that wonderment with me everyday.
So that’s my ten things. What are yours? How have horses enriched your life? Feel free to share your list!
– Piaffe Girl