When I Ride…

Those hard to love are our greatest teachers…

Heart of stone


“I must not forget to thank the difficult horses, who made my life miserable, but were better teachers than the well-behaved school horses who raised no problems.”

– Alois Podhaisky

” In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.”

– Dalai Lama

If Mr. Brown, our big brown ranch gelding, had never tried to buck me off, I would probably never have learned or cared about changing a horse’s behavior.

I was 6 or 7 and finished with riding Dotty, our Shetland Pony. I loved her and had learned so much but I was all about riding the BIG horse now.

Once I had mastered the walk on him, bareback, I was ready to go faster. The trot was too painful. My God! Those withers were going to cut me in half! I knew the lope would be easier and wouldn’t you know he just humped up once and off I went.

Well, that won’t do. Out came the saddle. I kicked and kicked with all my might to get him into a lope. There came the hump but I was ready for him and pulled his head around and up. Everytime he tried it, I pulled on his head. He had on a mechanical hackamore and it was pure grace that my little manuever worked, but finally he quit trying.

I was a horse trainer. The rest is history.

People who buck are usually kind-hearted but in the habit of bucking when you ask them to lope. It’s easy to love people who are loveable but where is the reward? I think we train people how to treat us as well. When I have on my  life coaching hat, I listen to clients talk about the “challenges” those around them offer now and then. But what if we were never challenged? We would not seek the release that opens our eyes to other perspectives and opportunities for growth.

Here is another one…that which does not kill us, makes us stronger…..and wiser.

This entry was published on October 25, 2010 at 12:08 am. It’s filed under contemplations, horses, life coaching, relationships and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Those hard to love are our greatest teachers…

  1. My first horse was my best teacher, and the worst possible horse to be anyone, let alone a child’s, first horse. I fell off that cranky mare 3 or 4 times a day. I was so inept that she was relieved she didn’t have to toss me. (no lessons) Then I got a saddle. Now she had to work somewhat. I got tossed, dumped, ducked out on, reared up with, every possible sneaky maneuver you can imagine. I still came off her 3 or 4 times a day.

    Now, in my 50’s, almost nothing catches me by surprise, because I can feel those minute muscle movements when the horse is starting to drop a shoulder and is thinking about scooting sideways. It’s in my body memory. I react before I know I’m reacting. I learned to stay on, and eventually block her moves. I bless her for buck, drop and scoot, spin, duck, and mouthful of dirt! She’s saved my future self many times over.

    We ended up forming an amazing bond. 🙂

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