Is there such a thing as a bad horse ?

We’ll describe someone as kind-hearted, someone else as deeply trusting, forgiving or loving.

I believe that all of us have all have these qualities within us, just waiting to emerge. When we dig deep down to the core and take the time and effort to look, we can find the good in everyone, especially ourselves. My horses have helped me see this so clearly.

Horses being horses… Sometimes when we watch horses in the paddock we may judge them as “bad” as they often kick and bite each other – and we may think it’s mean, but they are only doing what is normal and natural to them.

Psychologists often compare the human psyche to an onion – a metaphor that makes sense to me. We have countless layers, and our purest core is obscured at times by these layers. I don’t believe truly evil people exist – this is not to say there aren’t people who do bad things. It does not negate the fact that we are all guilty of acting counter to our ethical and moral beliefs, out of fear, ignorance or negativity at times.

This metaphor can apply to your horse too. There are no bad horses. Horses are not naughty, disobedient, or malicious.

If your horse is acting out, there is always a reason why: he could be bored, confused, fearful, tired, or in pain. Any number of things could make him act the way he does, but being a malicious creature is not one of them.

When we practice mindfulness and start to see ourselves and others through this lens of compassion, our perceptions change.

When I’m humble and centred and when I’m being true to myself, I see the good in me and those around me, both human and non-human. But first I must believe that the goodness exists. See with the eyes of compassion and believe it’s there – it is within all of us. And when you believe it, you will see it and the more you see it, the more you will believe it. Seeing is believing, after all.

Trafalgar Square Books and Videos

When I was still new to training horses,  I still wasn’t sure if there was such a thing as a bad horse or not. I now know that yes there are horses that exhibit dangerous and disobedient behaviors: bucking, rearing, biting, kicking, charging,  etc. But those behaviors do not define a horse. They do, however, define the way their past experiences may have shaped them. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s the horses who take the blame for peoples’ mistakes.

There are no bad horses, only horses that haven’t been given a positive outlet, and humans who haven’t given them the chance.

Most often, behavioral problems are because of a lack of confidence in the horse, check out this short video below -featuring a horse who is lacking in confidence and acting out because of it!  ⤵


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