[Teach Me Tuesday] 7 Things Horses Can Teach Us About Life



Horses are beautiful creatures. Anyone who rides them or works with them will tell you how much they enrich their lives. They also teach us powerful lessons and life skills - good opportunity for a little different Teach Me Tuesday post.


1. Responsibility

Caring for another creature, especially a horse, is a big responsibility. It requires hard work and a considerable financial investment. Their stables need to be cleaned; they need adequate food, water, and exercise. This is one of the many reasons that children benefit from looking after horses. And I am not getting tired of highlighting this fact. I am convinced that I would be another person without my childhood horse experiences.

You also need to look after their physical and emotional wellbeing. Trips from the farrier and vet are essential. As a horse owner, you also need to care about things that might happen in the future. So, it is worth taking out horse insurance to cover any unexpected costs. This will also cover any damage your horse causes.

Taking care of and being responsible for another being, is a valuable life skill. It is something that is useful to all of us.


2. Listening and Communication


Anyone who rides horses will tell you that listening is vital. And it’s not just about listening with your ears. It’s about becoming attuned to their responses and behaviors. It is about all the small signals, slightly visible, that horses are giving us - and also to learn to control your own body language better. When you’re riding, your actions will receive a response from the horse. Therefore, it is important to get to know them and allow them to get to know you.



3. Confidence and Courage

Managing a creature of that size takes confidence. For most people, this is something that grows over time. It also takes courage to keep moving forward. The first time you mount a horse can be pretty daunting. When you move from walking to trotting, to cantering, also requires bravery. The first time you make a jump is exhilarating but also scary. Mastering this, can help you to be confident in other areas of your life.


4. Hard Work

Riding horses and dressage take hard work and commitment. It can often take weeks or longer to get one move just right. This takes a lot of work, effort, and dedication. Having a goal in mind, having a plan at hand how to reach this goal combined with all the work you put in, will lead to success no matter how hard it may seem.


5. Resilience

No matter how well you know your horse, every now and again you’re going take a tumble. It could be due to something completely beyond your control. Something may have scared the horse. It happens. And when it does, it can take a lot of confidence to get back in the saddle. After my biggest accident so far, more than six years ago, not giving up, not selling Hafl and getting back to training him took so much but it all paid off in the end. Today, I am happier than ever that I did keep on going.


6. Determination

As with most things in life, you never stop learning. There’s always something new to perfect. Though some people may be described as ‘naturals’, this will only get you so far. The rest is down to sheer hard work and determination. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard!


7. Trust


The relationship you have with your horse is like no other. It takes communication, respect, and trust. And this goes both ways. You have to trust the horse, and the horse has to trust you. This is something that builds up over time, through all the good and bad moments you go through together. Just as humans feel pressure with certain relationships, so can horses. They may react to negative reinforcement, new tasks, and difficult trainers. Becoming attuned to a different species takes considerable skill and determination.


Working with horses is a deeply satisfying experience. It brings two different species together and allows them to work side by side. It takes hard work, trust, and communication. All of these are powerful life skills. I would even list them in a CV as I am convinced that horse people are better at these than many others.

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