Something that comes up a lot in lessons is the concern of being judged by fellow boarders or peers about the work they’re doing.
“When are you just going to get ON?”
“How long are you going to walk that horse??”
“I mean at some point he just has to do it!”
We’ve all been there. We’re working with our horses methodically and carefully. We can feel them let down and trust our work, we can feel their relaxed steps and we know the slow way is working wonders. But then you feel the eyes of Susie Know It All and Barbara the Barn B$&@ (sorry, I had to go there – I crack myself up), and you doubt yourself. They all seem so confident in their judgement.
The road to the horse’s heart and mind is lonely, twisting and difficult. You sometimes have to walk it without company. Sometimes you get lucky and find a support team. But in the long run, you know you’re better for it. You know you’re growing, learning and developing in ways the others on the sidelines are missing. They might have ribbons, recognition, and maybe seem like they’re having fun. But riding at the horse’s expense has a time limit.
If your horse is telling you the path you’re on together is working for them, keep walking it. Step for step, day after day. You’ll be happier, safer, and enjoy the type of partnership you dreamed of – and even more.
Here are pictures of my daughter and a 3 year old Arabian. Two youngsters enjoying what life has to offer and unphased by the opinions of the Judgmental Judy’s.