Our thoughts about our horses limit them more than anything else.

I thought about this while riding my mare in a lesson this morning. My little quarter horse was free in her shoulders, swinging over her back and moving like a warmblood.

“You sat there for a long time in her way,” my teacher said. “You were riding her like she was heavy and sluggish, and so she stayed that way until you changed the way you rode.”

I thought about it and realized I was riding that way because that’s how I expected her to move. She always had been tight and forehand heavy, so subconsciously that is the feeling my seat created for her.

My teacher had to convince me to ride her differently and I took the leap of faith offering something I didn’t know she would take me up on.

My thoughts, whether I was aware of them or not, had limited her.

It’s our job as riders to offer the horse the feeling we want them to find- to lead by example, to believe in them, to show them the way. Not to label, box up or diminish their being into pieces easy enough for us to process. They are bigger and better than we could ever comprehend- and it’s up to us to step up to the possibilities with an open mind.

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