We all have expectations about what it will be like to own a horse. The reality is usually different, but we can still make it a positive, fulfilling experience if we get the right horse. Recently dressage great, Jane Savoie, interviewed me on this subject for her DressageMentor.com web site. The links are below if you’d like to listen to this unedited, hour-long interview. In this blog, I’d just like to reiterate a few key points.
1. Choose a horse with your brain and your heart will follow.
Don't let your emotions rule. Take your time, make a plan, hire a horse expert to assist you, be realistic about your own skills and knowledge, and try to be open-minded about the appearance of the horse. You will grow to love a horse that fits your reality just as much as one that fits your fantasy.
2. Horses are not “one size fits all.”
A good horse and a good human may still make a terrible team. Your ideal horse may be very different from my ideal horse.
3. Novice riders need experienced, calm horses.
Only very experienced horsemen should take on young or untrained horses. The most compelling reason? Safety. “Green on green equals black and blue.”
4. Do not agonize about changing horses.
Many of us end up with the wrong horse our first time out. Don't feel bad. But do take action. Allow the horse to go on to life with someone who is a better fit. It’s the most loving thing you can do for the horse and for yourself. Then you can make another, smarter choice.
5. Keep learning, especially from your horse.
You must be the leader in your relationship, but your horse is giving you a continuous stream of feedback about how you’re doing. Listen to that.
Finding Flicka - Jane Savoie interviews Rick Lamb - Part 1
Finding Flicka - Jane Savoie interviews Rick Lamb - Part 2