When was the last time you played with your horse?
When was the last time you spent as much time or more doing something other than riding work that both you and your horse find enjoyable?
Human and equine relationships are based on and strengthened by two main acts: overcoming challenges together and playing together.
As humans, the individuals that are there for us in times of strife and the friends that we enjoy fun activities with are the friends that we are closest too. For horses in a herd, they depend on each other for survival and survival is a continual challenge to overcome. When their survival is not in danger, they are eating together, playing together, grooming each other, and watching over each other as they nap. For some great inter-equine relationship stories, read the blog post Inter-Equine Relationships on Equestrian Ink.
Half of building a strong and trusting relationship with your horse is overcoming challenges together. Challenges could certainly come
in the form of improving your riding work, whether it’s for competition, safety or to attain personal goals. But where is the other half of your relationship? Where is the PLAY? Play is important in all of your relationships: your relationship with your friends, your relationship with your family, your relationship with your significant other, your relationship with your horse, and your relationship with yourself. For some interesting facts about the importance of play, read Play, Creativity and Lifelong Learning on HelpGuide.org.
I challenge you to commit to spending an extra ten minutes with your horse per day that you ride for the next week. Do something on the ground with your horse. Scratch your horse’s favorite spot, go for a hand walk, go for a graze, or just hang out. You will learn a lot about your horse, and you may discover a few things about yourself as well. Experience your relationship with your horse strengthen and grow.
I’d love to hear how your PLAY with your horse goes. Please contact me here to let me know your challenges and successes!