I’ve ridden and trained horses since I was twelve, but I’ve only recently begun to see the true benefits I’ve gleaned. It’s been in teaching my little sister-in-law how to ride that I’ve seen true applications for life.
Dedication and Focus
Taking care of a horse, or most any pet except maybe a goldfish, requires a level of dedication, sacrifice and focus. Whether it is time, money, effort. With horses especially, you must remain vigilant, attentive and cautious. These 900-pound + animals can easily overpower you and despite the most advanced training, you cannot overcome natural “fight or flight” instinct.
Balance and Self-Poise
How you carry yourself as you walk on the ground relates directly to how you will sit in a saddle. From my very first lessons on a horse, I heard the orders, “sit up straight, heels down, head up, sit deep…” Only now do I see how it has affected my posture and how I move around in everyday life. And how you carry yourself relates directly to your confidence and how others perceive and react to you.
Passion and Perseverance
You need both passion and perseverance to compete in the horse world. Horse shows, rodeos, gaming shows are all long days and full of work. For some riders, you’ll show for years and years and never make it to the top. But that shouldn’t stop you – just as some writers work on their manuscripts for years without catching the eye of a publisher. We keep riding/writing anyway. Why? Because it’s what we’re driven to do. Because we simply love the sport/craft.