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The Dilemma of the Horse


Many, many people who own a horse are looking for a better way with their horse. A better way to ride it, a better way to train it, and a better way to handle it and to be with it. That's why there are so many 'horse whisperers' and why so many new training and riding methods came up in the last 20 years.

The real problem is not the method of riding or training or handling though, but the underlying relationship and level of trust with the horse. To have a good trusting relationship with a horse, you, like with any individual, need to be his or her friend. And the only way to become a horse's true friend, according to horse rules, is to spend time with him or her. Lots of time. That's just the nature of the horse. Now that might sound easy, but it's actually harder, a lot harder that one might think.

Why? Because when you own a horse, you are probably busy earning the money that you need to pay for your horse's expenses and cost of living. And possibly that of your wife, your family, your house, your car, your business, etc. So really, owning a horse and being its friend is mutually exclusive because you spend your time not with it, but with earning money for it. At least that's how it is for most of us who were not born rich and have to work for our income. That's the real reason, what produces so many 'horse whisperers' and so many new methods to handle and train horses and a lot of the lies and ugliness in the equine industry: The horse's refusal to be your friend, when it doesn't trust you because it doesn't know you like another horse because you simply don't spend nearly enough time, your life with it. I call this: The Dilemma of Horse Ownership.

Naturally, very rich people might not be affected by this because they don't have to spend all their time to earn the money for their horse, or wife and family, etc. But they are usually very busy anyway, trying to keep their money and to make more, no matter how much they have.

So if owning a horse and being its friend is mutually exclusive, not so much in theory, but in practice and in the necessities and financial realities of daily life, then can you be a horse's friend if you don't own it and therefore don't need all your time to make money to pay for it? That is the path I have tried for several years as a horse groom.

Unfortunately, that doesn't work either, because of two reasons. First, if you don't own a horse, you can't make sure and guarantee reliably that you can spend time with it. Even if you have the time. This, because every horse except wild horses is owned by someone, and that someone might move the horse, kill it, castrate it, sell it or do whatever he or she damn well pleases. Second, even if you do get some uninterrupted time to spend with someone else's horse, and perhaps really become his or her friend, the owner of the horse will, rest assured, become jealous of this relationship, at least if it's obviously better than his or her own, and consequentially will sabotage it or simply remove your contact with the horse. That's just the way things are, and really, it's not just human and quite natural, but also quite understandable. After all, nobody wants to pay for a horse, and then have someone else pick all 'the fruit', the trust, the friendship and thankfulness which horses have to offer. The better the friendship, trust and affection between you and the horse is, the more jealousy and envy, and the more drastic measures a horse owner will take to sabotage it. Count on it. It's one of the few laws of nature. I call this: The Dilemma of Not Owning A Horse.

Now, if you paid attention, you'll notice that someone, anyone who likes horses and would like to have a horse as a friend, has got a real problem: Hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of people would like to have a horse as a friend, but both owning a horse doesn't work because of the Dilemma of Horse Ownership, as well as not owning a horse, because of the Dilemma of Not Owning A Horse. Both dilemmas combined together create what I call: The Dilemma of the Horse-Human Relationship. Or in short: The Dilemma of the Horse.
For people who like horses, as well as actually for horses in human care, this really sucks.

Now, wouldn't it be great if someone could come up with a solution for this problem, this dilemma? Well, actually that's exactly what the idea expressed in www.LivingAmongHorses.com is about: A solution to this dilemma for people and horses.
Now of course, I can't perform any miracles, nor can I bend the rules of nature or of physics - or of horses in that matter. But I have come up with a solution that offers a kind of middle ground to this dilemma and a lot of advantages for very many people and the horses involved. And if it sets an example and others copy it, which I hope, it will be for the greater good of the horse as a species and for mankind. At least, that's what I really believe.