“Horses are individuals who need space and time to work out their relationships…”
So often horse owners determine was is right and good for a horse based on what they — the human — may consider good. Sadly, in that process, of, for lack of better terminology, trying to humanize the horse, we forget, that horses, after all got along just fine before we came along. More importantly, we forget that horses need to be horses, allowed to act in ways that are natural to them, not us. Interestingly, this same concept can be applied to the relationships we have with people in our lives.
It happens all the time. We get into relationships and almost without out our awareness, and certainly, without our intent, develop expectations about how the other should act. He/she should call more, return text message rapidly, should make more effort, show more kindness, whatever. Of course, when we do this, it is a set-up situation. We are basing our expectations on what we would consider normal, or natural, just as we might with a horse.
However, do we often stop to ask, Is it really in this person’s nature to do this?, or Am I expecting something from this person that her doesn’t appear to be expecting from himself/herself? If the answer is yes, we could be doing this person quite a disservice.
Here we are, wanting acceptance and love, yet somehow failing to provide it. After all, if we are expecting this person to be different from what he/she really is, aren’t we also failing to accept him/her?
Interestingly, those who specialize in equine behavior weigh in when it comes to the way horse develop relationships. Experts, like, Natalie Waran, senior vice president of the International Society for Equitation Science Council and head of the School of Natural Sciences at Unitec New Zealand, say that the most important thing to remember, is that horses are individuals who need space and time to work out their relationships. She clarifies, “This means doing introductions carefully and providing a new horse with the opportunity to escape.”
When was the last time, you asked that question, Am I giving this person time to work out this relationship?, or Am I giving him/her a chance to escape? This may seem like an odd question, but the reality is, people need to work out their relationships just as horses do, and when we can learn to accept people in their own nature, the less likely we will be to imposition them with our expectations for them.
Whether it be horses or human we choose to engage with, a very important message can be derived from the work of Waran, and equine behavior experts and My Horse University’s online Horse Behavior and Welfare Course, based out of Michigan State University, and that is, just accept those around you, as they are.
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