I stand atop a hill in the pasture, eyes on my pony below. I observe her for a moment munching hay or napping. I take in a lungful of air and loudly call her name, then follow it up with a loud wolf whistle, a whistle I chose specifically so she would know, that I know, just how pretty she is.
Her head bobs up and her ears prick forward, from deep in her belly she hollers back to me then nickers and breaks into a run, heading my direction. Every time this happens my heart swells with joy. She is happy, she is healthy, she is hungry, and she is pleased to see me.
Once she canters up to me I greet her with joyful enthusiasm, a kiss and a treat. I want her to know I am delighted to see her and be in her presence, and reward her for taking time out of her life to be with me. She doesn’t have to, she has a choice.
There are days, of course, where I am in a hurry and my delight is dampened by the hustle and bustle of life and I toss a halter around her head, rush her to her grain and then rush her back out to pasture. After such treatment it’s not unusual for her to decline to come up to meet me the following day.
I don’t blame her, in those instances I’m not being a very good friend.
Our equine relationships should absolutely be treated as friendships, and this idea should have us examining the human friendships in our lives. Today I ask you to put down your judgement of yourself and others, and look at your human and equine friendships objectively, as if you were standing outside a window looking in at your life. What do you notice? Remember, no judgements here, just work on becoming aware.
How do we treat our friends? Lets pretend we are in a post-covid world for a moment. When we see our friends do we joyfully greet them, delighted to be in their presence?
Do we immediately dump our troubles on them, or ask them to accommodate us by rushing through our time together? Is the friendship mutual, or one sided? Do you feel like you’re dragging your friend by the hair to come hang out with you, similar to how you might have to drag your horse by the halter?
Do you have a friend who doesn’t respect your boundaries when you need time or space? Is there a horse in your life who also pushes into your boundaries, who you’re uncomfortable around? Do you have a friend who is your rock? Friends who you can depend on to understand when the ebb and flow of friendships and life? Who is there when you want them, when you need them? Is the give and take is mutual? Are you a rock for somebody? How about your horse? Does your equine friendship feel secure and comfortable, with boundaries respected from both parties? Are you both there for the good times and the bad?
If you don’t have a horse but are around horses, how do those relationships feel? Do they reflect other relationships in your life?
Horses have so much to teach us about what it means to be human. Be good to your equine friends. Be good to your human friends. Be Kind to Each Other.
With Love and In Joy
Coach Amanda & the Heart of a Mare