“It isn’t easy being green.” – Kermit the Frog
What is normal anyway? Have you ever asked yourself that question?
Of course it depends on the context, right? We’ll stick with the subject of horses since that’s what we all care about; however, normal versus unconventional can apply to any subject.
If you’re reading this, you’re not normal. I hate to tell you this, but you’re not.
And I’m not normal for writing about caring about being normal.
Is being normal really all that important? For you, it may be your bread and butter. It helps you feel safe and comfortable, except when it comes to your horse.
As you start to identify the myths you’ve been told about horse care, it forces you to look for answers. Most of those answers come in unconventional packages and will require you to create a mind shift, which at times, feels uncomfortable.
As a result, you resort back to your comfort zone.
Normal Is Comfortable
Following the norm in the equine industry is easier than not. Collectively, horses are perceived by most humans as an object to own, sell, use, dominate, and easily dispose of when needed.
I know you don’t feel that way, but let’s admit it, that’s the general mentality of the horse industry.
So using a word such as guardian rather than owner is not normal.
Using words such as break, train, and desensitize can be improved upon. But it’s not normal to make a conscious effort to do so. It’s easier and more comfortable to resort to those words since they’re normal.
It’s not as comfortable to replace them with start, develop, and build confidence.
Your words and thoughts are powerful and should be chosen wisely.
Like you, I’ve been there. It takes, first, becoming aware of your thoughts and your words, and then making it a habit to reprogram yourself. I know – it’s not easy, but your horse will love you for it.
The power of your thoughts and words can reflect through your energy.
What are horses all about? They’re about energy.
Whatever you do with a horse, it boils down to managing your energy. By managing your energy, it manages your equine companion’s emotions.
Learning to manage your own emotions when you’re around your horse will put you outside your comfort zone.
Being aware of, and working on this aspect of you, is not comfortable, and it’s not normal for most horse guardians.
Going Outside Your Comfort Zone
As a naturally-minded individual, you most likely travel outside your comfort zone more than most. I know I do, and it’s not an easy road.
To move outside your comfort zone, you have to care more about your equine companion than what other people think about you. You have to learn to become comfortable in your own skin. This will gradually lead you to feeling more confident and caring less about what’s considered normal.
So how about we list a few unconventional approaches to horse care that may cause you to go outside your comfort zone. Things like if you choose to:
- Pull your horse’s shoes or, better yet, never put metal shoes on your horse in the first place
- Not use a bit
- Not use spurs
- Ride less in order to build a strong bond with your horse on the ground
- Not ride at all
- Take proper saddle fitting seriously
- Implement a natural horse care program
- Ditch the stall and allow 24/7 turn out
- Ditch the blanket in the winter
- Allow your horse to grow a winter coat
- Care about your horse’s quality of life and longevity
I could continue on with this list, but that should give you a nice sampling. The hard truth is that nothing on that list is considered normal in the equine industry today.
No One Is Forcing You to Make a Choice
Being normal is a choice. No one is forcing you to do it. However, there may come a time when your horse will force you to make a change which results in you not being normal anymore.
I’m one of those people. I was never raised around conventional horse people; however, I was raised on a large farm and surrounded by my horses, goats, cats and my dad’s cows.
I was fortunate as a youngster to not be exposed to, or influenced by, too many normal ways of thinking when it came to horses. I’ve always had an innate quality that helped me understand and become closer to horses.
However, problems started to surface when the “adult” in me set in one day. When that happens, the child inside of you becomes more goal-focused and less likely to listen to her inner wisdom and intuition.
As adults, we tend to lose that, and yet that’s what the horse seeks out in a person.
Your horse wants you to be more in tune with your feelings, emotions and intuition. Being in tune allows you to not only become closer to your equine companion, but also to make better decisions about your horse’s care.
Learning not to ignore your inner wisdom, and allowing that quality you possessed as a young child to come alive again, is a critical piece to your life with horses.
But that’s not normal. The point is – no one is forcing you to be or believe a certain way. You really do have a choice.
You’re Unique, So Cherish It
There really is no such thing as being normal. Normal changes from place to place and time to time. It changes virtually as well.
Keep in mind, you’re a unique and special individual, so you have the power to create your own normal. No need to go outside the norm.
So cherish your special qualities and be grateful for what your equine companion is pointing out to you.
Remember, horses never lie, and they repeatedly reveal to us when our normal may not be working for them.
I would love to hear about a time that you felt uncomfortable with not being normal with your horse.
Keep it soulful,