by Michelle Kingston
What makes a great horse person? It's a question I ask a lot. I have met a few, sadly only a few. I recognized it quickly and verified it over time. Too often people talk a good game, but their actions don't align with the principles of great horsemanship.
All great horse people prioritize the horse. His intentions and actions revolve around the well being, mentally, emotionally and physically of the horse. He is an advocate for his own horse, and all horses. He teaches his students how to prioritize and advocate. He goes the extra mile for the horse, daily. A true horseman will expects to sacrifice his own desires, money and plans for the horses that he cares about, as well as for.
How does this develop? It is from meeting challenges head on and with an open mind. Great horsemen don't wait for someone else to take action. They don't make excuses or blame the horse. They look in the mirror and make a change. I have never heard one say, "I would have or could have......but". They step up and take responsibility for themselves, own their mistakes and continue learning. You can recognize one because the horse is more important than any show, competition, or exposition. They simply loves horses THROUGH ACTIONS. They are willing to do whatever it takes to take excellent actions.
I have heard it said that you can tell what someone holds as a priority by looking in his/her checkbook register and calendar. Are horses your priority? What does your checkbook register say? When you answer that question is there a BUT in your answer?
I am often asked "what can I do to develop my horsemanship?" If fantastic horsemanship is your goal I suggest surrounding yourself with those who already practice excellence is the physical, mental and emotional development of horses. By acting within their values, these people will challenge you to do the same. You will recognize the exceptional care of the horse and notice that they make no excuses. Find a community that values horses, all horses. It can't be done alone, you need a community to hold you accountable. It needs to be a community without BUTS.