Horses attract extreme emotions from people. They are passionately loved by their human partners who will do anything for them. Others may find horses unpredictable and unsettling, which leads to fear.
However, there are good reasons why many cultures revere horses and make them prominent in their philosophies. The Chinese commemorate them on their calendar as the Year of the Horse. There is no better time to reflect on the quiet wisdom of horses.
Stay In The Moment
Predators, humans included, tend to forecast and plan constantly. While this process can serve many ends, including securing food, it often means losing the moment. For people, this can cause stress from the constant imaging of things that may never occur.
Prey animals like horses tend to live more in the present. If they do not see, smell or hear a mountain lion, they do not worry about it. However, if there is am alarming sound or sight, they will act impulsively to save themselves.
Staying in the moment means controlling what you can and letting go what is beyond that control. It means putting aside worry until you can act.
Accept Current Reality
Horses are intrinsically kind creatures. They offer unconditional love to their human partners and are forgiving of errors. Therapeutic riding helps the mentally or physically disabled immensely because the horse doesn’t judge. She simply accepts that person and makes an effort to work with them.
Letting go of judgment and feeling like you must change others can also release a burden from you. Rather than try to change people, accept them.
Horse herds are complex family relationships. They consist of a group of mares and one stallion lead by an alpha mare. The alpha mare looks out for danger and leads the herd to food and water. The stallion, in addition to his mating duties, keeps to the back of the herd to act as another look out. Foals are born and the whole herd teaches survival and social skills. While stallions will come and go (they are normally chased out before his foals reach puberty), the base family unit of mares learns to rely on each other and form supportive relationships.
Horses approach their human partners the same way. The rider-horse connection is often referred to as a herd of two where there is give and take and an emphasis on empathy. This is why equestrians are often quiet and reflective people who are good at reading body language.
Lessons of giving, empathy, and reliance can improve human connections.