IS THERE SUCH A THING AS LOVING YOUR HORSE TOO MUCH?
From the first moment that my fourth child (Audreyanna) learned to walk, she was quite literally attached to me. She frequently snuggled up next to me while sucking her thumb. If I dared to leave the house without her, she would chase my car while crying and screaming at the top of her lungs. In restaurants, Audreyanna insisted on sitting next to me as we ate. You could most certainly say that we were "joined at the hip". When I attended school events, she would quit playing with the other children to come up and hug me. She would then proceed to cuddle up next to me as we were spectating these events. One fateful day, Audreyanna's classmate named Thomas watched her snuggling next to me and said, "You love your mom too much"! Without hesitation, Audreyanna looked at him and replied, “You can never love another person too much”. Audreyanna was only 10 years old but 100 years wise! I later told this story at her wedding as it epitomizes her very essence.
Thus I repeat the question, can you love your horse too much? My answer is much the same as Audreyanna's. You can never love any person or any animal too much!!! There is simply no such thing as too much love. The more we love, the more our hearts expand. We must, however, remain mindful that love does not necessarily conquer all. Where horses are concerned, people sometimes let feelings of love cloud their good judgment regarding leadership. A horse is not a person and it is not beneficial to either of you to anthropomorphize. A horse can only think like a horse because that is what he is. To have a deep and meaningful bond with a horse, you must be willing to think like him. His needs are different from yours. While humans desire to feel loved, a horse's primary need is to feel safe. Love can sometimes obscure people's ability to "read" their horses. In my clinics, I teach people to read a horse, think like a horse, and to develop an understanding of what their body language is saying. All of this is done while the horse is at liberty.
Horses can offer us some of the most rewarding relationships that we will ever have in life. Although you may love your horse deeply, it is important to realize that for a horse, love is simply not enough. To satisfy his need for safety, your horse must bond and follow a leader. Allow your horse to cultivate your leadership abilities as he leads you into the natural world of horses. Learn to love and appreciate yourself as the leader your horse needs you to be. For me, this journey has proven to be the greatest ride of my life and I love being blessed with the opportunity to teach all of you you that we can ride into the world of horses without even being on their backs. We hope you'll join us soon!
Linda & the Herd of 8