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What do I owe them?

If you can accept that the horse does not owe the human anything: not a proper trot, not a willing attitude, not a smooth canter, not a quiet demeanor; then you can approach your horses with utmost appreciation.

If you're a bit new to the equestrian scene (in which case, welcome!), you might be wondering why horses don't owe us these things. After all, we feed them, water them, give them a safe place to rest their heads, scratch them, and basically do our absolute darnedest to ensure their survival. The gist with horses (at least in my admittedly limited experiences) is that they don't necessarily care how many water buckets you can carry in one trip, how many treats you give them, or even how many kisses you lay on their furry little cheeks.

WHAT THEY DO CARE ABOUT: How you get in the saddle, how you ride in the saddle, and how you treat him in the saddle and everywhere else. You've probably heard it before, but don't dare to forget it. Should you forget, horses are quick to serve up a reminder. Fortunately for us, they are one of the foremost forgiving animals man has had the supreme privilege of caring for. So remember that time you really yanked on your horse's mouth when you started to slip off? Yeah, me too...yet they let us smooch their faces, climb on their backs, and do it all again.

In today's society, it's far easier to attain an entitled attitude with your horse. Please, be the person that realizes that your horse owes you nothing, yet gives you everything. Even the horse that's bucked you off upwards of fifteen times, tried to kick you in his stall, and acts like stinkin' Bruce Lee when he sees a puddle...he will give you more than you could have hoped. He will always give you the means to improve.