Why She Quit Horsemanship and Why You Probably Won’t.

Knowing Your Goals, Your Personality and Your Options.



1.  Not knowing or defining her goal well enough. 

Mary (not her real name) had a child hood dream of owning a horse. When in her forties the opportunity presented itself and she was able to buy her dream horse, she jumped at the chance.

But Mary never really took the time to know or define her dream well enough. It really remained just a girl hood fantasy. She did not count the cost, financially, emotionally, physically and even mentally.

Her fantasy of horse ownership lost its shine when the road blocks and learning challenges became more real, difficult and overwhelming.Her dream of trail riding proved more stressful and time consuming than the pleasure it delivered.

Reality arrived and the fantasy dream died. Mary walked away.

2.  Not knowing or defining her personality well enough.

Mary’s arena play felt like work and yielded more frustration than joy. She hated games, life is serious, and what is fun, anyways?

Her love of order and control met with a horse who challenged and had his own opinions. Too many variables, too many possibilities, too many unknowns.

Her perfectionism and pride collided with horse mentality and nature. She did not want to be wrong, or make mistakes.

Horses can be complex and challenging. Not always an easy thing to figure out and “do right”.

Her love of head learning not hands on learning. As an academic, Mary enjoyed the psychology, the theory, the DVD’s and even the student forums and exchanging ideas and encouragements.

But the actual horse time—not so much. It is messy, hands on, problem solving and a continual trial and error and revelation of inadequacy.

Her inability to think on her feet. Mary thought best when seated, not while moving. The pressure of the two eyes looking at her, or worst, falling asleep as she stood there frustrated and deep in thought only made her feel more inadequate. Guess who won most of the games?

Her hatred of the phrase “never ending self 11002582_338209833046560_1579649867922728038_nimprovement”. Mary did not want to continue to change. She actually liked who she was and hated the hassle of having to try to change for a horse. What about her needs? What about him changing. Well, she missed that point, I suppose.

Or maybe she understood it all to well. The horse is a mirror in some senses, and maybe what she was seeing mirrored back disturbed her. She did not like the truth of what the mirror showed, so she broke the mirror and walked away.

3.  Not knowing or defining her options well enough.

Mary did not know that her choice of a young, untrained horse who knew little of natural horsemanship principles, would need horse development.She did not know that this would have to happen at the same time as she learned the skills of horsemanship.

She did not realize that she did not have to train the horse herself. Mary could have hired a horse developer, then reaped the rewards of a horse ready to trail ride when she was ready and had the time.

She did not realize that she did not have to compare herself to Parelli instructors or those training to be one. Mary could have aimed to “just trail ride” and measure fun in her own definition, or lack there of.

She did not need to give up. Mary could have sought help for herself. People like Keri-Lynn who are willing to listen and teach the skills necessary for the person to reach their goals.

She did not need to get sidetracked on elements or tasks that don’t really add to her goals. Mary made it all about perfecting arena tasks. She neglected the trail riding. Majoring on the hated, and minoring on what she dreamed of doing, killed the whole desire to invest in the human horse relationship. She sold her horse.



1. You can know and define your goals.

Unlike Mary, you can know how to move your fantasy ideal into real life goals and dreams.

You have the tools and people available to walk you thorough the process of defining your goals. People like Keri-Lynn are willing and able to show you reality, put your vague dream into words, and outline a program that you can follow to achieve the dream that you hold dear to your heart.

You will not be derailed by the costs and trials because you know that each road block has a detour. You can get support. You can find a way to persevere. Your learning challenges can be stepping stones to your success.10435924_10203027123732405_8189136868766477260_n

2.  You can know and define your personality.

Unlike Mary, you can use tests like the Myers-Briggs Personality Test or the Parelli horsenality/humanality reports that will help you to understand you and even your horse.

Knowing your personality equips you to rejoice in your strengths and face your weaknesses. Knowledge is empowering. You can learn to grow in all areas. And maybe even enjoy the new and improved you.

And if you choose to use the Parelli report, you will receive tips on how your humanality will best blend with your horses horsenality for success in the relationship.

3. You can know and define your options.

Unlike Mary, you can analyze your choice of horse and your desired goals, and make sure both are a perfect fit.

You can hire a horse developer to train your horse, if possible, to be the horse of your dreams.

You know that you don’t have to fall into the comparison game. And you know how to own your own goals for horsemanship.

You know that you never have to choose to give up. You never have to quit. Again, people like Keri-Lynn have the passion and want to encourage and equip you to succeed.

There is no reason to walk away, unless, like Mary you truly are unhappy with the decision to pursue horsemanship. And there is no shame in trying something and realizing it is just not for you. Walk away as a logical choice, not emotional response.

You can focus on the parts of horsemanship that you love and endure what needs to be done. You know to focus or major on the fun elements and minor on the dreaded, doing only enough to set up for success to reach your goal and enjoy doing it.

You will not get sidetracked and disheartened. You will not stop investing into your horse human relationship. You will not sell your horse. Like Mary.

Mary’s story has a happy ending. At least that is what she tells herself. She re-homed her horse to someone who truly loves him and they are living their dream now, realistically. And Mary?? She went on to further her own education in psychology, counseling, and personality development (of other people, not herself!) A happy ending for horses and humans?!?

Let’s talk. Where are you at now? Loving the journey? Struggling to hit your goals? Needing outside help from a horsemanship instructor or a horse developer?

Written by Rose Standish, Life Coach, Biblical Educator and Author

  • Please note, bold words when clicked on lead to articles and content that are interior and exterior sources to this blog. The opinions and ideas expressed in the linked to website, as a whole, may or may not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of this web site. The external sources are provided for further study and educational purposes of those reading this blog.

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