What Are Your Greatest Strengths Around Horses?

What are your greatest strengths around horses?

  • Are you steady, and able to give the horse a sense of security?
  • Maybe it’s patience or careful thinking?
  • Maybe you know how to get a horse interested in the work, and light the fire?
  • How is it different on the ground than in the saddle?

9 thoughts on “What Are Your Greatest Strengths Around Horses?

  1. I would have to say my greatest strength is grooming. We might canter down to the first fence and miss, but boy oh boy he will be gleaming in the sunlight doing it! I work hard on keeping my horse’s coat shiny all year long, with lots of grooming, coat care, and supplements, and I pride myself in my bathing, clipping, braiding, and shining abilities. Plus, I have many years of professional show groom experience under my belt, so I know all the tricks of the trade for keeping them clean as can be before they go in the ring. We may not be the fanciest horse in the ring and I may not always give him the best ride, but I never have any worries about our turn out. Tucker shines like a copper penny all Spring and Summer long!

  2. I wish I could tell you all my strengths — I really didn’t have any. I just wanted to say I love Liz’s term, “electric butt”! I think it’s wonderfully descriptive, and the meaning is very clear. πŸ™‚

  3. I am a calm, relaxed rider. Not a great rider, but I don’t get tense or worried. That generally helps the horse stay calm, too.

    The first time Freedom was adopted he was returned for being too anxious. I suspect that woman was scared of him and when she got scared, it transferred to him. The first few time I sat on him, he was a bundle of nerves. I had to ask my husband to hand walk us around the field.

    Once he learned that I wasn’t scared, he started to relax and calm down. It’s one of the reasons I don’t let many people ride him — if someone has an “electric butt” or gets nervous on him, he feeds right off of it.

    He still takes his cues from me — that’s why I brought him along slowly. He now trusts that when I ask him to do something it’s because I want to do it and it doesn’t worry me.

  4. I had a second to check in, I love hearing all your answers!
    I especially love the answers to this question: I enjoy watching horse people own their strengths around horses, just know what they know, no aw shucks-ing.
    Even uncertainty can be a great strength, as it keeps you questioning, and looking for the answers. You go, ladies!
    (And of course guys, if you haven’t commented.) πŸ˜‰

  5. I am not a particularly good rider — I started way too late in life to have that natural balance, stamina and confidence that youngsters never give a thought to and seems to carry over into adulthood — but I have a few abilities that have served me well. Since I’ve ALWAYS loved horses and didn’t really have much hands-on experience until I was in my 30s, I learned a lot about them by reading — make that devouring — books on everything having to do with horses and riding. So I’m sort of a walking encyclopedia of horse trivia. I’ve developed a very good eye for horse anatomy, conformation and gait — and horse psychology. I can see when a horse is “off” (physically, psychologically and emotionally) and usually where the problem lies. I tell my friends they should bring me along when they’re horse shopping; I may not be able to say definitively which is the right horse for them, but I can tell them which ones not to buy. Most satisfying for me is that I seem to be a horse magnet. Horses know I adore them. They trust me and that translates to success working on the ground with them.

  6. I am really good at ground work, imprinting and halter breaking babies. I worked at a race horse farm when I was younger and was in charge of 50 weanlings at a time. I got good at reading when they were being stubborn or actually scared…too much pressure or not enough…and had a weanling walking calmly in and out of a trailer with no pressure on the lead rope in about 10 days. I like that work too. That makes a difference doesn’t it?

  7. I’m calm, solid, confident and consistent, take my time, and stick to routine where possible. Most horses seem to respond well to that. There’s no ambushes around me. I’m also more stubborn than every horse I’ve met so far (I could meet my match one day, I guess) and I’ll take however long it takes to work through any resistance, or overcome any fear. I ask for baby steps and reward any attempt the horse makes in the right direction. But I’m not afraid to try something else if what I’ve planned clearly isn’t working. But I think I’m a much better horseperson on the ground than I am in the saddle. I’m getting better all the time, but there is still some vestige of that “sack of potatoes” thing I had going when I started riding, and I really only got the chance to start when I was 18.

  8. My feel. I can see someone else doing something and know what it will feel like, then be able to tell when I get the same thing out of my horse. This is helpful since I’m training my horse in dressage without really knowing what I’m doing! This also means I can feel when horses do what I ask and immediately reward them, be consistent with corrections and rewards, etc. I’m the person who gets on a “nervous” horse and works with it a few times and everyone suddenly comments how the horse is so mellow all of a sudden. It’s happened too many times to just be a coincidence, and I credit my feel and ability to reassure when a horse is nervous vs. correct when a horse is misbehaving.

  9. None of the above. I am an average but competent rider and have no great gifts for turnout, healthcare… although I try to keep learning. I am fairly nervous, but I am patient and encouraging. But, a skill I think I am particularly strong in, is reading a horse. I have really good instincts about what is going on for a horse and what s/he needs, both in the saddle and out. This is something few people talk about (I never do) and that is not overtly encouraged or rewarded (except from the horse) and I really think it is undervalued. I can meet a strange horse in the barn or ride a new horse and know what is happening for them right away. Especially a nervous or uncertain horse.

    I have my horses at home now and only take lessons irregularly, largely because I want to be able pace things and address things in a way that I think my horses need. I think coaches often think I am avoiding something or making excuses if I suggest my horse is fried, overwhelmed, needs a new excercise…

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