Most all of us are familiar with the orange as being easy to prepare and yielding a tasty, nutritious fruit. The artichoke on the other hand is a different critter to work with. It has numerous sharp spines on the end of the leaves and next to the heart the fibrous material is totally inedible. That is what some call the “choke” in the artichoke. It requires some proper preparation to yield a pleasant tasting, unique-to-the-palate dish. Steamed, parts of the leaves are edible and the choke can be cut away to get to the best part, the heart.
Horses are a lot like the orange and the artichoke. Some require very little preparation to get them willing to help us in the things we like to do with them. Others are like the artichoke: without the proper preparation they can be difficult at best, and impossible at worst, to get any willingness to cooperate with us. Please do not ever blame the horse in this regard. He is only being the way he was created. It is a matter of self-preservation for this animal.
In all of the preparation there is an element I like to refer to as the “process of discovery”. Horses and humans enjoy this process. To discover something on our own yields lasting and satisfying results in our lives. From the human standpoint in working with the horse, if we can set up a situation and let the horse find what we are asking we do not need to do a whole lot of “training”, it becomes a process of discovery and response.
I am always amazed at how we are so much like this animal. Myself, I do not like to be “told” what to do. Being able to interact with someone, especially one that I like, and learning through discovery leaves me at peace and interested in learning more. Personally I will go out of my way to help a friend like that and I believe they have no problem reciprocating in kind. And, I would bet most of you are of the same disposition.
Blessings and Happy Trails,