Can you believe it’s December? It’s almost the end of a DECADE? My goodness time certainly does fly, especially when you own horses!
As we tend to do each holiday season, I started thinking about some of the things I’m most thankful for when it comes to having a horse. Between treating occasional injuries and the time and effort that’s required to care for and enjoy a horse, it can be easy to get lost in the work and not take a moment to appreciate the little things.
With a little brainstorming I’d run up a list a mile long, but for the sake of easy readability I’ve boiled it down to just a few that you can probably relate to. Here are 5 reasons to be thankful this year if you have a horse!
1. Horses Are A Constant Learning Experience
Horses aren’t like a language you fluently learn and eventually run out of words to study. It’s just not something you should ever expect to master at that level. The focus here, as with any horse, is about the journey and the constant learning experience. There is an endless amount of information to learn in the horse world and just when you think you’ve learned it all you’ll discover something different. From various disciplines and training methods to different games and exercises, there is never a shortage of new tools you can learn to add to your horse education arsenal.
Ask any of the world’s best horse trainers and they’ll be the first to tell you they still have more to learn.
2. The Best Confidence Builders
I saw something like this floating around social media a few weeks ago and since I could only find teeny tiny versions of the original, I figured I’d make my own since the sentiment is absolutely worth repeating.
If you’ve never ridden a horse or developed a bond with one, you probably don’t believe me when I say that horses are some of the world’s best confidence builders… but trust me they are. Have a bad day? Go see your horse. Work your horse. Need a surefire way to spend your time in a productive and constructive way? Go ride or play with your horse.
3. Helping With Stress & Mental Health Disorders
Not everyone has a healthy habit to fall back on in the same way that horse people do and there has never been time that I’ve worked with my horse that I’ve regretted it. In fact more often than not I put my horse back in his paddock and feel less stressed and more accomplished than I’d started out. That’s because horses can help relieve stress and all sorts of mental health disorders, including depression, ADD, PTSD, among others.
Think of it this way, as a horse owner you have unlimited access to something that is used as a therapy tool. You heard me right, horses are used as therapy tools for many adults and children and if you’ve got a horse, you’ve basically got a built in therapist. Just kidding, but still, a horse isn’t the worst substitution for therapy that I’ve ever heard.
4. Keeping Tradition Alive
If you own a horse you can also be proud and thankful that you are continuing to build the story of how horses and humans can work together. Just think about this for a second: Horses helped humans develop and construct the modern world for centuries… until this one. As automobiles and advances of the industrial revolution became widespread, horses became less of a necessity and more of a luxury.
What we’d once turn to horses to for help we now mostly turn to machines. We horse owners and equestrians are the last vestiges of keeping this tradition and partnership alive and for that I’m extremely grateful.
5. You Represent Less Than 1% of All Americans
Since the introduction of the automobile, the popularity of horses has dwindled down to almost nothing. In fact, with roughly 2 million horse owners in the United States, that means that you represent less than 1% of all Americans. You make up one of every 200 people in this country and to be honest, you’re part of what makes it great!