The Horse-Human Connection

Chapter 9
What Draws Humans to Be with Horses?

I believe that what draws most humans to be with horses is a feeling. Just seeing or being with a horse has the ability to make people feel good. What is surprising is that creating a relationship with a horse can also make people feel good about themselves. I believe this is true whether one is wounded or healthy.

Just as they do with those afflicted with life-challenging mental and emotional wounds, horses can provide anyone with the opportunity to experience valuable feelings of unconditional self-acceptance and positive self-esteem.

Becoming a well-liked, trusted, and respected leader in order to establish a positive working relationship with one’s horse actually requires the same qualities that it takes to be a good parent to one’s child. In the same way that we must understand, honor, and respect how a child sees the world, we must learn to see the world from the horse’s point of view.

Today, when I share what I have learned from horses, the most important message I try to pass on to others is the deep desire of a horse to receive the same healthy, loving leadership from their human as that which is desired by a child from its parents.

The more we learn about horses and how they live their lives, the more we, as humans, can identify with them. Humans are also greatly motivated by fear. If all horse fears can be reduced to one—the fear of being eaten—it could be argued that all human fears can be reduced to two: the fear of losing something we have and the fear of not getting what we want. It is said, “That which is most personal is most common.” Perhaps what draws so many people to horses is the realization that they, too, on a deeply personal level and in so many ways, are very much like us.