But so is the yearning you say? Yes, I get it. The need to be around and with horses is a huge pull and for good reason! Horses are healers. They know the art of being still better than any of us humans. They teach us patience and help us learn how to get into our innerselves, the place of peace and quiet.
This time of year I receive lots of emails from folks wanting that Christmas Wish to come true. One little girl stated "I'll give up all of Hanukkah and the presents for a horse!" I had to smile because I get it. There is simply nothing better than hanging with a horse.
It can be difficult to find a horse to spend time with. Sometimes barns don't want folks loitering around sneaking carrots to their horses. Other places simply require that you pay. So whats the answer?
I have compiled a few thoughts to "Ease into Horsemanship" for 2018. There are actually many ways to get horse time and actually keep your time, finances and (hopefully) your emotions in good shape!
Lots of folks keeping a horse or two will welcome the offer of help. You can offer an owner part-time help in exchange for spending time, grooming, feeding, walking eventually, possibly even riding. You'll be amazed at how much there is to experience handling and being around horses on the ground, long before you get on them. They appreciate you spending time doing for them before asking to let you ride. Many very experienced horse whisperers state that it is imperative to spend lots of hours on the ground in partership before ever riding. The bond begins to form and the magic begins to happen. And remember, helping cut weekly chorses in half can be inviting for that person caring for their horse.
Part-time leasing is a good option as you ease back into horses as well. You get 2-3 days of an amazing animal all to yourself. It's like owning a horse without 100% responsibility and cost. Contracts can then be very specific as to who is responsible for what.
My advice is to start there. The perfect horse for ownership will come along....when the timing is right. A healthy well started horse that is safe for all levels of riding is worth their weight in gold....online you'll see them for sale between $3000-$5000 to start...but if you ease in, get to know barn folks, word will get out that you're a good horse person, kind, and fair to the animal...and that particular someone with a horse they can no longer afford or keep will come across to you. You'll have written your resume through your actions and for someone who loves their horse and is sad to have to let them go, you then become worth your weight in gold! Trust me word gets around.
My biggest advice there is when spending time keep it their agenda not yours, look for subtle signs the horse is settling, getting to know you, licking and chewing, yawning, soft eyes etc. It's perfectly ok to do nothing, because before you realize it , you will have done something! You'll know the nuances, the signs, the...look of a happy horse. As you get to know the horse better and you begin to feel closer, the horses behavior will also begin to shift . The comfort and security of you being around will create confidence. Now you're beginning to settle in and really spend quality horse time. If you had forgotten about the dry cleaning, grocery shopping and laundry waiting for you...well then you are well on your way! You can ease into horsemanship!
Keep me posted and let me know if you have more questions..:)