Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Great Expectations

We all have expectations when it comes to life, sometimes high sometimes low.At times events will exceed expectations, other times for well short. But i find more often than not things pan out how we expect them to to. But do our expectations effect the way things turn out??

I think yes they do. Especially with horses, you see all the time in riders how there expectations affect the horse. Maybe its nerves at a show, the classic is " i don't think my horse will cope at a competition!" and sure enough the rider expects the horse to misbehave, changes their behaviour or riding because of this, and sure enough the horse does get nervous and becomes unable to cope. Now would that horse have coped if the rider though it could? Or would it have become nervous regardless? I think a lot of it comes down to what we expect, is what we get.

Stallions, people have many different expectations about these creatures. The expect them to be hot blooded, hormone driven, monsters, ready to rape anything with four legs that moves. Dangerous to be around, they really strike fear into some people. But i believe that they are only as bad as people think they will be. i always expect my 'wild stallion' to behave like a docile gelding, and he does. Of course its not that simple, i set pretty clear guidelines and quickly correct him, shoud he stray over the boundary of acceptable behaviour. But really my expectations, effect my body language which in turn effect the way my horse behaves. Nervous body language= nervous horse. Calm body language=calm horse, well that my theory anyway.

Case point- I had a little holiday down to beautiful Queenstown for my birthday, and on my return have been riding Matai every day...finally, as since he was broken in he has never been in consistent work, only a handful of rides here and there! Today i floated him out to go for a ride with a friend and her mare. I expected him to behave, but this might be a example of a horse exceeding expectations. He was amazing, he was by far the younger and less experienced of the two horses, yet he led the way down roads, through farm raceways, past tractors,across bridges and puddles,in the wind and rain, like he had been doing it his whole life. The mare was no trouble either, he even stood quietly as i held her, while his owner opened gates for us. No wild neighing, and trying to mount her, just calm acceptance of another horse. Happily walking right beside her all throughout the ride. we even jumped little fallen logs for the first time ever. he took everything in his stride.

That little stallion from the wild is one of the funnest horses i have ever owned. So dependable, willing and sensible, even though he is still really green broke, you would never know it. you feel safe from the moment you sit on him. The only funny inccident on the whole ride was coming across a herd of dairy cows on their way to the evening milking. The stallion suddenly let out a shrill call of "ladies I'm over here" only as we got closer did he realise that there were not in fact horses but of the bovine persuasion, he stopped dead in shock and watched the cows file past, with a look of surprise and amazement, his little brown eyes wide open peeking through his thick fringe, that he had so misjudged these black & white creatures with there hip swaying walk, which were not horses at all.

I know i have been on both ends of the stick expecting a horse to misbehave and it has, but today i was happily on the other end. having a horse behave just how i would expect it to and more. Go the little wild stallion