For the last 3+ years, I have been on an unexpected adventure. In May of 2017, I bought Rocky, a 16 hand Rocky mountain gelding. The intent was that I was going to have a trail riding buddy to go out with my wife and her horse. This became the beginning of an amazing partnership and bond.
The reason that we have been able to experience this huge potential is that I was open to something more then just owning an animal whose purpose was my pleasure. I could see Rocky for the thinking spirit that he is who was more then willing to be my partner. As I started interacting with Rocky, it was not long that I concluded that Rocky understands most of what I say and often knows something before I say it.
This interaction is different though from a riding novice like me giving Rocky cues while riding. It was not that he was testing me, rather it was a matter of him not understanding what I was telling him or asking to do. This has more to do with connecting on a mental level which can be very fun but sometimes intimidating.
Very early on, Rocky made it clear to me that he does not like a bit in his mouth. We have been going with a bitless bridle even though some would say I have lost some potential control. Rocky has earned my trust and he feels my respect.
Isn’t that the key and foundation to any relationship?