Just let them be horses - it sounds pretty obvious doesn't it? Horses have brought much joy and satisfaction to my life but, I have to also say that I don't love horses the way some people do. I don't have a romantic view of horses the way some people, especially people who are fairly new to the horse world, do.
I love horses "warts and all", which, at times includes some difficult personalities. I don't have a vision of horses that is impossible for them to live up to. I love horses for many reason, not the least being their working abilities and their beauty.
Horses are most assuredly not pets and should never be thought of as pets. Now, I admit to being very fond of many horses over the years and of being affectionate with them. But, I always remember that horses aren't people and as such, don't relate to people as if they were humans. They relate to us as they would other horses. For instance, many horses are not fond of being kissed and petted (though I've never found one that didn't like grooming - if the brushes were soft enough). Most horses also "tune out" when humans just jabber (talk or coo incessently) at them - and, in tuning out, they then don't listen for the important words like "whoa" or "quit". I think many people would ultimately have a much more rewarding relationship with their horse if they stopped anthropomorphizing (look it up).
Horses can enrich our lives greatly but we need to allow them to be themselves. Though there are many different types of herd animals, horses are very unique and it benefits everyone, horses included, to recognize that uniqueness. See you next week! JD (And here are some pics of a few horses I'm very fond of! Thanks to Kathy Bressi for these great photos of Caryn on Lacy, Heather on Bear, Gina on Montego and Joanne on Wes and Ex.)