Horse people talk a lot about respect… Mostly, they want to know if their horse respects them, and if not, why not. Does your horse respect you??
Whatever your answer, how do you know? Because he behaves in a certain way? He does what you want, doesn’t put you in danger, is kind and sweet?
What’s your understanding (as a human) of what respect is, and how that relates to horses?
Often horse people who use the term will say that horses in herds display ‘respect’ for each other, and that we want them to ‘respect’ us the same way. They ‘take a telling’, as we’d say in Scotland (or, do as they’re told). They understand about boundaries, and they understand that no means no. It’s about leadership, who’s in charge.
Commonly, it seems to me, they expect their horses to respect them – without them necessarily respecting their horses.
Pat Parelli describes respect as ‘appropriate response to pressure’ (in this video) and that you get respect by ‘appropriately applying pressure’…
What does ‘respect’ look like or mean to you?
But I digress!
Thinking about this constant focus on whether our horses respect us got me wondering.
How many horses actually understand the human (horse owner) concept of ‘respect’?
If you’ve read any of my other blogs, or been lovingly stalking me (lol), you’ll know by now that I’m endlessly curious, and as an Animal Communicator I love to get some stats straight from the horse’s mouth.
One of my favourite things to do is a survey, asking a yes/no question, using my pendulum.
So, that’s what I did. In a horse Facebook group, 73 people posted a photo of their horse with its name. I made an energetic connection with each, and asked my yes/no question re whether that horse understood the human concept of respect.
Initial results –
Only 30% – 22 horses – tested as a ‘yes‘; they understand the human concept of respect.
70% – 51 horses – tested ‘no‘.
My curiosity got the better of me so I added another couple of questions.
It turned out that all the horses who said ‘yes’, also tested as having a high level of spiritual maturity. The ‘nos’ had low spiritual maturity.
In other words, horses that have been around the block a few times (ie been incarnated as a horse often), understand the concept much better.
However – them understanding it didn’t necessarily mean that they did ‘respect’ their owners…
Of the ‘yeses’ –
41% said yes, they respect their owner, and
59% said no, they don’t respect their owner.
A couple of the owners who took part in the survey happened to be clients of mine, and both got a ‘no’ to their horse understanding the concept. So, I asked an additional question for them; does their horse respect them?
Both said yes.
- So, despite most not understanding the concept, it is possible that your horse ‘respects’ you.
- And, even if they do understand the concept, it’s no guarantee that they do respect you…!
- But overall, bear in mind that a whopping 70% of horses don’t actually understand the human concept of respect – so it may be time to change our own thinking and behaviour around that.
(A slight disclaimer at this point. These survey’s are probably unscientific / not quantifiable, and most definitely woowoo. Also, the results are largely dependent on the type of owners who take part and their openness to the ‘experiment’.)
Finally, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about respect –
Respect, also called esteem, is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something considered important, or held in high esteem or regard. It conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities. And it is also the process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings.
My challenge to you would be this – instead of asking, ‘Does my horse respect me?’, or, ‘How can I get my horse to respect me?’, start by asking yourself if you respect them. Start treating them with consistent respect. Change your mindset, and treat them well regardless of the outcome.
Is it time to get rid of the word ‘respect’ from our vocabulary, and find other ways to connect with and understand our horses? Let me know in the comments!
Keep connecting with your horses,
If you’re wondering what’s going on with your horse, grab my free pdf, ‘What’s Wrong With My Horse?‘.
Or, cut to the chase and get all your burning questions answered in an Animal Communication session, (includes physical check, and energetic clearing and rebalancing).
Trisha Wren has been an equine professional for most of her adult life. She rode, competed, and taught Western Riding for 15 years in Scotland, then horse and rider bio-mechanics in New Zealand and Australia for 10 years. She’s been a full time horse communicator and healer since April 2016. Find out more about Trisha here and sign up for her self paced Animal Communication course here.