• Elaine Sanders

Stop Calling Your Horse a B*TCH! (Do this instead.)

Sorry in advance for the language!

Have you ever been called a dick? Have you ever been called a bitch? I have. It hurts.

Yet I hear it all the time in the horse world. I hear it from horse people, I read it on social media, even from quite well respected horse folks.

People call their horses all kinds of names. And yeah, sometimes it takes place with love and endearment, like, “oh you little jerk”, 9 times out of ten it’s serious, and said with anger, resentment, frustration, and exasperation. He’s an asshole. She’s such a bitch. That horse is a dick.

No human wakes up in the morning and thinks, Well today I’m going to be a dick. Whatever shenanigans that a person does, no matter how big or small, is done with some intention even if it is unconscious. If they say something cutty or judgmental, it shows their own lack of confidence. If they hurt you, it means that they’re hurting. If they are cold and stand-offish, it’s because they don’t trust easily. There’s always a reason for their behaviour.

Just think of yourself. Have you ever judged someone because you felt inferior and small? Have you ever said something hurtful because you were hurting? Have you ever held yourself back from someone because trusting is hard? Of course you have! You didn’t wake up one day and decide that you were going to do those things; they happened because you were protecting yourself.

I’m not saying that they’re effective techniques but they are sometimes our first response to what we sense to be an attack. There’s always a reason for our behaviour, even if we don’t know what it is.

So in the same way, your horse doesn’t just decide to be a bitch or an asshole or whatever. Whatever shenanigans that your horse does, there’s a reason for it. Your horse didn’t wake up and decide that he was going to make your life difficult. He is just trying to protect himself in some shape or form.

How you respond to your horse’s behaviour will make or break the relationship though.

Let’s look at an example with humans.

Imagine that you are talking to your friend and all of a sudden she says something hurtful.

Option 1: You could retaliate and say something hurtful back.

Or, Option 2, you could pause and try to find the essence of what she said, why she said what she said. Did she say it because she is hurting? Did she say it because she is insecure? Once you discern what the real reason was behind her comment, then you could talk about that.

In option 1, you’ll see the relationship suffer. In option 2, it’ll flourish.

So now back to your horse. Let’s say that he does something that seems like a dick-move, or she acts bitchy, you have the same two options

Option 1, you could retaliate and respond to the behaviour that is presenting on the surface.

Or, Option 2, you could pause, look below the surface, and ask yourself why your horse just did what he/she did. And once you discern that it was from a lack of rapport, trust, respect, or connection, then you could address that.

In option 1, you’ll watch the relationship fall apart. And in option 2, you’ll set the stage for an incredible relationship as your horse feels so heard and listened to.

So next time that your two-legged or four-legged friend makes a dick-move, or acts bitchy, don’t assume that it’s because they are a dick or they are a bitch. Instead, pause, collect yourself, look deeper, and explore why they did what they just did.

Then instead of retaliating on a surface level, you can connect deeply.

Here’s to You and Your Horse!


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