Are You Prepared for the Unexpected?


Most people say that you can’t be prepared for everything when it comes to horses, but I disagree.

There are certain basics that will help you in every situation that you find yourself in with your horse, unexpected or not.

  1.     Remain Calm.
  2.     Assess the Situation (immediately and as quickly as possible).
  3.     Decide on the Best Solution.
  4.     Execute your Decision.

These 4 guidelines have helped me numerous times get out of bad situations when working with horses.  #1 being the most important.

However, what about before the situation happens?

How do you prepare for a situation that hasn’t happened yet?

Well, besides keeping these 4 guidelines in mind at all times to help you get through a hairy situation, one of the best ways to be prepared for anything is to know your horse.

That can easily be done by developing the best relationship you can with your horse. 

In doing so, you learn…

    What makes your horse tick?

    What spooks your horse or puts him/her on high alert?

    What makes your horse defensive?

    When your horse pushes back or digs his/her heals in?

    What calms your horse down?

    How your horse thinks and feels.

And on top of you learning about your horse, in a good relationship, your horse learns about you…

    Can you be trusted?

    Are you listening to his/her needs or requests?

    Are you a part of his/her herd?

    Do you know the herd dynamics and behaviors needed to make your horse feel safe?

    Do you really care about your horse’s safety?

    Does your horse feel protected when you’re around?

All of these are developed when you build a strong, loving bond with your horse.

So when something goes wrong… 

  •     Your horse will listen to you because he/she knows you can be trusted. 
  •     Your horse will stay calm and as safe as possible for you because not only do you know how to stay calm yourself, but you also know how to keep your horse calm.
  •     Your horse will look to you for guidance because he/she knows you have the herd’s best interest at heart.
  •     The two of you will be in sync and be working together to resolve the situation because your communication is perfect and your bond is strong.  It will all be automatic.
  •     When something happens, your horse will try to protect you and instead of running you over in fear, he/she will run by you or in the opposite direction in order to protect you.

Being prepared for anything boils down to being so deeply bonded, heart-to-heart, that your connection, communication, and cooperation happen without either of you having to really think about it.

A lot of this preparedness also is thinking about everything you do when you are around your horse.  Take a second to think about what’s going on around you and how your current situation can be safer.

It only takes a second.  

For example: When you are grooming your horse and you have him/her on cross ties, don’t put your neck on the cross-tie as you brush your horse’s forehead. 

In one quick second, your horse could turn his head sharply due to a strange sound and it could cause serious injury to your neck, throw you on the ground and cause a broken bone, or even know you out with his own head.

Just because it hasn’t happened before, doesn’t mean it’s not going to ever happen.  Just be smart about what you do and try to think one step ahead.  You can keep yourself 90% safe just by being aware of your surroundings and being smart. 

It’s when we get complacent, lazy, and start doing things out of habit that accidents happen. 

Think before you act!

Thinking and being smart for me is doing research as well.  You know me, I love to do research. But some of that research is not only to learn new things, but it is also to be prepared for whatever. It just makes me feel safer and more secure to be prepared. 

Here’s a personal example – 

I recently had surgery as you read in my blog two weeks ago.  And of course, I did research on what was going to happen, the best ways to get through recovery well, and what I would need to do at home after my surgery.  My husband was a great help but I also wanted to prepare him for what was to come.

Well, the research I did on my surgery was very helpful. And I am very glad that I did it because there is a lot that the doctors and nurses didn’t tell me that could have made such a difference. 

  •     They didn’t tell me I’d need to sleep in a recliner or in a reclining position for the first 3 weeks. Luckily I had one already and could get it ready before coming home from the hospital. But then with a complication, I had to buy a power lift recliner the first week after I got home. 
  •     They didn’t tell you the best items to eat or drink to help your recovery either like protein drinks and drinks to increase your hydration.
  •     They didn’t tell you to drink liquids and soft foods for the first 2 weeks.  Plus so much more I found out when researching.

luckily I did a bunch of special grocery shopping beforehand since research said I wouldn’t be leaving the house for a few weeks and I’d need a caretaker 24/7 for the first 2 weeks.

There was a lot they didn’t tell me that would have really been beneficial for my recovery.  They really didn’t prepare me for what was to come. But luckily my research did. I also purchased quite a few other necessary items for the home that I am so grateful I learned about beforehand. They made my recovery go much smoother. 

Preparation is important in so many cases, including horses.  Plus it makes me feel better when I know that no matter what happens, especially the unexpected, I’ve got a good handle on it and so does my horse. 

There’s a lot I’ve learned the hard way through many years of owning horses. But even more, I’ve learned through sharing and talking to others, reading, and taking courses. I’ve learned things that have quite literally saved my life a few times. Like how to stay on a horse when they get scared and bolt or twist quickly, and how to see that behavior coming beforehand so I can be ready. 

Being able to read a horse’s behavior right before an explosion, a kick, a bolt, or a charge has significantly increased my safety around horses. Especially as my expertise is working with dangerous, difficult, and shutdown horses. 

This is a skill I can teach and a skill that you can learn.

You can’t learn too much. There is always something more, especially with horses. There’s so much to learn like raising foals, keeping your horse healthy, senior horse care, health care for all sorts of issues, basic maintenance, how to ride in different disciplines, jumping, dressage, performance, endurance, trick training, and trail riding. Omg! 

There is so much you can do and learn with your horse.  But you have to start with a strong foundation. 

If you have a strong, loving, trusting, and co-creative relationship with your horse…everything is possible. But if you don’t…doing anything could be difficult. It makes a world of difference. 

That’s what I teach and that’s my specialty. Let me help you start out on the right foot right from the beginning to make sure everything else you do and learn is easier for both you and your horse. Once you have the right foundation, no matter what you learn next, it will go much smoother than you could imagine. 

Even if you’ve had your horse for years and have been trying to do one thing or another and have always had pushback or resistance, you can start over and reset your relationship with your horse and gain a new, stronger foundation and relationship. It’s never too late to get what you want and have an amazing, close relationship with your horse where everything is smooth, happy, and easy.

Until next week, have a great weekend, and Happy Horses!

And if you need help or just support from a fellow horse girl, I’m here for you and would love to chat about it.

If this resonates with you and you haven’t yet dipped your toe into my programs, then click this link. Check them out and let me know if you have any questions, by contacting me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Please Share

  • It’s always great to hear from you. How is your recovery going? I can’t believe you weren’t told everything you needed to know before your surgery, or after it. Wow.

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