What dropping U.S. divorce rates mean for your horse


How’s your week been?

I’ve been busy cleaning and painting the house for my Dad’s visit in 3 weeks as it will be his first visit out here.

It’s funny how we feel we have to make the effort for our parents, isn’t it?

But I guess it’s only right given the effort they made raising us.

Here’s my new kitchen – all new paint, cleaned spotless, and even added a backsplash on the walls!

My new kitchen!

Anyway, during a break away from the painting I was flicking through a magazine and started reading an article on dating and divorce.

We tend to think that divorce is sky high and always on the increase but it turns out the opposite is true.

U.S. divorce rate have dropped 18 percent from 2008 to 2016, according to University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen.

The reason is that Generation X and especially millennials are being pickier about who they marry, tying the knot at older ages when education, careers and finances are on track.

[Generations Xers were born early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980s. Millennials early 1980s to mid-1990s to early 2000s].

The article also looked at how long couples had been together before getting married.

Researchers at Emory University surveyed over 3,000 people in the United States who are, or have been married, about various aspects of their dating, engagements, and their weddings.

Although their primary focus was the cost of a wedding, they included other factors predicting marital dissolution.

Compared to dating less than one year before a marriage proposal, dating one to two years significantly dropped the future likelihood of divorce by about 20 percent.

Dating three or more years before marriage decreased the likelihood of divorce to about 50 percent.

Interesting, huh? People and their relationships.

Then I started thinking about horses.

I’ve worked with so many women at my clinics who are desperate for a relationship with their horse but they have no idea how to go about it.

Maybe, they’ve been to a clinic where the trainer was able to get the horse to follow all his commands within minutes.

Or they’ve read about these competitions where trainers were able to break and ride a wild horse within a few hours.

If that’s your thing, then OK, but these trainers don’t have a relationship with that horse, they have control of it.

That kind of situation is more like a one-night stand than a relationship.

And when it’s your own horse, aren’t you looking for something more personal and long lasting?

Something deeper?

Something more connected at a heart level?

That’s what I’ve always wanted with my horses.

So what can we learn from the studies and stat’s above that I read in the magazine?

They clearly show that the longer a couple spent getting to know each other, the more successful their marriage was likely to be.

And it makes perfect sense when you think about it.

So why don’t we take the same approach with our horses?

That would make sense too, right?

Here are a few suggestions which will help in forming a lasting relationship with your horse:

  1. Take time to get to know your horse and just do nothing together. You want to be present and mindful and let your horse get to know you too, by just hanging out. Act like one of the other horses in the herd and just be in the present moment instead of always thinking about what you want to do next.
  2. Observe and Listen to your horse. Watch his mannerisms and see what he likes, what he’s afraid of, and where he likes to be. Listen to what your horse is saying to you about what he wants to do with you, or not do. Listen to him to see what he is comfortable doing.
  3. Look at things from your horse’s perspective and have empathy for what your horse is feeling. Look at why he is scared, anxious, or nervous and try to help him feel more secure and confident. Allow him to learn to trust you.

I sometimes refer to this approach as ‘romancing your horse’.


It has to be approached from his point of view.

What would he like?

What would make him happy? Remember to put yourself in a happy state of mind while being present as well.

Don’t you like to be around happy people?

Well, so does your horse.

Try it.

You might be pleasantly surprised.

And I’d love to hear from you in the Comments below 🙂


Please Share

  • During a break up of a relationship i would spend more time with the horses and pony brushing watching them eat and of course crying into their mane they senced something was a miss but they sure comforted me i thank you in all the hosre hints that you send. Very Greatful ,

  • Excellent , down to earth advice . All of us like to feel comfortable and safe . We choose our friends for many different reasons but those friendships only really blossom and last when built on trust and shared fun and experiences . Horses don’t get to choose their human friends; we choose them so it is up to us to give them time , space etc and make them feel welcome, safe and loved. Thank you for giving suchgood advice . Always good to build a new relationship slowly x

    • Thank you Moira. I agree, a foundation of trust is so important before a true relationship can get started. 🙂

  • “These trainers don’t have a relationship with the horse, they have control of it” – love this statement – so very powerful!

  • Sherrie Wilkie says:

    Love your analogy. It is so true. I`m having my baby put down this afternoon. Can hardly focus, but I know I have to do it. He is in a lot of pain and meds don`t work anymore. We sit a lot and this last week I could see the pain in his eyes. As much as I am upset I know that he is done himself. I feel having listened and read a lot of your posts it has helped us both so much. Thank you Teddy. I love your kitchen as well.

    • I am so sorry for your loss Sherrie. There is nothing worse than losing a part of your heart and a fur family member. They will forever be in our hearts! <3

  • As usual your advice is excellent, down to earth and practical! 🙂
    It feels great not having to be the ‘boss’! I can be myself now with my horses, soft gentle,kind and compassionate. They love it when I hang out with them, not expecting anything, not asking anything. They are learning to trust me because I try hard to listen to them, and respect their ‘no’. It doesn’t happen overnight, but good relationships take time. It gets better and better as time goes on.
    Thank you for all your help and advice. 😊👍💜

    • Thank you Pam. I am always here to help in any way I can. This way of being with horses and the development of amazing relationships is truly near and dear to my heart.

  • That makes a lot of sense. I love just spending time with my rescue boy and don’t ride every time I go to the paddock. My fellow Agisting humans don’t understand they ride no matter what even if their horse is thin and a bit unwell. Riding is paramount to them. I always get comments but then my boy comes when I call him and walks beside me and they say can you teach my horse to do that. He is in a 100 acre paddock so not close when I call him. I love just being with him and riding but one is just important as the other.
    I hope your fathers visit is fun and filled with great memories. Love your posts and the carrot one helped me heaps.
    Thank you 😊

    • Thank you Diane. Yes, you are absolutely right and I love how your boy comes when you call and stays close. That is such a special feeling. Keep up the good work and thank you for your continued support and reading. 🙂

  • This week Libby was calling and kicking her barn door. I’ve been busy with summer guests, gardens and greenhouse. Upkeep of the place and cleaning. She is known to do this if I’m late for feeding. But this was no where near her feeding time! I called out to her, are you lonely, have I neglected you? She called out vigorously. Do you want to go play? Again she answered with lots of energy. I dropped what I was doing got my clicker bag and went to join my dearest friend. She was spot on with every cue. We went through everything we’ve learned. I threw the footbal farther than ever and she went and got it brought it back and put it in my outstreched hand as I ran from her. We played for almost an hour. As I turned to leave she stepped in front of me, so l played stay and come. I dumped the rest of the clicker treats in her bowl and went back to work.
    A couple days later thinking how much she seemed to enjoy it, and I sure had, I went to play. Lol well she wasnt really into it. I threw the ball. She wandered over to the cone. Then over to the fence, looking back at me at each wrong answer. I got to laughing because it was clear to me she was avoiding the right answer. Not sure me quitting was ok but she seemed to think it was pretty funny too. There was a time I would have taken this as a direct challenge. She didnt get treats, I left her alone. That is our relationship. Sometimes we just don’t feel.like it.. Lol

    • I love to hear stories like that Betty. LOL Once you can really listen and hear what your horse is telling you, it’s amazing how much they talk to you. Love it!

  • Loved reading this ❤️ Thank you for reconfirming my beliefs in just being present with my horses ❤️❤️❤️

  • Andrea Howard says:

    A really enjoyable read, thank you. I am doing my best to build a bond with my horse. I try to be as understanding as possible with him as he is very opinionated.
    Calm approach and reassurance but a long journey.

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