The missing component…


I got a shock last week and it has really affected me for some reason.

One of my friends that I play pool with every week told me that his wife left him. After 27 years. He said that she came home and said, “I love you but I’m not IN-LOVE with you anymore.” And then she walked out and moved in with a friend. Just like that, it was over.

He was shocked and couldn’t even fathom what that meant. They were friends even before they married. They have two children, one in High School and one in College. And they just got back from a lovely surprise trip that he planned for them on their anniversary.

He said they laughed, had fun, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. He had no idea there was a problem. He has been happy for years and thought she was too. He wishes there had been some clues so he could have tried to fix them. He would have talked it out and discussed it if he knew she wasn’t happy.

He says there is nothing more important than his family.

This whole break up thing has shocked me. I always looked at their marriage as solid as stone. He has always been devoted to her, smiles when he talks about her, never complains, puts up with her stuff, takes care of her, and is a true gentle heart.

She is vibrant, rambunctious, funny, energetic, and a bit high-maintenance. But she always looks happy, is smiling and joking around. The whole thing didn’t make any sense to me. I think that’s why it was such a shocker to me.

It didn’t make any sense to me how two people who looked so much in love and happy could just end it all of a sudden.

His wife won’t talk about it, doesn’t want to work it out, and won’t even take his calls. And all he wants is to have her back and to do anything to make it work and make her happy. Pure devotion and love.

I listened to what he was doing and saying about missing her and wanting to get her back. What I saw in his eyes and felt in his heart was the dedication and desire that I had in finding Apollo when he was taken from me.

My boy Apollo

If you haven’t read that story about Apollo, you can see it here…

I recognized the same emotion in him. He is determined and IN-LOVE with his wife.

Then those words kept repeating in my head “I love you but I’m not IN-LOVE with you”.

It’s really hard to explain the difference, but I totally understand what she was saying. I had two male friends that after years of being friends both of them proposed to me. At different times in my life. And I used that same line with them.

I loved them as friends and would do almost anything for them if they ever needed me. But I didn’t feel that deep, heart pounding, true love that made my heart sing every time I saw them. Do you know what I mean?

When I met my husband I knew right away there was something different about him, about us. I felt happy but at a completely different level than a friend. Again, it’s hard to explain. But if you’ve ever felt it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

That spark, that light, that true heart-felt joy is what brought us together. It is also what keeps us together through the ups and downs of life. I can’t imagine going through this life without him by my side. However, before I met him…I thought I didn’t need anyone.

Before I met him, I was happy. I had a good life, good friends, and a great family. I enjoyed my career and my life. But now, that heart-felt joy in me has increased to another level that I didn’t even know existed and would never have imagined.

Just like there was a moment in time that I can pinpoint a dramatic increase in love and joy when I met my husband…there is also a moment in time that I can pinpoint a dramatic increase in love and joy with my horses. I’ll never forget that moment in time when I truly felt connected to my horse Jazz. And another moment when Apollo connected that deeply with me.

For each horse I have owned, there was one moment that I felt them connect. When they fell IN-LOVE with me and our relationship became different. There really is an AHA moment! When I felt it with Jazz the first time it was so powerful that I just broke down and cried. I was shocked, but in a good way.

Thinking about what happened with my friends brought me back to thinking about those incredible moments in my life that I truly connected deeply to my horses and them to me. I cherish those moments. Plus, from what I have heard from so many of my students starting out is that those moments are few and far between. But they all experience their own moments once they go through my training.

I think that those moments are the missing components to the best possible relationship with your horse. I think that deep connection, being IN-LOVE for both you and your horse, is the main component missing from most partnerships.

Actually, I think it is also missing from almost all of the training programs that I have seen through the years.

Yes, I know you can’t train how to fall IN-LOVE with your horse and vice versa. But I can teach you the steps to a better relationship which then brings you close enough to fall IN-LOVE with each other. I bring you the opportunities to fall in-love.

One of my students told me this after completing my personal coaching program:

“One thing for sure… I know she loves me and I know she knows I love her”

That was a big difference from where she started. She loved her horse and did everything she could to make her happy. But it just wasn’t working and she couldn’t find that missing component.

Now she has it and she and her horse are IN-LOVE with each other and their partnership is incredible. She has the horse of her dreams and her horse has the human of her dreams.

Just like a marriage, you need to continuously work on it and keep the spark alive. Just because you were IN-LOVE once, doesn’t mean it’s going to always be the same. Just as I saw with my friends who have been married for 27 years.

I am always telling my husband that we need to do things together to stay connected and sometimes re-connect. Weekly date nights, surprise adventures, flowers or cards, and maybe even a poem if it comes from the heart.

And it’s not about the getting. It’s about the giving.

Give what you feel in your heart, give what you want to see in your partner, give without any expectations of a return. And the magic will happen for you too. This works for your human partner as well as your horse partner.

Fall IN-LOVE all over again and watch how everything becomes simpler and easier with your horse and with your training. Add play dates, treats just to show your love, hugs and scratches filled with emotion, and just hang out together for hours doing nothing but enjoying each other’s company.

Add those things to your current routine and you’ll see the magic start to happen. Enjoy and be happy. I hope your horse makes your heart sing with true love and joy and vice versa.

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  • Sarah Hurrell says:

    Aww, I have had a few friends part company over the past three years which was such a shock. It would be devastating to not be able to resolve it with one"s partner because they choose not to discuss it. How very difficult to not be given the opportunity to talk about it and work through it.

    My husband works shift work and so we have had to be very intentional in how we connect as I have picked up more teaching work over the last few years so we can address deferred maintenance on the house once our son got to college age.

    I was thinking about my relationship (and connection) with my horse, Sahara recently, and how my riding has changed since doing your courses. I have learned to slow down and smell the roses, so to speak. Well, spend more time on the ground with my horse, hanging out with her, without this go, go, go mentality. Catch, groom and ride, ride ride. I have learned to love the connecting we have, be it scratching, grooming or jumping on bareback for a ride around the paddock, out with friends, out on walks together. Sometimes she doesn't want to be groomed, or want a saddle pad or saddle on. Sometimes she doesn't want to be ridden, either.

    Lockdown last year was such an eye opener for me. I had quite a few kids that used to ride her to help pay for my horse bills. I was aware that sometimes she used to bite when a child got on, or when I was leaning over her to open up a gate so we could ride through. During level 4 lockdown last year I noticed she had stopped biting and I realized that she had been showing anxiety. She didn't like all those kids riding.

    About the same time I also realized that her excessive shying when I was riding out on my own was due to my subconscious fear of falling off ( I had been dumped by her in the paddock three years prior during our first Spring flush), so I stopped riding out and about for a while and focused on building up our trust.

    Since doing that we are having lots more special connecting moments. My favourite times are when I float her to the beach . I let her graze for a bit and if I can take her off the led to this she loves it even more. Then eventually she heads down to the beach and takes me for a walk. It is wonderful. I clip her lead on only if I need to (lots of dogs around, etc). If she is happy for me to jump on, I will enjoy a ride as well.

    I only kept one of my riders on after level 4 was lifted last year. We have both learned together how to bond with Sahara on the ground. I get so much pleasure watching them connect with each other.

    Thanks Teddie for your courses. I am slowly working through "Recess with your horse", as our winter weather allows and look forward to deepening our bond much more 🙂

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