You’re So Lucky


“You’re so lucky” has been a familiar phrase in the last few weeks.  I’ve heard this over and over again at my barn and after people have seen my horse, Merlin.

It’s usually followed by…

    •     You have an easy horse.
    •     He’s so sweet.
    •     He’s so willing.
    •     He’s so gentle.
    •     He’s so loving.
    •     He’s so smart.
    •     You picked a good one.
    •     How did you find him?
    •     It must be in the genes.

People who have seen or have known my other horses have also told me that I must have a good “picker” because all my horses are so smart and well-behaved.

And I have to tell them that good horses are developed, not found. 

I’ve seen so many people who have just purchased a horse that they feel is a “good horse” and then get frustrated a few weeks or months later because the horse isn’t doing what they want. 

It’s not because they didn’t pick the right horse.  That horse could have been just right for the last owner, but it’s different now.  There is a new owner, new dynamics, new responsibilities, new expectations, and a new relationship.

Therefore, a new way of working together has to be developed and trained.  It’s about how the two of you interact and work together.  Habits can be gained or lost and a good horse for someone else might not be a good horse for you.

So, let’s look at all my horses and see how good my “picker” was…

My horse Jazz was a rescue who I met at a year and a half old.  When I purchased him, I had to go through a court battle to keep him alive as he had just tried to kill his trainer and had done some major damage.  He was classified as a very dangerous, uncontrollable, violent horse.  

So why would anyone who saw him a few years later say that I got lucky and picked a good horse?  Why would people later classify him as a sweet, gentle, loving, and willing horse? He became fun, playful, happy, and well-behaved.  He loved being around children and was so gentle and caring with them.

It wasn’t luck.  It was because of his training.  It was because of how we developed our relationship together and how that translated to his relationship with other people as well.  He became trusting, happy, and compassionate.

Apollo, Jazz’s son, who I had raised since birth was a loving and gentle horse until he was stolen from me at 2 years old.  When I found him a year later the person who had ended up with him told me that he was a crazy, dangerous, and violent horse that couldn’t be trained.  

However, when Apollo saw me again, he broke down his stall door and ran to me, loved on me, and then gently got into the trailer without any issue or tack.  He went right back to that sweet, wonderful horse I knew before he had been stolen.

Why did a violent dangerous horse turn gentle and loving in a matter of minutes?  It wasn’t luck.  It was because of his training and the relationship that had developed between us.  It was because of our deep, heart-to-heart connection.

Then there was D’Artagnan.  He was 4 when I met him and he was the last stallion on the breeding farm to be sold.  The owner was having trouble selling him because he would attack anyone who got close to him, hated people, couldn’t be caught, and was dangerous and violent. His owners had decided to just put him down because in their minds he was a hopeless cause.  

Then one of their friends told them to contact me and see if I could help.  When I went out to see this dangerous horse, I stood at the fence looking at a few horses in the field and talking to the owner when one of the horses came up to me.

The horse that came up to me was gentle, he nuzzled my arm, he let me pet him, and he was very sweet.  I looked at the owner and was surprised to see his jaw on the ground in shock.  The horse that had been untouchable and dangerous was now nuzzling into me for attention.  Why?

It was because of the instant connection we had.  He could see my heart and I could see his.  Later that same horse was the most willing, kind, and gentle horse I’ve ever owned.  Why?  Because of the training and the relationship we developed together.  It was luck that we found each other, but not how we interacted.  

Now Merlin, who I met at 5 months old and have owned since he was 6 months, was a sweetheart from the start.  He has been a dream to work with, play with, and train every step of the way.  So maybe he was a good pick.  It was definitely luck that brought us together.

But I found out that sweetness didn’t always translate to everyone.  Turns out that there were one or two other people he didn’t really get along with.  But luckily, he’s never been anything but wonderful with me.

That shows you how different types of training truly affect your horse and also how quickly their attitudes and behaviors can change with training they enjoy.  And how important a good relationship is with your horse.  It makes a difference and a big one!

If you missed last week’s video update on Merlin’s second year with me, I’ve put it below.  In the middle of this video is a section showing how I am training him and how willing he is to listen on his first time working on his rein pressures.  You can see how willing he is to try new things and how trusting he is to listen.

Today’s blog lesson is… “It’s Love, not Luck” that will bring you the amazing horse you’ve always dreamt about.

Training and having a great relationship are key, but it all boils down to the love the two of you share.

Don’t worry about picking the right horse or even a good horse.  When you choose a horse, use your heart, and the rest can always be worked out in training and developing the best relationship you can.

And if you’ve had a horse for a while that is still giving you trouble or isn’t quite where you want him or her, give me a call, and let’s chat about how I can help you get to where you want.  It’s a complimentary call and the advice is free too. 

I just want to help you and your horse be happy.  It’s important to me.  I want horses all over the world to have a happy life.

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


Please Share

  • Sarah Hurell says:

    Such a beautiful story that you shared re your horses and interesting reading. Thanks for the reminder that it is all about the bond.

    • You have such a beautiful bond with your horse as well. I love hearing from you about your adventures together.

  • I just love this! I’ve also been told about how lucky I have been with my horses…they loaded by themselves, were polite, etc. And I think you know how much I loved them. My new guy Rhett is a lot like your Merlin now that he’s been with us for a few months. He was a little head shy at first, but no more! He loves his hugs and puts his head right in his halter instead of playing the “you can’t catch me” game.

    Why don’t more people see what happens when you’re kind to horses? It just boggles my mind!

    • I agree with you. Too many people can be stuck in their ways of handling horses without realizing how much they are damaging them mentally and physically. It’s sad.

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