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Beyond the colorful lights, the trees, the ornaments and the cookies, the holidays are a time to reflect on what matters most – family, friends, the many blessings in our lives, and of course, the horses we spend time with.

Through my life horses have given me so much, from companionship and confidence as a child, to countless fond memories of exhilarating trail rides or quiet moments in a stall, to new friends and experiences, but probably most importantly, the skills of being present, mindful, and connected.

We wanted to do something special for the holidays, to highlight what brings us all together as riders, what is most important about being with horses. So we went around our community and asked, what have horses given you?

I think you’ll see some of yourself in each of these answers.

Click play below to watch the video and Merry Christmas!


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86 Responses

  1. I always loved horses, I love riding them, caring for them,when I spend time with them I receive peace and joy!!

    Buon Natale!!!

  2. Merry Christmas, Callie and team!! Loved this video. And hey – Diane and Sandy, riding buddies! Happy New Year, everyone!
    – Hope

  3. Hi from Portugal! Horses have given me a way out from depression.. they are my therapy and have shown me how a simple class or trail can be the highlight of my week. I try to ride at least once a week and it is a precious time for me. Horses have given me peace and a connection that I was able to discover later in life since I only started riding last year when I turned 30.

  4. The greatest gift my horse has given me is my life, and he continues to do that every day. He came to me in a time of my life 16 years ago when all hope was gone. He continues to give me a reason to keep on keeping on and continues to help me learn about what’s really important in life. Love, trust, and companionship.

  5. Hi Callie ! Thank you for all the videos. that help me a lot. Nice messages in this one. I just think horses helps us to become better persons. They give us all they are so we just have to do same . Meury chrismas from switzerland !

  6. Happy holidays to you guys and thank you for all the efforts put into making these videos and blogs that help us all to be better horse people.

  7. Great video & question. Horses have given me dreams to strive for, courage to try, purpose, empathy for a creation of God’, something that always takes my breath away and creates awe.

  8. Thank you Callie, Julia, and all at CRK for bringing us the gift of education, insight and connection with our horses. Our horses are such a gift to us, and you are such a gift to them!
    You are making us better people for our horses!!
    Merry Christmas!

  9. Having my first horse at fifty, has reminded me that we are never too old to learn and never too strong to fail along the way. Merry Christmas and God Bless.

  10. Happy Christmas to all Equestrian’s around the world and thanks Callie you are an amazing teacher and I’m learning loads from your videos, so thank you I hope you have prosperous new year Sue Anness uk

  11. Merry Christmas. I am so glad I found uou, your live if horses & understanding validates my own connection. I feel like I belong to a community. Horses have been in my life since I was 2 years old. They tesch me so much, give me love understanding, heartbreak all what life is. They are my passion & family.

  12. Love your videos. You have a really quiet way with the horses, and one can see how productive this is. I take away lots of useful thoughts from your sessions which I try to apply when I am riding. As one of the ladies on the video said – when you are riding, you think of nothing else, you are completely in the moment. I quite agree, and that is soooo good for us.

  13. Great video – 2 ladies who were in it said exactly what I feel – being totally in the present so I can’t think of anything else when I am riding . Horses are my passion – I cannot imagine life without them.

  14. I’m from uk and love been riding five years and a mature rider own own horse 14.2 standard bred had loads of fun and she’s precious and have a X fallabello Shetland which I drive both give enormous pleasure very glad I joined crk formal your videos and wisdom
    Absolutely brilliant

  15. The gift horsses have given me is an amazing relationship with my daughter. We got our first pony when she was just heading into her teenage years. while she was connecting with her horse we connected with each other while grooming Charles and caring for him together we would talk together about all sorts of things and spent to much time together. I am so grateful for that.. He was an amazing horse and was sent to us for a reason, sadly he passed away two yrs ago from cancer it was devastating. It was a privilidge watching their relationship. He left such a huge gap in my life that I then began my own journey and began learning to ride and now have my own pony. My Sky has taught me to breathe and be in the here and now. Like one of the ladies in the video when I am with her I think of nothing else it’s just me and her and I love it and I love her. Merry Christmas.

  16. Thank you for the videos and Merry Christmas to you all . Horses are great teachers. I have learned so much from mine. They have taught me that when I am with them they I must be totally in the here and now. They also teach the quiet communication of subtle body language.

  17. Have a wonderful Christmas!
    Nothing in this world has given me more incentive than my two horses.
    It has to be very bad driving if I skip one day at the stables.
    They make me focus and enjoy every move and response they give me.
    Time just flies – so it is great to enjoy the very present.

  18. Loved this video. Ever since I was a child I’ve always loved horses and wanted to learn to ride and have my own horse but it was never possible. I had to make do with having rides on the horses on the beach and on holiday! Finally at the age of 68 I had my first proper riding lesson and I absolutely love it. Although I will probably never be lucky enough to own a horse just riding my school horse gives me so much pleasure. Your videos Callie have been such a great help to me I watch them all the time! Merry Christmas to you Callie and all the team.

    1. Andrea, never say never – anything is possible! Merry Christmas 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  19. Passion definitely as each time I take Molly, my Miniature To visits others, I am blessed by the blessings she gives others & the warmth of our companionship to bring joy & smiles to others. Like on Facebook: Molly Maewest. In addition; I find peace when out riding trails with my Tennessee Walker.
    Thank you for posting your videos & have a Merry Christmas !

  20. Merry Christmas to all of you. Horses have given me a sense of being, able to connect and love another living creature. They are God’s blessings to us. These wonderful four legged beings bring us patience, kindness, love and compassion. They teach us so much. I see my two horses everyday and feel greatful for them in my life.

  21. What a journey I have had with Maggi. Through my tears and anger and frustration ,Maggi has taught me patience, perseverance, and commitment. Maggi has given me a reason to get up every day. She has given me love. She has taught me to listen. Enjoy your horses. Merry Christmas!

  22. This was a beautiful video, Callie! Thank you! The gift my horses have given to me is the gift of health. Before I was a horse owner, I rarely went outside. It was either too hot or cold or rainy or…something. I never exercised, ever.

    Now, I’m a completely different person because I have these phenomenal animals to care for, spend time with, and play with. Everyday, whether it’s 100* or -15*, rainy, blazing sun, windy or dead calm, I am at the barn getting fresh air, 10,000 steps, and a peaceful heart. I love my horses. They have given me a healthy life.

  23. I love the connection, how knowing a horse for a while, riding it often, brings the feeling of mutual co-operation, of one mind, of trust. An at-one-ment. Atonement. Its both exciting and healing at the same time. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and thank you.

  24. Lovely video, Callie. My horse has given me the lesson of patience, slowing down and focusing and being in the moment. It’s hard to put in to words. I cannot imagine not having them in my life. Best wishes to you, Julia and everyone else on your team.

  25. My horse has and continues to give me life, in every sense of the word. Emotional, mental, physchological, and physical. Spending time with horses, for me, is a passion.

  26. Thank you for your Wonderful message to all!! You are a gift as well to horses and humans….
    Cheers and Merry Christmas!!

  27. Horses enabled the development of the wonderful bond I have with my father. He used to work too hard, seven days a week, long hours and was quite stressed. Prior to horses I hardly knew him, now he is the most important person in my life. When I was about 10 years old, he took time out to support my passion for horses and we developed a fabulous relationship as a result. He became very involved with the Pony Club I joined and was at different times the president, chief instructor, treasurer, and secretary. He was always willing to take me and my horse anywhere I wanted to go, competitions, trail rides, Pony Club camps, the beach etc. Due to horses and dad’s involvement I sailed through my teenage years without any problems with drugs or boyfriends. My passion for horses has never faded and at 65 years old I still ride almost every day. Dad is now 97 and I have the pleasure of returning the favour as his chauffeur.
    One of the ladies in the video mentioned the other very important thing horses do for me. In today’s busy world, riding horses, having lessons and being with them enable me to be in the moment and forget all the stress and the long “to do” list. They create peace in my otherwise chaotic life.
    Throughout my life horses have taught me so many valuable lessons. They are the most amazing animals, powerful, majestic, forgiving and unbelievably gentle.

  28. The gift my horse has given me is finally realizing that I don’t have to control, cajole or coherse him to be my partner. Riding is such a small part of the experience…I would say, 10%. Since learning to connect on the ground and form a partnership based on mutual trust, communication and respect, my love of horses, my horse in particular, has quadrupled! Riding is far more fulfilling now. Perhaps this can relate to people as well. No agenda, no end result or timeline for the relationship. Simply enjoy whatever path or trail it takes us on.
    Merry Xmas and thank you Callie for
    All you do.

  29. my horses give me a peaceful place to be. They keep me grounded, and mindful. Merry Christmas Callie, I love all the information that you have given. My horses Never stop teaching me.

  30. I am grateful for this wonderful transcendent journey, the connections to such a supportive community and I love that being with horses is growing me into a better human being.

  31. For me it has been horses and dogs. I didnt have the best childhood but there were two things that made life actually have some hope and light and that was my dog and horses. Everytime I was at the barn or in a lesson everything was ok. I thrived on it, it literally got me through my childhood! Now, I get to show that to others as I work with horses and kids in foster care and I get the privilege of showing them what horses (and dogs!) can do for your soul, mind and body to help heal you and to let you know that there are some wonderful beautiful things in life even when you dont always feel that in your situation. I have gotten to see how healing horses are for us humans, I am truly grateful to God for giving them to us!

    1. Sonya, what a beautiful gift that animals have given you – they truly do so much for our souls!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  32. Horses have given me lessons and experiences to better love all of God’s creation and how to be a better human. Every horse has a lesson to teach on how to balance doing and being, how to observe the big picture while concentrating on a small task, how to have a greater understanding in how to be at rest, while being fully engaged, to be keenly aware while being fully relaxed, how to ask while intently listening, how to lead with assurance without tipping into any aggression, how to love myself while serving another first…to be persistent, when to persist and when to stop, how to fail, to forgive, to laugh, be encouraged, to succeed through the trials of every day events…..If you get tossed off, get back in the saddle, and try it again! It’s sweet to feel the thrill of victory! Then,call it a day, and see what tomorrow brings…

  33. Horses have given me a way to practice presence and mindfulness. A way to confront my fears and to express my love. They connect me with my community and my tribe.
    They are at the core of the life style I have chosen.

  34. Horses have given me a deep passion like nothing else I’ve known. Being with a horse especially grooming or giving a massage is my meditation. I am in total awe of them – their beauty, intuition, and their poetry in motion! I feel so blessed to have this connection with them. I have loved horses for as long as I can remember, but did not have the opportunity to ride or work with them until later in life.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all at CRK, horses, & horse lovers

  35. Horses are giving me calmness & stillness, and self awareness. Your CRK blog is so wonderful! Thank you for all you share. Getting over to your stable for a visit is on my bucket list!! Merry Christmas and may 2019 be your best year yet!!

    1. Thank you Patty for being a part of our community! Hope to see you at the farm someday 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  36. What a wonderful video! Thank you Callie, Julia and the CRK training team. Horses have taught me and continue to teach me awareness, patience and joy! As one of the people said in the video, when you are concentrating in a lesson it is impossible to think of anything else but what you are doing in the present moment. They remind us and teach us the importance of living in the moment and the joy that we find by living that way.
    Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and horse-filled New Year! I look forward to more or your courses and information in the new year.

  37. WOW! Thank you! What a marvelous gift you have given in this video! It brought tears to my eyes and I whole-heartedly agree with all those in the video have said. I can’t wait to snuggle up with my mint tea and read all the comments.
    What have horses given me? To understand what they have done for me, I need to give the background story. I apologize for its lengthiness. I had my own horse when I was in high school. When I was in my first year of college, my parents sold my hors and her filly without saying a word about it to me. This completely shredded me. It sent my life spinning off in bad direction that wasn’t remedied until I met my third husband, who was the love of my life. It was during this time that I realized how badly I wanted horses, but for many reasons I couldn’t have them. When it became apparent that my husband was going to die, I started researching horses – all the breeds, training methods, etc. (during this search I discovered Callie’s website, which to this day is a wonderful place to go). After his passing in 2014, I started my search for a horse. After 2 very sad and unhappy experiences, I found Zara and a great trainer to teach me how to ride, train and develop this wonderful relationship. Z brought out the inner cowgirl that has been lurking within me all my life!

    May each of you – and all your horses – have a wonderful holiday season!

    1. Connie, your story gave me chills. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your husband but it seems horses came back into your life for a reason. Happy Holidays!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  38. It is good to be reminded what gifts our horses have given us! They have been such a big part of my life for the last few years. I have grown more confident that I can be ME and be OK with that (and not compare myself to others on their horse journey), patient with my horse and also in other areas of my life, relaxed (just hanging out with my horse with no agenda and improving our relationship). My horse provided companionship and groundedness for me when I lost my husband. And this goes without saying….the immense gratitude that I feel that my magnificent Savannah allows me to sit astride of her, which is an awesome feeling! Happy Holidays to everyone and their horses!

    1. I’m sorry to hear the loss of your husband, glad that you were able to have your horse as an outlet during such a difficult time.

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  39. Horses have given me the greatest gift, life long love. I can’t remember a time ever when they didn’t give me a smile to my face and a lightness in my heart. This connectedness is then shared with any human around us even those that think they don’t have an affinity with horses fall under their spell when those big dark eyes look into the soul and the deep slow breaths bring us all into the moment.
    Thanks for the opportunity for us all to share these happy thoughts.
    Peace, joy, love and blessings to all at Christmas. XxMelinda

  40. My first horse came as a gift me, unexpectedly last Christmas. As an older beginner, I am amazed at how this beautiful, noble creature has enriched my life. Thank you for your videos – love watching and learning.

  41. Horses give me an escape from the busy-ness and stress of everything else in my life. When work or family or deadlines are pushing in, they are my therapy and my friends. They have shown me what I can achieve when I am passionate about something. They have also given me many wonderful friendships with my two-legged barn family that I wouldn’t trade for the world!

  42. I can’t even count all horses have given me. I wanted a horse as a child. I drew them wrote stories about them drew pictures of them like others. For any reasons i did not get one as a child so at the tender age of 48 I leased my first horse and then bought one. That was the first time I think I was really true to myself. In the number of years since I have had my horse i have learned so much about myself. She is a patient teacher. I learned the impact of my energy on others, how to be able to show love, be accepting and patient, be more positive, confident and let myself be present and connect.

    1. Charlotte, they can teach us so much more than just riding – we learn so much about ourselves through being with our horses!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  43. I agree with everything everyone has said, especially Harriet Lewis, who really nailed it! The gift from horses I most appreciate is that they set a powerful example of (yet again, cliche but so true!) how to live in the moment without apology or difficulty. Another gift I am grateful for is that they give the example of how to be completely straightforward in a response — they show very little guile or meanness. I know there are mean horses out there, but we all know that is not the foundational state of the horse’s nature. They show kindness and patience, especially my adored lesson horses, even if I’ve messed up. They set an example of remembering what has happened in the past, but showing me that even though they remember what I did right and wrong, they are still willing to see how THIS encounter, THIS lesson, might go differently. I take all of these skills into my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, and of course, my interactions with these gentle beasts who have — as (I think?) Patrick said — allowed me to be “taller, better looking, more powerful, faster,” and all around more impressive when I’m riding them! I’ve never been a “joiner,” never really liked being part of a team, but the “team” feeling when riding gives me a much deeper appreciation of what experiences many of friends have when they are part of a team of some kind. I’ve thus received the gift of better empathy towards fellow humans. A third (fourth? fifth? lol) gift I love the best is that connection they offer, the “we-two-are-one” feeling, the feeling of power and speed that hums in me, when the gait we’re in really clicks and we are ONE, trotting, cantering, or even just easily walking. I know everyone here understands all of this. What a relief to be around my tribe! Thanks to Callie, Julia, Wendy, to name just those I’ve “gotten to know,” as well as so many of you, for being part of my “team” (ha ha for the first time in my life I don’t mind saying that word!).

    1. Wonderfully put Pamela, thank you for sharing – they do give us so many gifts!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  44. Somebody once said, we humans live for the weekends [and holidays] , horses live in the present , the here and now . My horses taught me to first listen/ synchronise , and only then to be able to influence/change successfully . To be a horse listener first and a horse whisperer second . Wishing everyone a enlightened 2019 .

  45. What a beautiful and heart warming video that we all can relate to! Thank you so much for making this video, and I appreciate all the comments (both in the video and written here). I was born with a love for horses. As a child, when my mother was driving the car, if I saw a horse I would scream with excitement; it would scare her and I got in trouble quite often for doing it, but I couldn’t help myself! LOL! Even as an adult, I marvel at the sight of them. It is hard to put into words the gifts horses can give us….the gift of joy, the gift of connection to one of God’s most magnificent creations, the gift of fun and laughter and fellowship and adventure, and the privilege of learning about myself and ways to grow. To me, it is like a spiritual gift. Horses are therapeutic in every way, and my own healing and recovery have transpired just by being around them. I love everything about them….the smell, the hello nickers, the sound of them chomping on hay, everything! Merry Christmas to all of you and wishes for a happy, healthy, safe, fun-with-our-horses New Year in 2019!!

    1. Teri I can whole-heartedly relate to this – I was the same as a child and it hasn’t left me! Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  46. Horses that always giving me unconditional love and listening to my problems without judgement they kept me sane in a crazy world any friend who doesn’t want anything from you but love

  47. Wonderful video. Horses have given me the opportunity to be grounded in presence and awareness both internally and in the natural world. I love the connection that happens when we are accepted as part of the herd. Horses have been a fulfillment of an unwavering, life-long passion that was came to fruition only later in my life. Thank you for the training, encouragement, and understanding that you offer to non-professional horse people whose goal is to deepen our understanding of our amazing equine companions.

  48. Callie and Team – thank you for a Christmas message based on – can’t quite get the words but love would be one of them.
    My first horse was always there for me – always. After she passed I wanted to honor her and decided to do that by adopting a rescue horse that resembled my first horse. I’ve since adopted other rescues, always mares because of my first horse, and some of them had/have issues. Callie your training videos have been/are a huge, huge help for me and my “Girls.” I love your kind, knowledgeable, positive approach.
    And I want to thank the others who commented – as I read your comments I kept thinking, yes, I feel that way, too!!!!
    So, I am wishing Callie and her Team and the rest of us wonderful horsey adventures!

    1. Thank you Andy, has been such a pleasure having you in the courses. We admire your dedication to your horses 🙂

      – Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  49. I have tried to figure how to explain my deep love of horses to my husband and children, who aren’t horsey. I have always loved them, one of my first memories is going on a pony ride, the around in circles kind, I must have been around four. I was 11 when I finally got my first horse. Thinking back, I think they made me feel stronger, prettier, faster and more graceful…I was a slightly overweight teen. But other than that which makes sense, it is just a feeling of perfect peace. I have struggled with anxiety and depression after my father died (I was 19), my mother had died when I was 8. I barely scraped by, certainly never having enough to have horses again. Three years ago I finally got another horse, and I know that is what has been missing all these years. I feel complete again. My horse, whom I adopted from a rescue, was a 17 year-old Arabian gelding who had barely been touched, and couldn’t be caught. Now I ride him most every day, and he is barely even spooky. He has taught me more about horses in the past three years, than all those years I had horses growing up. I love him so much, I have had to learn how horses think and see things from their perspective. We are planning on having a horse rescue/sanctuary when we move north and get some acreage next year, that is now my dream, all I want and need is to be near them and to help them be happy. I owe horses
    my life!

    1. Wow, Kimberly thank you for sharing your story. It sounds like horses have given you many, many gifts along your journey of life!

      – Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  50. Oh Callie and co. I have just started riding at the age of 65! I see now from your blogs that i can do so much more than just be plonked on a horse, ride through the woods and then put him back in the stall. I see now i can find a friend who will be happy to explore the world with me; a friend that i can learn from and give to; someone special in my life who will share, connect and give to me far more than i am able to give to him. I live in Cornwall, uk which is a beautiful part of the world. Im excited to think of all the great times i can have in the future. Thank you Callie and co for sharing all that you know and have learned. You could have just earned a lot of money and walked away. Instead you have chosen to share all your knowledge and empathy with us. I really, really thank you.

    1. Thank you for your comment Marilyn 🙂 Glad to have you in our community!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  51. Lol know I’m a year late, but I will say my school horse she’s been my rock threw a lot this pass year. She’s my therapy and therapist all in one. Yes there’s been days that I would just go up to see her groom her and hug and just let out of the emotions I’ve been holding on all week. I work private and town EMS and from some calls I’ve done my doctor has diagnosed me with PTSD . I must say Marshmallow has always been there to listen with no judgment and always a hug to say it’s all right I’m here.

    1. Horses are such a gift! I’m so glad to hear Mashmallow has been a positive force in your life!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

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