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Horses have a lot to teach us. They teach us how to be good observers and listeners, they teach us to slow down, to enjoy life and savor little moments.

In our journey of becoming better riders we learn to work through frustration, to listen to our instincts, and to work through many types of challenges.

Today, during a busy day of filming for a new course, the team here at CRK Training took a few minutes to reflect on what horses have taught us, and how we are striving to share that through our online videos and courses.

Take a few minutes to watch the video from today and I think you’ll get words of wisdom from each member of the CRK Training team that you can reflect on in your own journey with horses.

Now I’d love to hear from you! What is something that you have learned from horses and riding?

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66 Responses

  1. Honesty abt my physical strength and condition.
    Quieting the busy mind and, finding thoughtful balance
    Communications in breathe and movement, listening through observation

  2. Great video/ blog! I really respect the input from the various equestrians! Horses are amazing creatures… They continue to remain interesting, intriguing, and educational. Horses continue to teach me on a daily bases. It is the subtleties that keep me humble and interested. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Great to hear all of those points! As a beginner rider of two years, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that everyday will be different – it is both the blessing and challenge of interacting with an amazing sentient being.

    Hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving

    Lisa xx

      1. great emotions to realize that my horse is teaching me much more than I can teach him: to listen to him and waiting for him to let me close to him. and the moment he lets me is the best moment of the day.

  4. good comments above, yes, patience, they teach us so much, I wonder how I got along before!!!!!!!
    thank you for sharing.

  5. After many years of thoughts about myself as a person, I realized all I ever needed to do, to understand some things,was look at myself, in my special mirror… my horses eyes. I believe my mare is me and I her. We all meet and greet for many years, at stalls, cross ties, rings and fields. At some point,if we are lucky enough to, finally see ourselves, Our horses, our mirror souls, sigh with relief, and greet us with complete honesty from that point we finally release back to them .

  6. I’ve learned and been amazed at how smart and emotional these beautiful creatures are. Also, how to be more patient in order to keep building a wonderful partnership.

  7. You never can lie to a horse! Look at your horse and you are looking into a mirror.
    They teach you the truth about who and how you really are

  8. I have learned that I am good enough for them as I am. They accept me the way I am and I cannot fool them by pretending to act different than how I am feeling They are so forgiving and take me as I am and because of that they like to be with me.

  9. I have learned a lot from my horses over the years but the most important aspect is to be ‘present’ when interacting with them in any way. Also you don’t need to ride to build that meaningful connection.

  10. that through my actions my horse will respond to me positively and negatively. mine try so very hard and we take things small steps at a time. ( she had been feral for 9 years)

  11. I have learned that kindness, patience and positive reinforcement are much more effective than any fear-inducing techniques or negative reinforcement of any kind.

  12. I. am an older rider , 60+ , beginner of 2 years. I am learning to be patient with myself and my body and to trust my pony. To be present each and every minute with him. He teaches me patience, flexibility, and to think in a more relaxed fashion when it comes to our goals together.

  13. I’ve found over the years, that being with my overs, and several over a 46 year span, that it’s just like a marriage. It goes two ways. If you are kind to them, they are kind to you. Get cross with one, and the fight is on! And never use a trainer that says, I hate mares! That was a big mistake of mine just recently! Thank goodness my mare didn’t hold it against me!

    1. Love this insight Marion, as a newlywed and an equestrian I can attest to this!

      A fellow mare-lover,

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  14. I have learned that no two days are the same. Every day there is something new to learn. Also, when something is not right with my riding, the problem usually lies with me, not the horse.

    1. This is an awesome point Carol – so true no two days are the same and we can’t expect things to be the same day to day.

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  15. It’s hard to put into words what I have learned from horses and riding. I feel such peace when Im in sync with any horse Im riding. Also, Ive learned how much my state of mind transfers to the horse Im handling. Its such an amazing partnership and is the most enjoyable thing Ive ever done.

  16. Hi there Callie i’m a final year student of veterinary medicine from Pakistan. I am a horse rider too in my university and going for trials in tent pegging team of institute. We got horses with very different temperament as compared to your horses, kindly if you can elaborate sometime about them. I love the way you and you are beautiful i must say.

    1. Would love to know what differences you see in the horses you are familiar with compared to ours?

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  17. What I have learned from horses is that “not all situations are as they seem or appear to me!! There was a situation where I thought my horse was misbehaving by not allowing me to pick up his foot, when it was actually an issue that the the other fore foot was sore. So it put him in pain to have to lean on it.
    It wasn’t immediately that I learned about this issue, so I felt so badly, when it came to light.
    Sad lesson for me, but one I will definitely take away and remember to look further or more deeply than to jump to the conclusion that he was misbehaving only!!!

  18. I’m learning that I need to listen more to my horse. He is a good communicator I just need to clear my head before I start interacting with him and take more time.

    1. As riders we absolutely have to be open minded in listening to our horses, they will often tell you exactly what you need to know we just need to pay attention to what they are saying 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  19. I have learned that they are a refuge…when you are upset you can go to your friend the horse and he will get you over it….great exercise and escape from this crazy world

  20. I’ve learned to how to take a step back and slow down. Allow myself to get to know her and her surroundings. Doing ground work is just as much fun as riding. Taking her for a walk out in her pasture and letting her show me what her life is when I’m not around is one of my favourite things to do. We also like to just stand close to each other, listening to each other’s breath and heartbeat. We have actually both almost fallen asleep doing this. She brings a chaotic life into a peaceful bliss for me and I love her for that. ❤️

    1. Kerry, taking a step back and working on the basics and slowing down is great when you both feel a little overwhelmed!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  21. It was great to see all of you (and Al too!) and to hear what each one of you have learned from horses. All of your points, as well as those above are so true and there are numerous things horses and animals teach us. For me, I think they teach us unconditional love and to be present in the moment, as that is all that is guaranteed. No one knows what tomorrow may bring, so live in the present and savor the moment.
    Wishing you all a belated Happy Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas season.
    Nancy B

  22. The most important thing I’ve learned is that riding is all about communication. Learning to clearly communicate with horse verbally, with my body and with my mood and affect is so important. And of course learning to understand what the horse is trying to communicate to me.

    1. Susan, I think that communication is a key in all of our relationships!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  23. I have learned how important it is to listen to you horse and to think outside the box. Giving your horse a vote ( as Wendy says), with maybe something as simple as which path to take on a trail ride. When I was younger, I was always taught to be boss and the horse should do as you ask. It is so nice to be away from that kind of narrow thinking.

  24. Well – I’m learning so much, but I think mostly that it is the old phrase – you reap what you sow. If I show up to the barn relaxed and open, I’m going to have a relaxed and open ride. If I show up stressed, a little nervous and frustrated, that’ll be my ride too. The horses are so intuitive and we have to be responsible for how we are showing up.

    This is a great video! Thank you, Callie, and your wonderful team!

  25. Thanks for sharing!
    Ronald Reagan once said that the outside of the horse is good for the inside of man.
    Try to hug your horse when you’re down or take a quiet ride just the two of you.
    It works like a champ

  26. I really liked the response Jen chose: have a plan, and live in the present moment.
    I would say the biggest lesson I’ve learned from horses is that the present moment is the only moment I can ride in. Setting aside my worry — my focus on the future (what if… what if… what if…) — and letting myself just be there, with the horse, opens me up to the joy of the connection with that horse, and the dance we do together when I’m riding and when I’m with him.

    Sometimes that dance and connection happens for most of the time I’m there, riding or just with him, sometimes only part of the ride, sometimes it only happens for a few seconds, but it won’t happen AT ALL if I don’t get on and give it my best shot, worried or not!

    So now I just say to myself: “Hello, worry! You don’t get a vote anymore on whether I’m riding or not, but you’re welcome to come along and watch…” and usually the worry just kind of evaporates. I’m learning I can do this in other areas of my life as well. But it’s the MOST fun to learn it riding!!

  27. Being around so many different horses I’ve learned #1 pay attention. Horses speak to us with their body language just as we do to them. They show & feel emotions as we do and help us to relate to whatever happens if whether great ride or feeling stressed, feeling happy or sad. Watch their eyes & ears and what the body language is saying. Most of the time they can help us thru an emotion…

  28. Really enjoyed this video!! What a great topic!! Horses teach me patience, persistence, courage to face my fears, ability to live in the present. Realizing that each horse is different (just like people), I have learned to adapt my approach to each one with respect for their individuality. I have learned the joy of connecting and being in partnership with such a magnificent animal, and my heart melts every time I look into a horse’s eyes. Horses are good for the soul!!! Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving, and wishing you all and beautiful and blessed Christmas season!!

  29. I have only been riding for 2 months once a week. I work in public service as an EMT when I go see the horse that I ride all the time I forget the things I’ve seen in the past week and it’s just me and the horse. The best thing is making a bond and like others have said if I’m having a bad week she always puts a smile on my face and I can see in her eyes and body language that she is happy to see me. Just wish I started early being 42 and learning to ride has been a fun time my instructor hands down is great and my confidence has gotten better even though I fell off last week I will keep going.

  30. Really enjoyed this video!! What a great topic!! Horses have taught me patience, persistence, courage to face my fears, how to be in the present…..Realizing that each horse is different, I have learned to adapt my approach to each horse accordingly with respect to their individuality. I have learned the joy of connecting and being in partnership with such a magnificent animal….Horses are good for the soul!!! Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving, and wishing you all a beautiful and blessed Christmas season!!

    1. Great lessons to learn from horses! They are so very good for the soul.

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  31. How profound! From all of those little interiews, the best one “If I’m scared, the horse is scared.” Involves mutual trust and respect. To have both, all we need is a safe and independent seat, great balance, light and independent hands, give, give give. So when I am scared, and anyone who says they are never scared is a liar, I have to hide it from the horse; ie, give some rein, maintain my balance, stroke the horse’s neck, and pray that my natural ability and god will see us ok. Works a treat, because grabbing him up will make him scared too!

  32. A constant reminder to stay present in the moment. To keep my awareness on what I’m doing by keeping soft focus. It prevents my mind from running away. Being around horses is a lot like yoga. I’m also reminded to laugh often and keep negative emotions at bay.

    1. Ro, staying present is so vital! Yes, yoga I agree is great practice 🙂

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  33. I’ve learned that the voice of worry isn’t very reliable. (Fear has some authority, however.). So I’ve learned from horses to be in the moment, because they are ALWAYS in the moment. I’ve learned from horses that every bit of consideration and care you give another being is returned with interest, as is every bit of carelessness. Granting the horse its good intentions works with fellow humans very well. I’ve learned that I sometimes prefer to be with them (horses) even though a lot of what I’ve learned is good for humans.

    1. Thank you for sharing Pamela – I think every person or horse we meet has something to teach us!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  34. Hello Callie,

    Thanks for introducing your crew.

    I guess I would classify myself as a fairly new rider. I have been taking lessons once a week over the past six months (though I have missed some weeks due to some reason or another on the instructors part). I have really enjoyed taking lessons and learned I should have started a long time ago because now I have missed out on all the years I could have been riding (LOL) but I have also learned that riding requires the following elements to be a good horseback rider: Focus, control, confidence, balance and proper and concise communication.

    Something else I have learned

    I have been riding motorcycles for many years and that would be my escape from reality and reason to enjoy, explore and connect with the world. I find riding a horse will do the same but will have a much stronger and more spiritual connection to the energy and environment around me. Riding a horse will be much more enjoyable than riding the motorcycle. I’ve even considered selling the bike for a horse.

    Thanks for sharing your time and videos.

    Best regards,


      1. Awesome. Sometimes my instructor has to remind me I’m not riding a motorcycle when I train. I guess sometimes I lean in my turns lol.

  35. Callie/Julia,

    Thanks for all of your wonderful work and great quality videos. I look forward to them every week !

    I have learned two words in the past 40 or so years that describe a lot of what your readers are saying and summarize, I think, a lot of what you teach. The first is “equipoise”, which I learned following and playing baseball, and the second is “proprioception”, which I learned from my daughter, an excellent rider (and writer).

    Equipoise is that human state of mind and body where you are highly relaxed and yet physically ready for action. High level baseball players state that this is essential to the fast reflexes and quick decisions necessary to succeed. I believe that this is also what we learn in riding, and it’s what many of the comments above describe. I also believe that it’s a highly valuable skill in many of our daily activities in business or in life; controlling your emotions while at the same time being prepared for quick action. Ask any stay-at-home parent of toddlers…….

    Proprioception is the understanding of how to control small muscle movements in your body while at the same time keeping other muscles fully relaxed. Isn’t this what high level dressage riders are able to do that makes it look as if the horse can read the rider’s mind? I am also told that martial arts, such as Tai Chi, rely on this. And this too is a valuable skill in many non-equine parts of our lives such as how we control ourselves in contentious meetings or encounters.

    Thanks again for your work !!

    1. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing Bill, I really enjoyed your comment – glad to have you as a part of our community!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  36. I am a new rider, but have learned SO MUCH in this past year of riding! I have a very demanding career and oftentimes feel when I do other physical activities after a long day at work (like yoga or running) that I can’t turn off my “monkey mind”. When I’m riding I am 100% present and in the moment and I’m so grateful for that.

    1. Wendy, it is remarkable how many riders, ones here at the farm and ones that email me from oceans away, attest to the same thing – horses give them the ability to clear their minds!

      -Julia Burdy, CRK Training Community Manager

  37. Be in the present moment. Breathe and relaxation follows. Observe without prior expectation. When I am centered, so is my riding and everything, in my riding and in life goes better.

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