│”"Know thyself?" If I knew myself, I'd run away.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Ann Landers is credited with saying, “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence you are wonderful.” For hard evidence of your awesomeness you need a horse. As it turns out a horse sees you much the same way people see you. The difference is the horse is more honest in his response. All horse people are aware of this at some level. Some of us embrace their raw honesty, others not so much.
As humans, seeing ourselves as we are can be the most difficult and yet the most rewarding of all endeavors.
│ “Those who are brutally honest are seldom so with themselves.” — Mignon McLaughlin
If you are willing to look into the mirror that is the horse you may not like everything you see. Yet, there is no more pleasant path to self-improvement. If you want a genuine test of your character and emotional wellness, ask a horse.
│ “Basically we are all looking for someone who knows who we are and will break it to us gently.” — Robert Brault
1. The tough guy. This person is hard of heart, not willing to learn, and has no sense of reason. They have the “Show him who is boss” attitude. How do you spot this type? Simple, nothing ever changes for this horseman. They go for years struggling with simple tasks like loading into the trailer, and standing still to mount. They always seem to have time to do it wrong over and over, but are forever too busy to learn how to do it a better way. Could it be they are more proud than busy?
In relations with other humans, this person displays the same behavior and attitude. In this case, rearing its ugly head in the, “Because I said so” form. As humans we all detest this type of leadership because it leaves the follower devoid of any dignity. No one, not even a horse cares to foster a relationship of this kind.
2. The passionate piddler. The piddler dives in full force. Driven foremost by emotion, they have their feelings as the sole gauge of success. They buy a horse because he is beautiful or because he looked at them with a gleam in his eye. Yet, they never consider the long term ramifications of owning a horse. As long as the horse makes them feel good they are in, enamored by his every movement at first, but they lack commitment. When the horse begins to display undesirable behavior their shallowness reveals itself. Fear and frustration take the reins. They spend less and less time with their horse and soon the gleam becomes gloom and they are gone.
Many people choose their spouse in this same fashion. They are good looking, fun, and make you laugh at first. As soon as the road gets a little rocky this relationship founded on emotion begins to crumble. The passionate piddler never succeeds at establishing a long term relationship.
3. The Pack Animal. Like the piddler the pack animal is often excited and generates a lot of activity. The hangup here is the pack animal hauls heaps of emotional baggage with them everywhere they go. This baggage interferes with learning. They can’t seem to figure out where to unload. Seeing the truth works for them until it gets in the way. They always dump the truth to cling to their baggage and continue to lug it into the future.
│ “Truth hurts — not the searching after; the running from!” -John Eyberg
4. The qualified. What qualifies someone as good to be with in a horse’s eye? Several personal traits merit a horses desire to be with you. They have life in perspective. They are humble, committed, and carry no emotional baggage to the barn. They recognize truth because rather than fear truth, they crave it. As a result they are teachable. Noble you might say. They understand they could be wrong but the horse is always right. Now who wouldn’t want to be with this kind of person?
If you are looking for honest feedback on your emotional wellness, simple, just ask a horse. Accepting the response and improving oneself is the hard part.
│ ”No one remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.” -Thomas Mann
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