If you types « horse quotes » into google, you will find hundreds of hits with thousands of quotes. Most of these have to do with horse riding, horse training, horse behaviour…all the things we teach horses. As equine-assisted experiential learning is an essential part of our Equine-guided Mindfulness Meditation Retreats, and especially of our new Mindfulness Meditation Retreats, I went looking for horse quotes about what horses can teach us and I found 10 quotes that resonate with me.
As introduction, I found an inspiring video, with a good number of quotes, illustrated by pictures of horses:
“Horses have taught us about the transfiguring effect of reducing anger. We have repeatedly observed that they rarely show offense at a handler who reprimands them legitimately for something they have done wrong, if the handler is devoid of rage or vengeance. However, if reprimanded in a fury, horses will counterattack because they feel challenged. Many power struggles can be avoided by learning not to meet anger with anger. This is an invaluable lesson in life. Developing patience and being unemotional is the key.” – Adele von Rust McCormick My favourite of Adele’s books is Horse Sense and the Human Heart: What Horses Can Teach Us About Trust, Bonding, Creativity and Spirituality
“The woman recovering from abuse or other stressful life situations may feel she’s in no way in charge of anything, least of all her own world. She faces the horse with trepidation. The horse senses the fear and becomes tense and concerned. The wise instructor starts small. The woman is handed a soft brush and sent to fuss over the horse. It’s pointed out that if she stands close to the animal, she will be out of range of a well-aimed kick. She is warned to watch for tell-tale signs of fear in herself and the horse. She’s warned to keep her feet out from under the horse’s stomping hoof. They’re both allowed to back away and regroup and try again until they reach an accord regarding personal space. Calm prevails, and within a few minutes, hours or sessions, interaction becomes friendship. It happens almost every time a woman is allowed enough time and space to work through the situation. So a woman whose daily life is overwhelming her learns to step back. Is this a cure for her endless problems? Of course not. Simple is not simplistic.” – Joanne M. Friedman,
“We have a culture in which the nourishing, life-giving waters of emotion, empathy, sensory awareness, gut feelings, and other forms of nonverbal awareness have dried up in the heat of our obsessive reliance on all that is light and logical and conscious enough to be mapped, explained, and controlled. Our culture tends to value thought over emotion, logic over intuition, territory over relationship, goal over process and force over collaboration, competition over cooperation. Most people deny and sublimate their feelings, keeping them well below the conscious level until the somatic tension becomes so overpowering that the emotion overrides reason and finally expresses itself, often in violent and self-destructive ways.” – Linda Kohanov. Linda has written two books that I recommend The Toa of Equus and Riding between the Worlds. The latter is my favourite: Riding Between the Worlds: Expanding Your Potential Through the Way of the Horse
Horses don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, or what you believe. They care only about how you behave with them. This enables them to give unconditional acceptance to a troubled teen who is revealing his or her true self. – Tim Hayes
“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.” – Viggo Mortensen
“Horses change lives. They give our young people confidence and self-esteem. They provide peace and tranquility to troubled souls. They give us hope!” – Tony Robinson
“I believe that horses bring out the best in us. They judge us not by how we look, what we’re wearing or how powerful or rich we are, they judge us in terms of sensitivity, consistency, and patience. They demand standards of behavior and levels of kindness that we, as humans, then strive to maintain.” – Clare Balding
“Where in this world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity? Here, where grace is laced with muscle, and strength by gentleness confined. He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent; there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient…” – Robert Duncan
“When we encounter a friend who’s depressed or afraid, we automatically try to take that distress away and to cheer the person up. While we may be operating with the best of intentions, this Band-Aid approach only reinforces the condition. Unless people experience their pain completely and begin to understand it, they will not only fail to overcome it, they’ll also lose the opportunity of using it to advance their own growth. Pain can get you somewhere, and that somewhere can be a life-enhancing experience. We all tend to forget that pain can signal change. Alleviating the symptoms of pain in someone, without helping them to get at its underlying source, robs them of an important tool for self-exploration. It’s also a way of placating that reinforces the person’s need to cave in and succumb to another. This attitude undermines healthy character development and contributes to psychospiritual, moral, and ultimately social decay.” – Adele von Rust McCormick
“For horses can educate through first hand, subjective, personal experiences, unlike human tutors, teachers, and professors can ever do. Horses can build character, not merely urge one to improve on it. Horses forge the mind, the character, the emotions and inner lives of humans.” – Charles de Knuffy
I also have a Pinterest board called Horse Quotes: Mantras for Equine-Guided Meditation, with several more quotes that you may find useful:
If you would like to find out more about our Equine Guided Mindfulness Meditation Retreats, please CLICK HERE.