Steve Horsmon explains how to take the reins in your marriage and create an environment that’s more fun for both of you.
“Ladies are naturally better with horses than men. They’ve got softer hands.”
“What do you mean?” I asked the leather-faced trainer who was studying how a woman was calmly gliding her horse around the corral.
He said, “When it comes to listening to what the horse is communicating, women seem to have a better connection. They don’t apply unnecessary pressure with the reins or with their legs. They tend to relate to the horse’s need for space and freedom. At the same time they manage to form an understanding – a partnership where they both get what they need. They’re not hard on the bit like most guys I train. They’ve got soft hands. Horses respond well to that.”
“Is that how your wife treats you?” I asked with a chuckle.
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He squinted in the late day sun and mumbled, “Don’t get me started, son.”
I Like the Way You Ride Me
I told my girlfriend recently, “I like the way you ride me.”
My longtime horse-girl looked at me sideways, “Oh yeah? What are you talking about?”
“Not that way. I mean you’ve got soft hands. I see plenty of times when you could try to pull me back, correct me, speed me up or slow me down…but you don’t. You give me my head most of time and I like it. It feels easy. Like you trust me. It feels good.”
“Most of the time?”
“Yeah. Sometimes you give me the slightest cue when I’m doing something stupid or dangerous. Like the way you always want me wear gloves, drink more water, get to bed earlier and avoid speeding tickets.”
“It doesn’t always work.”
“Yeah, but I really appreciate the effort and I notice the gentle way you do it. It makes me WANT to do those things. I’ve gotten better, you know?”
“Did you drink enough water today?”
“Umm..no. I was too busy splitting wood at midnight without gloves.”
The Metaphor Goes Both Ways
“Riding like a lady” simply means treating a horse with dignity, respect, kindness and consideration for how it likes to be handled.
It means being aware of how pressure feels to the horse and how to communicate in ways that don’t threaten or intimidate. A skilled rider learns how to show respect for the horse’s natural need for independence and freedom from domination.
She creates an environment ripe for partnership and collaboration. And fun!
Men love a woman who knows how to do this.
And vice-versa, of course.
How to Be a Better Husband or Wife Whisperer
The single defining factor in learning to effectively communicate with horses is this…you have to actually want to learn.
And you also will have to accept one more crucially important fact…the horse reacts to you. Period.
Everything a horse does in relationship to a person is a reaction to how that person is thinking, speaking and acting. Horses instinctively react to the character and intention of the person in front of them. If a person can’t accept that, they should avoid relationships with horses.
In her Understanding Men coaching programs, Alison Armstrong reveals how her life with men changed for the better the day she decided to operate from the assumption that men are reacting to her. She also decided she wanted to learn more about men and masculinity and how to be a better partner. Alison has changed thousands of lives with this message.
I teach men the same thing in reverse.
You don’t have to believe it’s scientifically true, but pretending it is true can be empowering.
Just like with horses, your confidence soars when you start experiencing positive responses to your efforts to connect with your partner. It makes you want to learn more.
And guess what happens when two people do this at the same time.
Good stuff. Fun Stuff. That’s what.
It’s the Perspective That Counts
The horse analogy is meant to be a mnemonic. If it helps you to remember how much influence you have in your relationship, I’ve done my job.
Nearly all relationship problems are caused by how someone feels they are being treated.
Each of us is one-half of the relationship equation. But we have 100% control over our own behavior and how we show up.
We can spend our time complaining about how we want to be treated. Or we can adopt a new perspective that drives us to take ownership of the environment WE create.
You can start with soft hands, respect, partnership and fun.
Ride ‘em cowgirl/boy.
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You WILL become a clearer, stronger, more confident man only through other men. Your woman cannot take you there – and she doesn’t WANT to…trust me on that.
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Photo Emily Rhaupp/Flickr