Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Motivation – Why Do you Ride?

I have started rereading “In Search of Your Image – A Practical Guide to the Mental and Spiritual Aspects of Horsemanship” by Jill Keiser Hassler. I bought the book a number of years ago, and found it too spiritual for me. Times change, and so did I. My life is different, and now the book seems so much more relevant.

In the first chapter, it discusses the motivations of why we are involved with horses. I never gave it much thought, before.

Here are the most common reasons that are listed:

- Love of horses

- Exercise

- Challenge

- Profession

- Recreation

- Companionship and Social Interaction

- Mental Well-being

Upon consideration, I decided that these are the reasons I ride:

Love of Horses. I have loved horses from the time I knew what a horse was. I bet a lot of people would include this on their list, but honestly, I have known a few people who didn’t even seem to like horses, let alone love them. They must have had different motivations for riding.

Exercise. I love the exercise I get around horses. I know that exercise is good for me, and around horses—I don’t even feel like I am exercising at all. It is a big bonus—but not real reason I spend time with horses. I’m just glad my hobby furnishes me a chance to exercise and helps keep me in shape.

Challenge. I like how horses are always challenging me with something new. Whether it is a problem that I need to solve, or just something new that I am trying to learn, the challenges give me something to think about and learn from. I think that is why, even when Cole was intimidating me in the arena last winter, I never gave up. My biggest challenge became overcoming my nerves.

Recreation. Riding is just plain fun. I love to ride.

Mental Well-being. I usually feel better after being around horses. There was a time back when Mingo was very sick that I felt worse with each visit to the barn. I had even considered giving up on horses during that time, because I was feeling so sad about all of it. It was then that I realized how much my mental well-being is tied to my horses. It wasn’t just the sadness involved with Mingo’s illness, but I didn’t get that boost in spirit that revived me for the rest of the day. now that my heart has healed, I feel terrific after a good day at the barn.

So, you see, I have lots of reasons to be involved with horses. What are your reasons?


Story said...

This is such an excellent question and one I think about quite often but never come up with a satisfactory answer. Maybe because there are lots of reasons. I know one thing for sure. I can never stay away from horses for very long!

achieve1dream said...

I don't know if I can really define why I ride. I do know that I HAVE to have horses in my life. I've had horses since I was five years old. And then from 2007 to 2009 I didn't have a horse and I was absolutely miserable! It was the unhappiest I had ever been in my entire life. I love everything about horses and just can't live without them. So I would say that's the main reason.

I agree with the reasons you stated too. It's a lot of fun, great exercise and the challenge is nice too. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I make a breakthrough so that we are working together and accomplishing our goals. :)