Trust: the belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest and will not harm you. A trust is something committed or entrusted to one’s care for safekeeping.
So, do you trust your horse? Does your horse trust you? I have seen my share of fine horses over the years and as I get a little older, I find it can take me longer to trust (humans and horses!). The fearlessness of my youth is depleting and while I would prefer not to have a ‘plod’ for a horse, I do prefer a horse I can trust. So what does that mean? That he won’t bolt or buck or step on my toes? That he will come when called and stand still to be tacked up for the trail? Most of this is about good training but above all, there is an element of trust in the relationship. But how can you ask so much of them without returning the favour? Can your horse trust you? Will you look after him, care for him, and do the best for him? Can he trust that you will show up and be the same person you were yesterday? Can he rely on you for consistency, graciousness, generosity? Are you kind and fair? Do you trust nature to look after his feet and his diet and his body? Honestly, I think trust takes time, it has to be earned and proven but this can only be done through an open doorway, the allowance of mistakes and support through the challenges.
Easy ways of building trust are through grooming, massage and simply just spending time together. Always be gentle picking out hooves, putting on tack and mounting. If a situation is uncomfortable for either of you, be firm without being harsh and remember, it’s ok to back down until you are both ready – safety first. Routine can build confidence and trust in a horse as can creating the right space for learning. Let him know what’s coming next. Don’t give your horse an opportunity not to have faith in you.
A final lesson on trust? Never inflict pain or compromise your horse’s well-being. Use Cavallo hoof boots instead of nailing metal into their hoofs. Trust nature and trust barefoot health. Let nature be. We don’t need to improve upon the miraculous structure that has supported equiss for over 50,000,000 years. Cavallo is here to support you and your horse.