Horsey Therapist

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Respect - quotes from Gail Ivey

The quotes below are from Gail Ivey's website ( with permission. I really like what she offers as a horsemanship teacher. She came to New England a few times, but the cooler weather didn't suit her and all my promises of hot tubs and sweaters haven't convinced her to come back again!

Stop trying to get your horse to respect you. He already does, as much as he knows how.

If he's running over you, knocking you down, biting you, kicking you, bucking you off or refusing to go, it's not respect he lacks, it's understanding and clarity from you.

It isn't about what you need him to do, it's about what he needs you to do to help him understand.

I don't want you to have any contempt for your horse based on a false perception of his lack of respect. I want you to have compassion and clarity. He doesn't need your punishment, he needs your help. If you're stuck on the idea of reinforcing respect, you're going to miss it when he asks you to help him understand.

The greatest show of respect comes from removing your agenda from the picture and listening to what your horse needs instead. He will do anything you ask him to do, as long as you show him that his comfort and self-preservation are your top priority.


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