When you lease a horse, you are not having to pay for the purchase price of the horse, but you are responsible for the care and cost of care for a horse you lease. This means you get a "test run" as a horse owner and experience what the responsibilities are of owning a horse: paying monthly board, paying farrier fees to keep your horse's feet in good condition, any vet bills that may come up with the horse, etc. An obvious advantage to leasing is having an "out" in terms of the responsibility should you decide, the responsibilities: time and financial, are more than you want long-term. There are many different types of leases and options however, making this an affordable and attractive option for many folks who can't afford the full cost of board or who can't ride more than three (3) times per week due to other commitments.
Typical horse boarders have had to purchase a horse. We have horses ranging in value from $2500 to $40k. Usually leases involve having to pay some amount of a non-refundable lease fee and are often year-long terms. Lease fees under such common circumstances in the industry are generally about 25% to 35% of the horses value. Generally, if there is no lease fee, you are getting a great deal. You are likely getting a horse that is NOT a super competitive show quality horse. If that is what you're looking for- a competitive, show quality horse that your child can win top ribbons on, be prepared for a higher price point! Although one of Meadowthorpe Farm's talents is acquiring amazingly talented schoolmasters as potential lease horses from time to time that are no or low lease fees, this is RARE! Other farm's will charge you MUCH more than what we do & honestly, they should because they have their own out of pocket expenses and labor invested in that horse as soon as it comes onto their property!
Horse property expenses come with a price tag. When you lease an apartment or a home, you pay rent to cover costs. Same with a horse. Expenses such as property taxes, utilities (water and electric) Facility maintenance, equipment and equipment maintenance, gas, labor, insurance costs, miscellaneous expenses such as footing, fence repairs, shovels, rakes, hoses, water nozzles, buckets, feed troughs, manure management and dumpsters, haul-off's.....ADD UP QUICKLY and should all be factored into monthly boarding costs for a barn boarding business to remain, a business!
There are many benefits to leasing vs owning a horse. Especially for folks new to horses! We recommend newbies to horses lease first, and usually start off with a half-lease and ease into what it's like to be a horse owner, and all the responsibilities that go along with that! Horses are after all, living creatures, not cars, and should not be changed out like a car! Leasing gives a safe space to get ready for horse ownership without the horse paying the price if you can't afford or don't have the time to devote. We absolutely put horse welfare top at Meadowthorpe Farm, and 9 times out of 10 leasing will be a requirement for new folks before we will find you a sale horse. This makes us unique amongst many horse farms, but we work first for horses and seek out and develop clients with that like mindset.
Want to learn more about Why Lease a Horse vs Buy? Click here to read this article to find out more.
P.S. It's frustrating when expectations of what you "want" are not in line with what you are paying for. From a business standpoint, when this happens, barn owners often have to say farewell to such clients because it's good business to do so- such clients negatively affect our bottom line! Horses is not good business to be honest. Much of it is emotional and the value of what the benefits are from experiencing horses is not something that will ever make sense to an accountant, or the bottom line. So prepare yourself potential horse dad's and horse husband's that have a child or spouse involved with horses....if you look at what your child or wife does from only a bottom line perspective, horses will hit you extra hard! You must consider the emotional benefits, the physical benefits, the life skill benefits, the friendships, the benefits of up's and down's. Having a horse experience can absolutely set folks up for real life successes when it comes to soft skills and the value of hard work and dedication. Of overcoming challenges and handling failures and successes gracefully. Having a horse can build character, self-confidence, and self-esteem. Having a horse is about learning to work with another creature too, so there is a teamwork component in place here that makes it a unique sport to soccer, gymnastics, swimming, etc. Learning to work together with another creature involves awareness, intuition, troubleshooting, adapting, setting boundaries, communicating effectively, demonstrating good leadership yet being a follower and stepping back and allowing the horse to do the job most of the time, it's a dance, like life, and horses will certainly teach folks how to become better dancers!
I want to encourage horse ownership, leasing, and youth participation in the horse industry, but the realities of what horses cost, now that I'm involved in the business of boarding horses has been an enlightening education for me!
Recently, I ran across an outstanding article outlining the realities of operating a horse boarding farm and all of the associated costs. This article is spot-on! The cost breakdown (from a farm in Lexington, KY) is similar to our farm area costs. I encourage parents who are considering getting children involved with horses read this article for a price check on what owning a horse and boarding it costs in 2021. If you want to board a horse at a quality facility, in a convenient location, offering quality amenities: nice arena, lights, all-weather footing, nicely maintained facility, hot water, security, nice stalls, jumps, nice turn-out and fencing- AND most importantly, quality care for your horse, there are some high costs boarding facilities face to "house" your horse. I encourage reading this entire article for the cost breakdown, but I will also summarize the numbers for you below:
COST OF ONE HORSE PER ONE MONTH:
Our monthly board at Meadowthorpe is currently $700/mo. Boarding is NOT a profitable business. We no longer run a board-focused business for this reason. We really should raise prices- we are below prices of similar boarding farms in our area.
We want to steer you in the best direction for you horse goals for what is most realistic for your ability, budget, and your time. We are willing, however, to find creative and realistic opportunities and options to experience horses and achieve these goals if there are barriers blocking a direct path for you. Our motto is where there is a will, there is a way! We focus on good values, work ethic, learning & skill development but also on getting the family involved in horses! Keep an eye out for upcoming materials and programs available to our dedicated clients: boarders, lesson students, Memphis Youth Equestrian (Memphis IEA- a Midsouth IEA area youth equestrian team) family with more information about what we're germinating for our folks this spring and summer! If you are interested in what we're growing, but aren't a client, reach out & we'll provide you options for how you too can receive some of the benefits our dedicated customers do!
Reflecting on what makes the Memphis IEA (a Midsouth area IEA area team) unique, it's the type of kids we target and their families. We want ALL youth to have an opportunity to ride and show horses NOT just the one's who's families can afford it (pay the big membership fees, the upfront lesson packages, purchase the team attire required so that we all look the same and market the image we want the public to see us as). We are okay with being different. We are a melting pot and diverse and we're flexible. We make room for individuality so that we all have room to learn and grow and ride from our members uniqueness and different life experiences that each member brings to our arena. Our team is a collaboration- there is no "I" in "Team." Here is our most important requirements for a member of Memphis IEA/ Memphis Youth / MYET ( a Midsouth area IEA team):
Season 2021 is in the books and as Coach, I am so very proud of our amazing team!
This season was extremely challenging for all. Covid-19 challenges, new rules, being put in a Region 12 while the other the other local Memphis area team was placed in a different Region- 10, and being told that we could not compete outside our region, or with our other local area team within walking distance on our same street? I offered to step up and take on the huge task, both in terms of labor and financially, to offer to host a local show a year before having too, but opted against it when I was told we couldn't invite our other local Memphis area team due to the region rules? This was a real bummer and took wind out of my sail starting the season to be honest. It started off a HOT MESS. Our region also had a really BAD show schedule originally that took several months to iron out and make right for all farms in our Zone 4 R 12.
Due to Corona, horse shows that had to cancel in the spring and summer understandably rescheduled- short-notice-for many fall IEA show dates IEA had decided on in our zone and region. We all had local A show and schooling show conflicts taking trainers, horses, and competitors away from being able to attend IEA competitions. We also had to scramble just to have enough horse shows in our zone and region to give folks an opportunity to accumulate points. We lost members of our team because of better show schedules in Region 10, but were not allowed to compete outside of our region, EXCEPT for with our pals at a Providence Hill Farm. We were granted an exception and were willing to pull out of our zone 4 region 12 Nashville show date on the same weekend and attend this show to help them be able to hold the show even! There were not enough teams able to attend this date for them to hold the show without us. We were happy to help and grateful for our Zone 4 R12 crew supporting this move and their understanding so that the show could go on! Team work, makes the dream work!
With all of the turmoil, I am really impressed with all the wonderful IEA Administrators, Coaches, Teams, Officials, and the entire organization for making the absolute most of this season and remaining so positive, and supportive 2021. We are a new team and have learned so much from our veteran IEA pals this season. What an amazing group, and we truly appreciate being able to participate at this level and be able to offer such a wonderful team equine sport opportunity to our kids and parents in our local community affordably.
We had to travel to many shows this season with one coach, less team members, and lease horses from participating teams due to scheduling conflicts. We also had many new members this year and are a young team with most of our kids not being A rated show string kids. I'm proud of this! I'm proud that we earned Team Championship or Reserve Championships at more shows than not that we attended this season. I am proud that our kids, did this on unfamiliar horses EVERY SHOW! We did not have the ability to load up our own horses and travel 3 + hours away each show (that would be financially out of the question), but we were able to negotiate deals with Coaches and teams to lease horses from them at those shows. Benefit- not having to travel with our own horses. Con- our rider's not drawing rides on familiar horses at big events, which clearly is an advantage! We truly did earn our Championship titles when we had them. Somehow, we managed to do all of this and still offer rates FAR BELOW AVERAGE of other IEA teams due to our unique networking structure and flexible membership, training, and showing options- we offer some truly out of the box options to our kids and parents without sacrificing quality, safety, or horse care due to our collaborative and unique approach to horse showing! We'll continue to adapt our approach, marketing, outreach, and network to achieve our vision. We like change. We like challenge. We like healthy competition. We like trying new things! We will remain cutting edge and give kids and parents options that they want so that we can promote youth horse sports.
I could not do this without our wonderful coaches: Leslie Gattuso and Allison Rayburn- two class acts, who share my vision for this team and love our kids! We all truly want to give these kids and ponies an opportunity to horse show. I am so excited for our continued teamwork and to see what opportunities we come up with for MYET next IEA show season! GO MYET Memphis Youth! This is one amazing crew and I am honored to be a part of it. What we are doing is unique, special, and we are making a positive impact for young equestrians in our local Memphis horse community! I absolutely love this team. Thank you one and all for making this thing work for these kids and ponies.
Ground work is smart work when it comes to horses. One thing my horses are is well-behaved on the ground! I get compliments on it often from folks who handle them at the farm. They don't need chains. They don't need gadgets to handle them. They have been taught consistently and repeatedly to respect humans and their space.
Respectful horse manners is my pet peeve! No walking behind me, on me, past me, pushing me! My horses halt with one word. They back when I turn around to face them, if I move an arm a certain way, if I jiggle the lead, or say "Back up."! They drop their head with me saying "Head Down" or with a slight downward pull of the lead rope. They automatically turn to face me when I lead them in a pasture to turn them out. They stop on a dime when I do. It's a safety thing...it's a respect thing! This doesn't mean they don't spook or get scared, and act like a horse....but it does mean I can break through their natural "flight instinct" and get back their focus and attention in a pinch! Super important because they are after all 1000+lb dragons- when fired up!
I can move herd of 10 + horses that I've established a rapport with off a gate by use of body language, a raise of an arm, a look, and sure, use of voice if needed, because they understand my communication to them in a language they understand. Because I speak their language, they respect me.
I am seeing a need to teach more youth- especially in the hunter jumper realm- more about the fundamentals of "speaking horse" through the use of ground manners and body language! Heck, I see cases at our boarding farm now of many well-trained riding horses need work in this area-especially when I have to lead them in and out. I am amazed at how many walk on me, right behind me...won't get out of my space, push past me, won't back....try to run out the gate.., their sheer size makes this extremely dangerous because they don't have any respect for people space. I don't trust that like my own horses, should they spook, that there is enough solid ground training in them for them to even consider my presence to spook around me at very least...not on top or over me.
Ground-work training in your horse should teach respect for personal space and boundaries and it should be consistently instilled in horses through positive reinforcement of good, repeated, behaviors on the ground. No exception! Common misconceptions about groundwork from hunter folks are: That ground work is boring- understanding horse behavior is essential to safety and corners shouldn't be cut here. What about longeing...that's groundwork, right? In a circle, to get the energy out, right? Actually, it's to assess the horses mental state that day, to see how their moving, and to do mental run-down with them to see how well they are focusing on you before you ride. Are you able to get your horse's attention and keep it?
Ask yourself this: Do you need to be in the right frame of mind to ride your horse? If you are frazzled, nervous, impatient, tired, short-tempered, in a bad mood, angry, anxious, relaxed, happy, content, focused, confident....does that affect your riding ability? Well, same for your horse, Ground work lets you assess where your pony's mind is at before you hit the saddle and take your chances. Ground work does not have to be longeing. It may be just be a few quick few exercises leading the horse to focus attention on you. To see how willing they are to pay attention to your cues and to get them to move their feet. If they aren't listening, you know you are good to up the ante and either do some more intense ground work or throw that leg over for a ride. Maybe riding is not a good idea that day based on the lack of attention your horse gives you EXAMPLE: a windy day, lots of activity going on outside the arena, butterflies, invisible monsters, and "creative thinking".
And horse peeps...btw, it is always okay to not ride and only work your horse on the ground! That is okay! That is good training!
Maybe you only ride 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes based on your horse's attention span fitness,, training level, age, or attitude? Maybe all you do is walk halt transitions. Maybe walk-trot....work your horse where their head is. Where is their mental state? Are you paying attention to that, or are you just running through a routine around and around a circle of walk-trot-canter because that is what YOU think your horse is supposed to do?
NEVER get in the saddle any day with expectations...meet your horse where they are and work them from where they are that day! Not yesterday...not tomorrow! Pushing too far, too fast creates big problems fast that are long lasting and harder to fix once created!
Start on the ground. If your horse can't canter a circle on the ground without shooting flames behind him/her then why on God's green earth would you think they'd be any different with you on their back? Think...use common sense...try and put yourself where your horse is! Would you be pissed off going around and around in a circle over and over with a bitting-rig forcing your head-down and having to use a hind-end that is not strong enough for that type of continuous, strenuous work in a circle? You'd likely blow a gasket too at some point too and try and run away from that! People with the best of intentions can create ticking time bombs in horses with a misunderstanding of horse behavior, ground-work do's and do not's- which is why I think all horse owners should be willing to focus as much willingness to their education of horses on the ground, as in the saddle. When in doubt...the old adage less is more is true to heart with that of a horse!
My lesson students should expect a new ramp up on this soon. It's time to return to roots and start training you how to speak better horse! Off to price some additional round-pen panels too. In the meantime, read this awesome article for a great breakdown of why groundwork is the bomb and very best tool for better riding too.
Click here for an awesome article with more information
As new students start riding with us, new equipment is required. Students, regardless of English or Western, must wear a hard hat. Also, students must wear hard soled boots with a heel. Paddock boots for English riding and/or cowboy boots for western riding.
IEA Horse show attire is more formal. Show team members will need beige breeches, a navy show coat, white show shirt, black gloves, and black tall boots. We recommend our riders visit Saddles N Such at 2135 S Germantown Road in Germantown, TN 38138 for fitting and sizing recommendations. Here are some examples of items we recommend:
Navy Show Coat: Like the below RJ Classics Coat below.
Tan Breeches: Like Piper SmartPak options below
Black tall Field Boots (laces) not hunt boots (no laces)
SmartPak or Dover. Can be synthetic or leather
We like One K, IRH, Ovation, and Samsung brands
MUST be white. We recommend getting a short-sleeved and long-sleeved white show shirt. Can NOT be a polo. Must have the correct collar. See Suggestion here:
Competition is a motivator. Competition can be fun. Competition can be a wonderful learning experience. BUT....Competition can also blur the boundaries between healthy and realistic learning about how the real world works when we fail to let kids/students fail!
So let me just cut to the chase. I'm a HUGE believer that the best way you learn is often to fail! If you do something wrong, you made the choices that led to the wrong occurring. You can learn from such poor choices with a good mentor, teacher, or parent who is wise enough to explain the reason your choices resulted in the failure in order to help you to see alternative solutions that may have led to better choices resulting in different outcomes...better ones! Now here's the tricky part....as parents, it can be SO HARD to allow kids to make choices that result in failure! BUT...it is unrealistic to always win.
It is unrealistic to be the BEST all the time. The real world is harsh. Success in the real world often comes to those that keep moving. Those that bounce back. Those that are resilient. Those that don't give up when something doesn't go the way we want it to. Pain is a reality of life. There is no way to escape it. Learning to cope with disappointment, hurt, unrealized expectations, mean-spirited people, embarrassment, ridicule, hostility, peer pressure, etc....it's all a part of life. Success is turning these experiences into positives and forging ahead! Being adaptable and flexible. Discovering your strengths and weaknesses.
Your kids can either learn to pout, cry, bully, give up, act defiant, behave in poor sportsmanship...or your kids can learn to cope, put on a game face, smile, show good conduct and manners, laugh it off, route for and support their friends, stand up to bullies, or shrug it off because, seriously....WHO CARES WHAT OTHERS THINK? I LOVE kids whose parents have instilled in them a sense of independence and who are strong enough to not give a flip what others think other than those people they look up to and respect!
It is good to strive to become the best you can at something...but you will never get there. Being the "BEST" is temporary. The learning opportunities along the way are what are important...NOT actually the short-lived achievement. The relationships made along the way are what count the most. The relationship achieved between a rider and horse. The working through a problem to a solution. The development of skill and true self-confidence because you work for it....overcome something. The developing friendships when you bond with others that you connect with because of an experience.
Students need to fail often in order to learn. Students need to experience trials, hardship, disappointment along with the joys of success and all the rewards and accolades that may go with it.
Parents need to be brave! Love your kids enough to let them find their way. Love them enough to step back and listen when your kid's teachers and coaches tell you something about your child's abilities that maybe you don't want to hear! Don't take offense to it, be willing to delve in and explore the reasoning WHY! There are very good, plausible, reasons for the WHY that can be solution-ed! Maybe your child is NOT as talented a horseback rider as another child you know of the same age group. Maybe the other child has been riding longer? Maybe the other child is more physically fit? Maybe the other child has more emotional maturity and control? Maybe the other child is able to focus more easily? Maybe the other child rides 5 times a week vs your child riding once weekly? After all, practice makes perfect! All of these reasons, give you a WAY for your child to work towards becoming BETTER for themselves not better than another!
LISTEN to your coach who knows more about horses and riding when they give you an assessment. HEAR what they say. If you do not have years of experience with horses as they do, then they have an expertise and knowledge that you do not! If you feel your child should be jumping big jumps because "Suzy So and So's" mother told you that her daughter is jumping bigger than your child, try saying BRAVO! Don't burden your child with your competitive drive to compete with that parent! That is you, NOT your child! Safety is far more important in this sport than ego! This can be a dangerous sport...especially when ego leads to corners being cut!
Focus on how your child can become better and step out of the way and let your child and an expert pave the way! Be a support for your child and praise them for not winning....rather trying! Praise them for putting in the effort. Encourage them to keep it up, that they will get there and that you think they are doing great! Your child wants to be praised by you for the effort they put in NOT for the end result!
Parents, don't focus on the Winners....focus on the Winners that are being grown! The winners in bloom! That is what the focus is and will be here at Meadowthorpe Farm. We like the color blue, but we like the way to it so much more! If you want to prepare your child for more than just winning blues...if you want to prepare your child to grow and win at life instead, while keeping the love and welfare of horses the main priority... Doing the right thing by your horses...Not pounding them into the ground when they need rest...Not jumping them daily, or multiple times a day in the heat or cold or wet or dry....Bringing them along slowly and steadily and taking the time to prepare and understand WHY your are doing something the way that you are for the horse....being able to articulate that and demonstrate it....while having fun and laughing often...if you care more about what's really important for your child and for horses, then reach out to us. We may be a good fit for working with your child, and you! #WinnersGrowHere #GoodThingsGrowHere
What better way to celebrate Meadowthorpe Farm's one year opening anniversary than at the Germantown Charity Horse Show this week! I can't believe it's been one year already?! I cut back teaching several years back to focus more time on my corporate career, family, a relationship, and my horses. It was a tough decision because I ADORE starting kids out with horses, but what felt like a good thing for me at that time (despite smacking my forehead plenty of times wondering what in the world was I thinking giving up my beloved students?!?!) turned out to be a blessing in disguise and just meant to be. Just as I scaled back, my mom had a massive stroke, which changed life as I'd known it completely for me. On top of that, my dad's dementia got worse. My world was rocked, my foundation & support system collapsed, relationships changed, and new one's emerged...life as I knew it, completely and utterly transformed and new, different, paths presented before me. I jumped from cruising down a country road not paying attention to the rear view mirror & flashers on all around me to FULL SPEED AHEAD on the expressway from HELL bumper to bumper, having to laser focus, face the insane chaos, & perform some slick defensive and offensive driving to arrive alive.
Long story short (likely for another time, lol) life required 200% of me in another arena. Magically, in this most difficult time of overwhelming hardship, the most incredible blessings began to unfold....and this farm was born. This first year goal has been on building the best boarding farm and foundation for our business model with the right barn family members for our unique atmosphere. Somehow during this time, the most perfect group formed...better than I could ever have imagined! I can never give enough kudos to our amazing barn family! Thanks for this crew for helping me grow into the Barn Manager that I am now and will be to come. This year, I'm back in the arena in another capacity. My focus is laser sharp on working with students again. Like this gal right here! My first and only student to ever mount a horse backwards. I'm so glad she's back and that some things can pick right back up where you left off BUT be better! Now, the posting trot is instinctive, natural, and done by feel. I had to rack my brain to come up with creative ways to teach this one the posting trot originally....but EUREKA, she's got it and made me laugh yesterday talking about how easy it is now.
Thanks life for changing! Thanks for working out for the best for me always. Thanks for making me better and teaching me to roll with it and trust in my talents. I am in awe of it all often, and have plenty of challenges daily still. But this year and past few years have taught me that when you can tread water and keep your head afloat, when you can BELIEVE IN DREAMS and yourself and look for the positive and authentic meaning in life when struggles present themselves... when life makes no sense, when you can have the self-confidence and courage to let go of nonsense that is a waste of your valuable energy, bless it, and stand true to yourself, know and stick to your boundaries- with class and integrity...growth occurs like magic! Dreams start to become reality! This is my life AND Meadowthorpe Farm! I'm so proud and happy for our One Year Anniversary. I know great prosperity, fun, and future adventures are to unfold and I am so excited about student and horse progression stories to come.
There are lots of great horse camps in the Memphis Area this Summer!
I've got a "few" years of experience under my belt teaching horse camps and camps in general to youth both as a Riding Instructor, former Teacher, and former Program Assistant for Youth Education programs at the Memphis Botanic Garden. From my experience, here are some tips for selecting the best camp situation for your child!
Check out the Mid south Horse Review's May 2019 issue page 6 for more information on Summer Camps available in our area this summer.
Can we love our horses too much....I believe so!
I grew up in the traditional hunter/jumper realm which is popular in the Memphis area. Mainly because this is what is prevalent in this area. I just wanted to be around horses and ride anything! My mom had saddlebreds growing up in East Tennessee and also showed them when I was a young child. Although this breed was common in Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee, none were in the this area. I'd have given anything to ride these big, bold, flashy, fire breathing dragons. I thought it was normal for them to be kept in stalls, have crazy tail sets, harnesses, gigantic padded feet....I thought breezing them and warm ups down aisles while hooting and hollering and using fire extinguishers was normal too as a kid. This is a common training technique for "accentuating" their already animated nature. Oh my word....these poor horses, lol! At least back in the day, at the end of a show season in the wintertime, it was common to pull shoes, let them grow out their woolly coat and whiskers, and put them out for winter to let them have some down time, be horses again, and get a break from all the hoopla people put them through during the show season. That was probably their only saving grace to sanity.
Growing up hunter jumper, we had a routine. Horses stayed up summertime when hot, and were turned out in the evenings with buddies. Horses went out in groups- mares and geldings alike. Horses did not go out in turnout blankets- they were not an invention yet! They got their stable sheets and blankets if needed at night time. We let their coats grow to warm them. We didn't have armor-like bell boots and turnout boots or scrim sheets or hoodies or slinky's or sleazies...or whatever the heck they're called now, lol. Horses didn't show 12 months a year, and we often pulled shoes over winter too....but we still rode and played, and had fun when able to. We trail rode, did gymnastics, played bareback games...had fun. What's happened to the fun? What's happened to letting horses be horses?
I think we horse people often get caught up in routine and doing things because we see others do it without really thinking...what's the point of this? Why are we doing things this way...really? Is it out of fear...are we going along with the crowd...is it REALLY for our horse's benefit or is it for our benefit?
Thinking like this has helped me stay in touch with my horses...I stop and think is this going to make my horse happy, really? Here's the deal. Horses survived in the wild, with other horses, with no booties, ear bonnets, sleazies, in the rain, in the cold, in the heat, with the bugs, with dirt, mud, rocks, lightening, with wild boars.....now I'm the first to admit that some of mine would have been toast...natural selection would not have been on their side (which is why God placed them here, with me, the only owner that could love their special quirks....at this point in time, lol!) Point being, when we take our horses so far away from their nature and the things that they prefer....when we make them so delicate a creature that they can't emotionally handle life as a horse any longer....what are we doing??? The issues in our horses are created most often by owners Don't create problems in your horse by loving them so much that you take them away from who they are at heart! Horses are happiest when we allow them to be a horse, be with horses, and do the things that horses do true to their nature....not ours! There's a valuable lesson in this for people. When we can "let go" of our need to control, we become happier souls too. Worry is the tool of the devil. Contentment in the moment is peace and powerful and strong. Horses can teach us how to find this if we listen to their nature.