Relationships are amazingly complex things. The team at Valenti believes that a key to a happy relationship is to always be open to learn and grow as a partner. Sometimes people can find inspirations in amazing places. In our efforts to find unique ways to help, we didn’t have to look far for inspiration. As Valenti is intimately tied to the equestrian world, we found that many people can benefit by reflecting on how life with horses can teach you a lot about being in a happy, loving relationship.
Here are the top 4 lessons to help your relationship based on research and our experience with horses.
- Communication skills. A cornerstone to a successful relationship is having clear and open communication. Clearly communicating when riding is also vital when being so close to a 1200-pound animal! If one gives unclear, hesitant or confusing messages to your horse, you might end up flying instead of riding. These same principles apply to romantic relationships. If you are not able to clearly communicate with your partner, a relationship can be filled with misunderstanding, isolation and pain. If there is something very important that you want to communicate to your partner, try rehearsing first. Plan out what you want to say beforehand, maybe even bouncing it off a friend to be sure you are clear. Another important thing to keep in mind is nonverbal communication. Horses are very attuned to the nonverbal queues from rider, picking up if they are tense or anxious. Remember that how you say something can be as important as what is being said.
- Setting Boundaries. Every healthy relationship needs to have firm but clear boundaries. When riding, it is vital to stay within your riding skill level, as well as the comfort zone of your horse. If you push too hard, paying little regard to your own limits or that of your horse, can lead to disaster. In your romantic relationships, respecting and understanding boundaries is equally necessary. Moving too fast in a relationship or perhaps being too possessive can lead to your partner pulling away or reacting negatively. While it won’t be as bad as a hoof to the head, romantic rejection can still hurt. Again, good communication is very important is clearly setting and respecting boundaries. Just as riding skills build and change with experience, relationships boundaries are also fluid and something that grow and evolve over time.
- Trust. When riding, there needs to be a strong bond of trust between rider and horse. In fact, many riders say this is what makes it so enchanting. The trust and respect between human and animal is a powerful experience, but also something that does not happen immediately. It is something that is built over time, not just by riding, but by the time and care a rider has for his horse. The same can be said for one’s romantic relationships, they are something to be grown and cared for. As people come together, building trust is vital to building intimacy. Building trust cannot be rushed.
- Overcoming fears. Learning to ride horses is not easy for everyone. The idea of getting on the back of a large animal and directing it around ,while knowing it has its own mind and could easily buck you off if it chose to, can be daunting. Similarly, many people can become fearful and anxious at the prospect of allowing themselves to be emotionally vulnerable in the most profound way in a romantic relationship. But embracing these fears and working through them can lead to a life that is wonderfully richer in color and passion. Just like building trust and riding skills, it can take time to ease one’s fears about relationships. But with the right partner and patience, what was once a deep fear, can become something that you can’t imagine living without!
What do you think? We welcome your thoughts and questions about this topic. Please post your comments here or send any questions about this or any other topic to our Ask Irene page! Our company founder Irene Valenti will personally address your questions!
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