There are days when I wonder if anything in the rest of the world is real. We are bombarded with marketing hype promising to make our life better, faster, cheaper, and easier. It sounds so good we’re tempted to take advantage of the offers. We’d be crazy to not want things to be a little easier. But, the little voice inside us reminds us that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. We are constantly challenged to judge what is real and what is smoke and mirrors.
Amy and I are blessed to live in a place and do a job that keeps us grounded in reality. There is a popular talk show host that likes to say he’s the Mayor of Realsville. Amy and I must sit on the Town Council of Realsville. Every day we have the opportunity to work with each other and with our pets and livestock in the great outdoors. After more than 35 years of marriage, we’ve come to know and trust each other. There’s not anything anyone could do or say to shake our confidence in each other.
Many of us that have a desire to differentiate ourselves from others around us. It’s not that we need to be thought of as better, just different. Maybe that’s what drives the marketers. Do this or buy that because that’s what will make you look or act a little differently than the neighbors. But, what about all of those people that want to be just like their favorite celebrity? They are being sold on the things that their favorite person wears or does. Combined with our seemingly insatiable appetite for more and better stuff, it’s not hard to understand why the marketers present things the way they do.
We in the horse world are not exempt from the better, faster, cheaper, easier mentality. There are more gimmicks and devices offered to horse owners than I care to think about. Some are offered by folks that really believe they’ve found a better way to help others get along with their horses. Some are offered by people attempting to take advantage of others. They often will play on the emotions of people that have just discovered horses. If we were to just step back and ask how the horse would feel about an offer, we’d get a little closer to what our horse really needs.
Horsemanship is not about the people or the stuff. It’s about meeting the horse where he lives and doing our best to understand that. It’s about finding the feel that creates the euphoria when things get really right between our horse and us. The reality is that the horse is the King of Realsville. We need to forget about the newest horse whisperer to break onto the scene with the latest training methods that will revolutionize the way people work on their horses. We need to focus on building trust and confidence with our horse to get a little closer to the reality the horse lives. That’s keeping it real!