The Rider’s Mind Podcast Episode 86: When to Quit on a Horse

It’s like we vow to never quit on a horse, but what if quitting is sometimes the right answer? What if we called it surrender? Would that make you feel better about not following through with a horse? Maybe you’re not the right person for this horse. Maybe this horse is not the right horse for you. In this episode, I talk about figuring out when it’s time to throw in the towel and when you should continue to grind it out with a horse. 

You’ve probably been in the situation of wondering if it’s worth it to keep working on a horse. 

There are tears, blood and sweat. Is the horse worth it? Do you stick it out and learn or throw in the towel? Do you move on? Do you surrender?

You might decide you’re not willing to do what it takes to get through to that horse, but that’s hard to do if you’ve been trained to never give up. 

I sometimes wonder if both horse and rider would be happier if we just moved on. 

Maybe you’re not the right match. Maybe you’re the connector for this horse to find the right person. Perhaps you could approach the situation with the idea that the horse is not for everyone, but there is someone out there who is the right match for the horse.

When I’ve done energy work and healing work with horses, I’ve noticed horses often have trapped negative emotions from before they are sold. It’s not the sale, it’s the break up. When things aren’t working with a horse, you sometimes find all the reasons why a horse doesn’t fit so you feel better about selling it. You don’t need to feel guilty that you aren’t a good match with a horse. Don’t damage the horse by finding all the reasons you dislike them before you sell them. You might decide to stick it out. If you do, look for all the things the horse is doing right. 

Maybe the lesson you need to learn is how to surrender and move on. 

Whether to stick with a horse or move on is a personal decision. Sometimes you need to consider how much punishment you’re up for. It depends on your level of determination, your age and how much time you want to invest. 

Don’t stick it out because of your ego and try to make it work. Look for the breakdown in communication rather than making the horse do something. You can’t fix a problem with the same energy that created it. You’ll have to be open-minded to find your way out of the situation you created. 

How do you know whether to stick it out or move on?

Imagine if things worked out with this horse. How does it feel? Can you imagine it? If you can’t imagine it, you probably can’t make it happen.

How would it feel if someone else owned this horse? If that feels good, it’s a good indicator that you need to work towards finding a new owner for your horse.

How would it feel if you moved on to another horse? If that doesn’t feel good, you might need to stick with this horse.

How would it feel to take a break from this horse? 

How would it feel to send the horse to someone else?

How does it feel to surrender to the fact that you are not the right person for this horse? 

I’m not suggesting that you just keep switching horses. If you keep coming up with the same problems, you have to consider the common factor, which is you

If there’s something you need to learn, it’s going to keep coming up in every horse.

If a horse isn’t your type, it’s okay to educate them and prepare them for the next person. It’s not quitting on them, it’s surrendering to the fact that there is someone else best suited to them. 

Don’t let pride or a need to prove something make you keep the horse.

It’s okay to surrender, it’s okay to move on, but it’s also okay to stay and learn the lessons. Do what’s right for you and what’s right for the horse. 


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