“My horse knows better?”

When it comes to bad behavior with horses or people, if you want something different, you’ve got to try something different.

bad horse behavior fixes
A few weeks ago, I attended a workshop featuring inspirational entrepreneur, James Altucher. He just came out with a book, “Choose Yourself,” that I just can’t stop talking about.

James’ approach to the world is completely unique. While listening to him, I realized that his perspective applies to a lot more than business – it’s something those of us in the horse world could really learn from.

One thing that really stood out to me was his suggestion to swap every exclamation point with a question mark. The purpose of the exercise is to move you from a potentially aggressive mindset into a more inquisitive mindset. When you ask a question instead of making a statement, you’re opening yourself up to learn more about your horse (and yourself!). 

Horses also think in terms of exclamation points and questions marks. I have often heard it quoted from Horsemanship Masters like Buster McLaury, “Horses go from fear, to curiosity to acceptance”.

Let me give you some examples of how you can apply this to your horsemanship:

My horse knows better! (My horse knows better?)
When you flip this into a question, you have the opportunity to check yourself before you wreck yourself. Does your horse really know better? Really?

Taking you from anger/fear to curiosity…..

My horse keeps doing this to me! (My horse keeps doing this to me?)
Asking the question allows you the chance to figure out what may have led to that…..

My horse likes to bite people! (My horse likes to bite people?)
 Asking this Q will help you figure out what may be causing this behavior. It’s a lot more productive than writing it off as a funky preference.

It’s amazing the impact just one shift in thinking can have. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to “Choose Yourself.” Reading it has inspired me to:

  • wake up every morning and think of 5 things that I am grateful for before I get out of bed 
  • come up with ideas of how I can give first
  • write down 10 ideas a day 
  • take risks and ask for BIG things

I think you’d love it too. (If you want to snag a copy for yourself and your friends, you can find it here.)

In the meantime, here in the comments, I’d LOVE to hear your best exclamation-turned-question. I’ll start.

“Ouch? My horse stepped on my foot?”

NOTE: If you’d like to see James’ talk that set these gears in motion, watch this clip. He’s funny, inspiring, and I know these concepts will help you shift your mindset. If you want to see my first introduction to James, watch this. The language is heavy but it made me laugh so hard I cried. ENJOY!

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