Life Law #8

Life Law #8: We teach people how to treat us.

Strategy: Own, rather than complain, about how people treat you.

Simple yet complex.

  • We teach people how to treat us.
  • People teach us how to treat them.
  • We teach horses how to treat us. (if we are doing the training)
  • Horses teach people how to treat them. (if we are unaware)

This law is one of the more interesting ones to observe with horses. There are many time when I am coaching people that it becomes obvious that the horse has arranged the situation to fit their will. Some examples include:

a horse that won’t lope…..threatens to buck if bumped with legs

a horse that flips its head….threatening to rear because it scares the rider and causes a release

a horse that considers trailer loading with grain….but throws a fit if pressure is applied

a horse that spooks….but only with riders that are intimidated

Growing up I taught lessons at a guest resort. The guests would come to Maine from all over the world and one thing they could do was ride horses. I was the instructor. The horses were the teachers…

We had one horse, Tate, that was very smart. After a couple of years there he began to go bad. His version of ‘going bad’ was that he would not move. I could get on and with the mere thought of going could easily trot or lope. A guest would get on and he wouldn’t move. Heck, after a few years of careful study on Tate’s part he truly wouldn’t move for them even if I did get them to finally give him one good kick. He had simply learned they didn’t mean it. Nothing I could do would convince him….because he was right-they didn’t mean it!

He had figured out how to treat people to get rid of them. Not much of a ride if the horse doesn’t move. Really shortens the ride. Smart horse. How are you doing at teaching people how to treat you?


  1. Sue-Ellen on December 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    This is so true in every aspect of life, I used to work on a construction site and people used to ask me how I was treated and what experiences I had? I would reply ‘the tradesmen always treated me really well’, and this article has reminded me of why – because I taught them how I wanted to be treated. I created my own experiences.
    This is one example of why I am truly grateful for having horses in my life, as they have taught me so many life skills that have been invaluable. I am the person I am today because I have grown up and learned from my horses 🙂

  2. Angie Snell on December 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Haha SO true!! My old horse pulled the wont move trick with a young girl a couple of weeks ago, because she didn’t mean it, eventually she had him trotting nicely, I only have to think go too! And yes I can think of HEAPS more example of horses who have taught their riders how to treat them! Another great blog, thanks Stacy 🙂

  3. McKenzie Morris on December 29, 2011 at 11:43 am

    This is so very, very true! Well put Stacy!

Leave a Comment




100% Private - 0% Spam

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

No one taught you the skills you need to work through these things.

Riders often encounter self-doubt, fear, anxiety, frustration, and other challenging emotions at the barn. The emotions coursing through your body can add clarity, or can make your cues indistinguishable for your horse.

Learning these skills and begin communicating clearly with your horse.

Click here to learn more.



Get the free printable guide

    Download now. Unsubscribe at anytime.