When Kendra initially posted about introversion, I was at a loss. I had to think, pay attention, and talk about it. That’s pretty much how I handle a lot of things, which is funny because I end up right on the line of introversion and extroversion. That pattern of thinking, watching, and talking sort of describes the way I incorporate both introversion and extroversion into my world. Mostly though, I lean toward being an extrovert, and when I truly feel relaxed and confident, I am really an extrovert. My experience in the world, in contrast to what Kendra shared, is looking outward (rather than inward) for fun, excitement, interest, and conversation. If I start feeling reclusive, it usually means I’m not feeling my best emotionally, mentally, or physically. It’s tricky though, because I do value some serious alone time, especially now that I have kids.

When I considered how this influences my interactions with horses I was stunned! I think I try to relate to horses how I relate to people. I’m friendly, curious, fairly open, and looking for those qualities in return…no matter how minimal. Sometimes that has worked with my horses and me. Mostly it has not. What comes to mind is this sort of aloofness I interpret from my favorite mare. Looking at our relationship through the lens of extroversion and introversion though, I’m wondering if we just relate differently. It’s also made me wonder if I paid less attention to what felt like her rejection of me and more attention to how she connects, our relationship might strengthen. This is all sort of a bunch of theories, but as I work to develop my riding skills, I’m wondering what might shift as I look at the world through her likely introverted perspective.

There’s another horse we have that’s very different than this favorite mare. He’s a gelding that likes me better than my husband (which is really rare and really exciting), and I’m wondering if this gelding and I relate because we’re similar in this way. Does he enjoy interaction and adventure with me? I have to wonder what it would look like if a horse were more extroverted than introverted?

I’m not sure. What I’m seeing is the possibility that my extroverted horse likes attention, affection, and a WHOLE lot of gentle encouragement. My mare that seems a bit introverted is almost the opposite. She hates being messed with too much, acts very hot and cold when it comes to affection, and is very to the point. For example, she wants her directives to have a purpose, especially if she doesn’t completely trust the rider. So when I’m riding her and she’s fully aware of  my lack of riding ability and/or leadership, she hesitates to do things like back up unless she understands why. If we’re in a situation that she recognizes why she has to back up, no problem. If I’m in the middle of a round pen, it’s as if she’s saying, “Really Ali? You’re going to try to ask me to randomly reverse?.” I’m not sure she trusts me enough to simply do what I ask yet. Perhaps my leadership skills are coming across as uncertain. We’ll see if I’m right or wrong as this project progresses. It will certainly be interesting. Apparently I can’t stop typing unless I leave a quote, so for today:

“Beautiful girl, you can do hard things.” -bravegirlsclub.com

Stay brave,

Ali