Heart and Horse

Scholarship Entrant: Danielle from Portland, Texas
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Danielle: 3

I would train horses and teach people how to do the same. Many believe riding a horse requires simply the bravery to jump on and hold tight; but more is involved.
Like human relationships, relationships with horses must be built. In the wild, horses are not predators, only prey. Their natural instinct when afraid is to run to safety. When starting to work with an un-ridden or unhandled young horse, it is important to understand that the trainer is asking this horse to deny its natural tendencies and to trust the most potentially dangerous predator. Greater challenge is realized when one considers the obvious communication barrier between these animals and humans. Non-verbal communication and much patience is necessary for the horse to learn to understand what the trainer is asking and to understand their response.
The skill to communicate is rapidly deteriorating today. Teaching and riding horses challenges the trainer to talk without words. Thoughts must be communicated through actions, requiring planning and reasoning. While difficult, there is nothing more rewarding as relationships created between people and horses.
While training horses and people may seem unrelated to changing the world, the confidence and skills learned from horses, can translate into daily life; for example, interpersonal relationships and the knowledge of hard work and patient persistence when tough situations arise.
One day I hope to instill in others the above principles learned through training a horse, confident that people will leave changed, having learned the importance of trust.

Vote for Danielle: 3

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