At HorseBack, we love learning from the best. And when it comes to horses, Ray Hunt is up there in the pantheon of the greats. That’s why we have been meditating on this marvellous quote from him:
‘There is no way that the horse will ever try to take advantage of you. He’s as honest and as truthful as anything you could ever work with. He has no ego that gets in his way. He has no pride that gets in his way. He doesn’t know what win or lose is. And those are the four things that get in the human’s way. It’s very sad. All the horse is trying to do is survive; he’s trying to make it. So I try to work with him like he was me, just like I hope he would work with me.’
It’s not just that this is a beautiful and true thought about horses. It’s that it has so many of the human qualities we aspire to in it. It breathes empathy and thoughtfulness. There is no sense of entitlement. It lives in reality, rather than in the sometimes inaccurate stories that humans tell themselves: it looks at the real nature of the horse, rather than the wrong set of assumptions and prejudices they are often faced with.
It is very honest. It’s honest about the flaws which are universal in all humanity. Everyone has pride and ego, and the secret of life is to be aware of those and to stop them acting as a wrecking crew.
And it has simplicity at the heart of it, which is something we at HorseBack cherish. ‘I try to work with him like he was me’ is a very plain statement. It’s a very plain thing to do. Yet whether with horses or people, it can be profound and transformative.
It goes to the foundational question of: how would you like to be treated? And can you do that for other creatures and other human beings? It’s the ancient golden rule: do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.
That’s why we always come back to Ray Hunt, and why his words will never die.