It Costs Something To Be Kind
I often hear that it costs nothing to be kind. Your ego will tell you your friends will judge you for getting off when your horse needs help approaching something. Your ego will tell you that your horse won't respect you if you allow him to handle fear at his own pace. Your ego will tell you that you won't get where you're going if you allow your horse to constantly dictate his training.
Those around you will tell you you will be rejected for not fitting in with their training regimes. Those around you will tell you that you look ridiculous with a treat pouch on your belt. Those around you will tell you that your horse will be dangerous if he is allowed to express when he is in pain.
I am here to tell you that it DOES cost something to be kind. It will cost you friendships. It will cost you respect. It will cost you reputation. But the truth is, those things are worth it, when they are exchanged as payment for your horse's happiness and wellbeing. I would pay in a thousand thousand friendships to allow my horse to lead the best life he could with me. Those things are a cost. Pretending they aren't belittles the many people who struggle to turn away from traditional horsemanship due to these things. You simply have to ask yourself - is your horse worth it?