Cowgirl or cowboy up!

Recently I have heard this expression “cowgirl up!” told to horse owners who are not coming forward in their leadership with their horses. Among some trainers and clinicians, it is meant to be helpful, but for many women and some gentle men, it only serves to make them feel insecure about their leadership around their horses. It usually involves being chastised for not “making” your horse do something he is supposed to (in human terms). I know when this was first posed to me it made all my insecurities surrounding being credible come rearing up and made me into a quivering mass of jelly. Women in particular can have difficulty speaking up and that ability in a relationship with a horse is necessary, even though speaking up is going to take a different form.

Continue reading