Do you believe in intuition? Do you follow your “gut feelings?”

Paying attention to your thoughts and following where they lead is something some people live by. Others either don’t subscribe to the validity of an inner voice, or they simply ignore it because they don’t trust its ideas. There’s no way to know for sure if those urges are “right.”

I personally believe our intuitive thoughts beckon us to move in a certain direction. Other times we may feel comfortable or uncomfortable reactions to something without knowing why.

I look at intuition as a personal and powerful internal guidance system. Perhaps it’s God leading us … perhaps it’s part of how we are wired naturally … I’m not sure. I just know I try to pay close attention to my inner voice.

Do I always go in direction that feels right for me? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. It takes courage and trust. It can be tough if the intuition beckons for a change that is unknown. There is never an absolute “right” that applies to every person regarding choices. It’s all so personal. That’s where your intuition comes in to help you decide what’s right for you.

I received a note from a woman, Joan who’s a member of our website. Her words inspired me to pay more attention to my intuition and I thought that perhaps they would inspire you, too.

“I started as an older rider with no experience and needed a different training approach than a young kid would. I didn’t have much time to practice with a job and family, so I didn’t get enough repetition to develop skillful habits. It was hard to find a good trainer who knew the correct technical skills themselves and who could teach you in a patient and positive way.

The mental and emotional side would interfere with the technical skills because I had a lot of fear and anxiety and mentally wasn’t sure what I should be thinking during riding.

I also had a major horse accident, which really set me back.

But I learned how to focus and trust my gut first over what was being said to me from the outside. I also learned to take my personal power and be responsible for my own safety. I learned to listen to what my inner voice said. I didn’t have a good awareness of my energy and I didn’t have good emotional and energetic agility. I was a more dominant big personality and my horse was an alpha who made sure he let me know about my high pressured approach. He was a good teacher once I realized what he was saying to me in his actions.

Having good awareness and knowing what I didn’t know helped me to take the right actions to be more successful with my horse.” ~Joan Starkowsky

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  1. Debby Hockin on Mon, 22nd Aug 2016 3:48 pm
  2. I don’t know how you always know what I need to hear! TODAY I was trying to make a decision to change my barrel horse to a roping horse and was wavering. My head and heart say don’t do it because you love barrel racing but my gut says your horse is telling you he wants to rope not run cans. This intuition article has come at just the right time. So I see we are now going to rope, and my bucket list item says win your way to the IFR Worlds as a really old rookie. Thank you for all your positive things you do on a daily basis for us.

  3. Carol MacGregor on Mon, 22nd Aug 2016 4:46 pm
  4. Well, I”m trying to really evaluate what Joan had to say about what she was learning for herself to be more successful with her horse. She said she is a big dominant personality and her horse is an alpha, also a dominant personality. So who won out in the training–LOL!! Dominant horses still need a leader or they will lead you. I’d love to hear what she discovered was a better way to interact (train) her horse. My thoughts about her comments on “first pass”. Not that they aren’t useful, I’m just trying to evaluate them from my own perspective. Thank you.

  5. Kathy Smiley on Mon, 22nd Aug 2016 7:07 pm
  6. I’ve learned, over the last 70 years, to ALWAYS trust my intuition. As a scientist, I was very hesitant to give much credence to ‘intuition’, as it seemed so nebulous compared with ‘hard data’. But now i know better. I think intuition is really deeper regions of your brain working behind the scenes and accessing information that you almost aren’t even aware of to make decisions. Over and over again, I’ve found that my first impressions are, almost always, the correct ones, with people and with horses.

    That intuition has led me to choose three horses that other considered unsuitable for me, because of their energy levels or personalities. And two of those horses were the best horses anyone could ever wish for in their life. It’s too early to tell for the third one, but so far she seems to be another winner!


  7. Ben on Tue, 23rd Aug 2016 10:43 pm
  8. I agree with the points here about intuition with the following two caveats: 1). Intuition is much more accurate when it’s done on a foundation of experience. If not, outside suggestions are often very helpful. 2). Moods can misguide us when listening to our feelings. When we are feeling down or are very tired is not a good time to make decisions based upon our feelings. With those two caveats, I think our hearts are often the best guide. I once made a 22 point checklist when searching for a horse to buy. After evaluating several horses over an extended period with my spreadsheet I set it aside and later bought a horse my gut feel told me was the one. Five years later I would say my gut feel was absolutely the best guide.

  9. Harolyn Deason on Fri, 26th Aug 2016 12:47 am
  10. I’d had a nagging thought my horse was “off”, not noticeable lame, just not right. He was under performing for no obvious reason. I’d had several experienced horse people watch him go, a vet, his farrier & chiropractor. I even had someone video him with me riding so I could see what I felt. “Bute him and go” was one response! Did I mention he looked fabulous, coat, muscles, eye. You posted something last month-“Trust your intuition, you know your horse better than anyone”.
    The name of vet I’d used years before “just came to me!”. Long story short, he diagnosed the probable cause, performed an ultrasound & sent us to another clinic for an MRI & definite diagnosis & stem-cell treatment. We have a good chance to be back in the show pen in a few months. Had I not trusted my “gut” I would have done irreparable damage. Thank you!

  11. K'lyn Keller on Thu, 1st Sep 2016 2:36 pm
  12. I definitely believe the gut /intuition is more on target than the brain! The gut is honest whereas the brain can play games – as in the tapes it can keep playing over and over in our heads that are not good for us; i.e., injustice, pain, and fear loops we can get lost in. ..

    I feel compelled to respond to the alpha/leader comment. Horses are teachers. The more we listen to them, the more we learn. Thus, we can’t always be right:) I ask my students to be an emotional leader for their horse, not a staff sergeant. I suggest they “ask” and on’t “tell.” My most valued horse relationships have been mutually respectful partnerships – esp. with my fellow alphas!

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