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  • Erin Rock

Horses And Humans

April, 2010.  It’s just before sunrise.  I sit aboard a lithe, elegant, silver filly.  It’s her first day of training at Keeneland’s race track.

We approach the entrance gap to the track.  She’s tentative, but willing.  Her undeveloped muscles tighten, becoming rigid at my touch.  Like many inexperienced fillies, she lacks confidence.  She wants to trust me, but something holds her back.

Approaching hooves startle her.  As a hulking colt strongly gallops past us, she snorts nervously.  I pat her confidently, encouraging her.  The cueing works.  She exhales deeply, and her nerves begin to settle.  She’s going to be just fine.

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August, 2014. It’s just before sunrise.  I open the gym door, welcoming an elegant, silver-haired woman.  It’s her first day of training at her new gym.

We approach the treadmill.  She’s tentative, but willing.  Her undeveloped muscles tighten, becoming rigid as I pat her on the back, guiding her onto the treadmill.  Like many female newcomers, she lacks confidence in the gym.  She wants to trust me, but something holds her back.

A nearby grunt startles her.  As a hulking man strides past us, she hesitates nervously.  I guide her confidently, encouraging her.  The cueing works.  She exhales deeply, and her nerves begin to settle.  She’s going to be just fine.

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A year ago, if someone had told me just how similar exercising horses and exercising humans could be, I never would have believed them.  Throughout the full year I spent studying Personal Fitness Training, our teachers constantly reminded us, “Personal Training Is about relationships.”  And it’s true.  There has to be trust.  There has to be fun.  And there has to be a healthy appreciation for each other.

With the thoroughbreds, it was the same.  You need trust between horse and rider.  There has to be fun, and there has to be appreciation for each other.  I never felt so appreciated as when I would walk towards a stall, saddle in hand, and the gleaming inhabitant would turn my way and nicker in excitement.

I had the same feeling yesterday when one of my clients, Michelle, walked toward the entrance of the gym.  Three months ago, she walked into her first training session with the hesitation of a green filly.  Yesterday, she had a confident bounce in her step as she approached the gym door.

She had brought me a gift… a thoughtful souvenir from her recent trip to Vegas.

A souvenir, a nicker…. either way, it feels wonderful to be appreciated.


krisroyal
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