The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

How To Be Happier: Chapter 7


“To teach is to touch a life forever.” Anonymous

I had this quote pinned on my cork board when I was a teenager, and I still have the same one, now stuck on my freezer with a fridge magnet. I love learning. I am an eternal student. Not that I like exams. But I find it fascinating delving deeper into a subject. Although the subject has to grab my interest enough in the first place for me to take the time to delve deeper.

One of my favourite places for learning is in conversation with others. One of my daily affirmations is “I listen more than I talk, enjoying learning from others.” I’m not entirely sure that I achieve this very often. OK, I know I talk too much, I always have done! It was on every school report even from primary school, and growing out of the habit is going to be a lifelong process. But you get the gist. I really do enjoy learning from others.

Because my work is ‘client facing’, meaning I get to chat to people every day, I get to learn something new literally every day. With the horse relaxed and enjoying his treatment, the owner and I often put the world to rights in our little way. I believe that the more I understand about what you need from your horse, the more effective my treatment can be. The better I understand his background, and yours, and your relationship with your horse, the better I can tailor my advice to suit you both. And so I’m always keen to learn.

My other daily learning comes from the horses. This is often in terms of what treatment works and what doesn’t. I have a thorough formal education with a BSc in Physiotherapy and an MSc in Veterinary Physiotherapy, plus a BSc (Open) from the Open University, and qualifications in human and equine massage. I have a good understanding of horse behaviour and performance, and of ridden work, with qualifications as an Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Trainer and a BHSAI, or British Horse Society Coach in Complete Horsemanship. But building on that solid foundation is the less scientific learning that comes every time I work with a horse, and each time I get feedback from an owner.

Then there’s my learning around coaching and psychology. Not formal learning, but personal experience gained from working with my business coach and with my counsellor. Learning from life experiences, including being a mum and getting divorced. Ongoing learning in the form of continuous professional development, with books, podcasts, webinars, short courses, and more. The opportunities for learning are endless.

To me, each day is a new day, bringing its own challenges. Sometimes I can face those challenges, other times I just want to hide away. Each challenge, though, is a learning experience. And each learning experience holds me in good stead for the next time I face a similar challenge.

What lessons has life brought you, and have you learned from them?

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion