Patience is a Virtue

On Becoming Virtuous

by Catherine Madera


September 2014
My young horse Mateo learning to stand quietly at the trailer. Photo courtesy Catherine Madera

I’ve heard it said that praying for patience is a bad idea. Why? God will immediately send you a situation that requires it. Most of us struggle with patience, but as horse people it is a virtue that is truly critical to attain. This is because all horse owners are trainers, not just those who hang a sign out for business. And training horses is surely one of the most frustrating and rewarding processes on Earth. It takes years of work to create a broke, responsive horse that is a joy to handle and ride. I am reminded of this every time I work my 4-year-old mustang, Mateo.

There are a hundred—or more—training pieces that create that pleasantly broke partner; one of them is a horse that will patiently stand tied. Recently, a persistent metallic banging let me know Mateo needs more work in this area. While he understands the pressure and release concept of tying, he dislikes being alone and having to wait. To pass the time, this youngster chews up any available wood surfaces, tries to climb up the side of my trailer and digs really impressive holes. After he broke a couple running lights, I re-read Brent Rollins’ article on hobbling (see March issue, and decided to try something new to solve what had become an annoying problem. With a little help, Mateo is now developing patience.

Fall is in the air and I encourage you to get out and enjoy the last warm days with your horse. Perhaps you need help/training in one or more areas? This is a great issue filled with advice and inspiration. The Super Horse Showdown is coming and dressage trainer Kim Roe shares valuable insight for aspiring horsemen and women. As always, email me at

Ride On!


Originally Published September 2014 Issue

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