To have a better relationship with your horse you need to have a better relationship with yourself.
As long as you’re not grounded and genuinely connected to yourself, you’re never going to have the kind of relationship with your horse that will blow your mind.
To have the kind of relationship where…
- your horse is your trusted friend and companion,
- you can ride miles into the wilderness in just a rope halter and with loose reins,
- you and your horse move as one because you have the same thought at the same time,
…you need to understand that it doesn’t matter how high you can jump or how many flying changes you can make.
It’s about how connected you are with your horse.
To forge that kind of high-level connection with your horse where you ride with one finger on the rein and a song in your heart, you have to learn how to be firmly present in the moment.
When you want to become better at handling horses the biggest work before you is never with the horse; it’s always within yourself.
When you’re around your horse you need to be aware of…
- what his ears are doing
- what his eyes are doing,
- what his muzzle is doing
- what his nostrils are doing
- what his feet are doing and how they’re placed
- how he’s breathing – is it deep or shallow?
- what his back looks like
- what his tail looks like – is it loose, clamped, up or down?
- how he’s placing and shifting his weight
- what he’s doing with his head – is it high or low?
- how he’s holding his neck – is it tense or relaxed?
There are a lot of things to pay attention to and when you’re truly present with your horse, you’re aware of all these and more.
And that’s when your horse gets a lot of comfort from you – because he knows that you know what’s really going on with him.
When you’re not present and fully aware, your horse isn’t comfortable around you.
In a herd, horses rely on the mental presence of each herd member and trust each other to keep an eye out for danger.
So, having that kind of relationship with others – that’s based on sensitivity and a heightened perception and awareness – is very natural for your horse.
Being present makes your horse feel, content, safe and relaxed – and your horse knows when you’re aware of all those little details and minute gestures because he’ll feel heard and seen.
Being present and fully aware also solves a lot of issues that you may otherwise try to train out of your horse – mostly caused by a miscommunication between what your horse is saying and what you’re hearing.
When you don’t truly understand what your horse is saying, you’ll put on restrictive tack in an attempt to control him. And you’ll always mount up in a state of nervous tension because of a failing hope in your heart that you’re going to make it back in one piece.
The goal is to have a horse that…
- is confident in himself – so confident in fact, that he can afford to be generous with others; people and horses
- is willing and eager to work because you have a strong partnership with him
- gladly shows up for work asking “what can I do today, boss?”
- gives you everything he’s got every time you ask
- can race with you through the fields at full tilt while also being able to give the gentlest rides to little children
By putting the inner work you do with yourself first, you’re not just gaining an amazing relationship with your horse, you’re learning how to keep your ship sailing even when the seas become rough and stormy.
My purpose with this blog is to help you learn as much as you possibly can about your horse and to give you the tools you need to build that dream relationship with your horse.
In a world where so many people treat horses like expensive bicycles, can you afford to not forge that genuine connection with your horse?