“That horse is too smart for his own good!”
I have heard that phrase many times. As a student of horses and Horsemanship, Have spent a lot of time looking at how many people and systems approach horses and horse training. As many people embrace horses as Sentient Emotionally intelligent beings, It important to approach training horses with respect for their character, intelligence and Sensitivity.
When I am communicating to my horse I must be engaging and interesting in my approach while Horse listening. I must figure out who he is and what he most enjoys. I must build a conversation that is stimulating, interesting and fun (even if it is highly technical). That doesn’t mean we both are always going to agree or we are going to like what each other says all the time. Sometimes we struggle to communicate things while we are learning how to say them. It all ok as long as we are patient with ourselves and our horse. That is part of any natural relationship. Sometimes we mis-communicate and disagree with our loved ones but if we LISTEN to each other we can come to a mutual agreement and understanding. We can attain an ever better relationship through understanding each other’s point of view.
I find that people focus a lot on relaxation, calmness and peace but there are many ranges of energy that are fun for a horse and human to express and explore. I prefer to look for a balance of free movement, Suppleness, Balance, Positive energy, Joy and the ability to communicate like two intelligent beings in the full range of energy. High and Low. Staying in one range of energy all the time can be boring for horse and human and lead to being stuck in a rut energetically and intellectually. I have actually seen horses get shut down (even at liberty) and bored when their person is afraid to allow a horse to express his energy (in a safe way) I like to be able to engage my horse at all energy levels up and all the way down. It takes practice and getting comfortable with all your horses energies, moods and ideas. Figure out what you are comfortable with. If you are a high energy active person that tends to want to work that way all the time, practice working with lower slower energies and exercises. If you are always working very slow and quiet, work with more expression and energy. Remember truly expressive energy comes from horses and humans expressing themselves together dynamically.
If I work with Positive energy and communicate with my horse appealing to his Intelligencet and sensitivity, I can engage in a relationship that is deep and always growing to new areas.
If you haven’t seen my posts on Facebook about the unfortunate horses (or fortunate depending how you look at it) that were left by their owner at our farm, We are trying to place the girls in good homes as soon as possible. Bunny is a 27 yr old 16.2h TB mare and was a school horse. She is kind and sweet, sound and barefoot. She knows some low level dressage. She would be a great first horse or family horse. She’s riding Bitless in the photo.
Koko is a (In the main photo above) 19yr old mustang who came to us recovering from a laminitis episode. Her x-rays are promising and our barefoot trimmer thinks she will be ride-able again with rehab. She is 14.3-15h Also sweet but not a beginner’s horse. They could go together as they are friends or separately. Please contact me if you are interested or know anyone who would like them.