Mirroring is a term that I use to describe many things in my work with horses. Many people associate it with the horse matching your movements or you matching the horses movements. For me it goes profoundly deeper. And I find more affirmations of this everyday.
Firstly, Horses do learn a great deal from each other by mimicking and it is an INCREDIBLY powerful and often overlooked training tool which I use often and in fact to train more then one horse simultaneously. This is simply having one horse watching another horse and learn something. A foal learns their first lessons this way. If we take that principle and utilize it as humans learning to speak and think like a horse, it takes our training to another place.
Other forms of mirroring are much deeper and subtle. Energetic Inflection is something horses read off of us and if we are observant, we read off of them. My ability to read a horses energy and intent is very important to me keeping safe and keeping the Big picture in mind during my interactions. It allows me to know what is for the best interest, well being and good of a horse at any given moment.
Energetic inflection and your ability to have awareness and mastery of your own energy allows you to communicate with a horse using authentic energetically instead of using coarse, and empty body language and tools. I see this far too often when I watch people working with horses. They are extremely dependent on the tack and tools they are wielding to get the horse to understand their communication. Where this becomes a real problem is when your tools and tack aren’t working. You say to yourself “But I bought the magic halter and stick or bit? Why isn’t my horse responding right?” It is because tools do not have energy people do and when you are congruent with your body language, and energetic inflection, your tools (if any are needed at all) become a extension of your energy. Simply put, be what you want your horse to be. Don’t expect a frightened horse to take comfort from a frightened person.
The even deeper mirroring is the horse looking back at us in our reflection. We are attracted to horses often who have similar traits, characteristics and even physical and emotional similarities to us. As an exercise I often have people write down all their horses characteristics good and bad and I ask them to compare them to their own traits in themselves. Sometimes we find out our exact mirror and sometimes we seek out a horse which symbolizes who we’d like to be. We often find horses who share similar experiences to us if we look closely. In this aspect, horses can be powerful teachers and pattern shifters. Feel free to share any thoughts you have on this in the comments area.
Coming up December 20th at 11:00am ET, I will be doing a free online event on The Natural Outline-What it is and isn’t and using my system to achieve non tack dependent training. This event is suitable for Bitless, Bitted and Liberty interested alike. English and Western. Because, as I always say, “It’s not about what’s on your horses head!” Though this is a free event, you must register to participate and there are only 9 spots available. Register Now!