Following up on last week’s blog on Context and Organic conversations, Another very important lesson and Conversation came up in Context Organically today with Maestro. He will soon be 1 year old and is a feeling his oats and spring hormones! I so enjoy this way of Being with horses as Maestro and my relationship has no pressure on it to be anything but two beings getting to know each other and become friends and partners. Each day we have these little exchanges and experiences together that come up spontaneously and a new layer to our relationship is built.
Maestro’s last big lesson was about being with people and not touching them sometimes and learning how to be still and calm with us when we are Meditating in the paddocks.
Today’s spontaneous exercise, Claiming Territory allowed me to Communicate to him about when he could be somewhere (or not be somewhere as it were) in the paddock. This exercise is not only important but powerful and can cover much scope from food to actual areas or horses. In this case, horses and an area were involved. Spring is in the air and Maestro has discovered girls. They live in the adjacent paddocks. He and his uncles spent the day ogling their female neighbors and trying to gain their favor. I had to install some fencing which happened to be where the best girl watching/flirting spot was. I asked the boys to move out of my work area so I could put new posts in and Maestro said “oh no! then I will not be able to see and be near the girls!” And I said (using my body language only and no tools) Well you will have to admire from afar Maestro because, I need to install this new fence! The Conversation was on. I actually shot a small video clip because it was such an interesting exchange. These exchanges also give me insight into what Maestro’s character is and how he responds to exchanges like this. Fascinating stuff! I put in several posts and had not strung the new line yet and as I worked, periodically I would remind him to move out of the area if he returned. Of course he kept coming back to the conversation with the non-verbal question “is it ok to be here now? how ’bout now, how ’bout now?” As usual after a few amusing exchanges he saw that the “Imaginary” line was where the fence posts were and he was not to cross them. At this time there was no fence only posts so he could easily still pass through. In the short video clip you will see that he has figured out to stay behind the posts. I took several photos of their expressions as well when I started this conversation.
In the second clip you see me working with Eye Contact, a focus exercise. Great for many horses (spooks, easily distracted horses and building focus in youngsters). It is one of the most unknown and under utilized exercises in Equine interaction. It is also incredibly powerful and one of the most effective ways to soft mental and physical connection with your horse.
In the video clip you will see me requesting that he watch me instead of the “girl” closest to him. He did so beautifully and showed how the exercise helped him understand that sometimes I will communicate where he can and cannot be and that in turn naturally fostered his focus on me and him watching and seeking me out for when he could be in the area he wanted to be in. He changed in front of my eyes as he understood what I was saying through intention and body language. His mature uncles of course had long since wandered off to their hay since they knew what was going on. Maestro had to learn this new lesson brought to him by his person. With the 9 exercises we do, It is important to understand that there is no order and no wrong answers as long as you stay in context it will never feel like training. Everyone will have different ideas and choices in each moment with their horse and it doesn’t have to be fixed in stone. What was the right conversation for one moment may not be for the next. There are no rules except safe conduct! I challenge everyone to stay flexible and flowing from moment to moment with their conversations. See video clips below.