I think we all desire to be able to trust our horses.
Being able to trust them to be calm and confident when faced with adverse situations, being able to rely upon them to be consistent in their responses, and having that ‘knowing’.
It certainly makes life easy. I recently had occasion to load Cooper on a trailer when he hadn’t for a few years, and he easily loaded. Yesterday @philmonaghan loaded George onto a new trailer - it loads to the right instead of the left, and, again he loaded immediately. Trailer loading is just the start, we need to be able to rely on them in all situations like ground, ridden and citizen work.
But where is our responsibility in this ?
Does the expectation of our trust in them, begin with their expectation of of their trust in us?
When my horses look at me, they know a few things;
They know how I’m going to communicate with them.
They know I’m fair.
They know I listen.
They know there are boundaries and responsibilities (this goes both ways).
They know me. And I’m the same person every day.
Our horses struggle because we are inconsistent, some days we are happy, others we are sad, some days we are slow, other days we are busy and fast.
This translates into the boundaries - some days they are allowed to eat grass online, others we say no. Some days we allow them to pull on the rein or lead, other days we say no that’s naughty, some days we are a ‘passenger’ others we are calling the shots. These inconsistencies lead to a worried horse that doesn’t know what to expect or when.
When we build trust through consistently keeping everything ‘the same’ the horse feels comfortable with us.
Train with us
September 22 & 23 Cowboy Dressage Masterclass with Phil Monaghan and Ken Faulkner - Esk, Qld.
Sept 30 Oct 1 & 2 Cowgirls Gathering
October - USA -
8 & 9 Watsonville CA
22 Auditors Masterclass with 8, Deb, Lisa, Phil and Tanja
October 27 - 30 inc Valmont Farms Tasmania
November - Merton Park Clinics, Victoria
Haste is easily one of the top issues that I see with horses and their humans. If we take the time to watch horses in the paddock, going about their day to day lives, they really don’t do anything quickly, unless there is a perceived threat or they are playing. With the exception of those 2 things, horses pretty much go about their business at a snails pace, and much of the time with no agenda, and no time frame.
Humans on the other hand usually do things at a fairly quick pace, with an agenda, and many things to ‘fit’ into their allocated time frame. For example we may arrive at the paddock before or after work, either trying to get stuff done before we have to head off, or before the sun goes down.
In that time we may have to unrug, groom, saddle, ride, unsaddle, re rug and feed. So we are trying to get things done efficiently, often rapidly, and we end up never truly being present in our interaction.
The horse becomes a tool for our enjoyment, and we become a discomfort for him - something that he must endure or tolerate for an hour or so, until we leave him alone once again.
This is because we are operating on two different energy frequencies.
Humans exist in a constant state of ‘to do’ and horses live in a constant state of ‘nowhere to be, nothing to do’.
When we start to become conscious of our energy, and mindfully add pause to our day, the horses are drawn to us.
The simple act of not immediately approaching your horse when you arrive at the paddock will provide pause and space for the horse to connect.
Kind of like a knock at the door.
I don’t like people ‘dropping in’ to my house unexpectedly, but it would be much worse if they just walked in without knocking. A knock at least provides me some space to gather thoughts, finish what I’m doing and ‘change gears’.
It’s the same at the paddock - if you arrive and walk straight out to your horse it’s like not knocking - it doesn’t give him time to mentally shift to your arrival.
Adding these pauses into your interactions will get your energies more in sync and your horse will begin enjoying your time together
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