Here at Holistic Equine Education we are excited to welcome to the team, ‘Angel’.
Angel will be my (Tanja’s) horse, and will be brought on slowly to start sharing and eventually taking over Boogies responsibilities (I cannot believe that Boogie is 15! It’s time for her to spend less time travelling.)
I knew about Angel and agreed to buy her before we met. She is a well bred little horse who had a little trouble becoming overwhelmed when the breaking in process was started. So the process was stopped, and she went to a friend of mines to go back into a herd until her future could be decided. Seeing how I was looking for a new addition, don't mind the challenge of a horse that has struggled, and she is the right age (turning 4 in August), I decided to take her on. We met for the first time in March and I was able to share the importance of that interaction with the boutique clinic participants.
First impressions definitely count, and I was very mindful in how I interacted with her. Like they say, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and seeing how she had already had some training which she didn’t handle well, it was even more important.
I really wanted to communicate to her a number of things from the start. Things like; 'You are safe’ , 'You can trust me', 'You can tell me, and I will listen', I speak quietly and I hold space.
I started with Angel at liberty, but not in the traditional or expected way. I did not ‘send’ her or ‘chase’ her in any way. I also didn’t ‘beg’ her, or ask her to come with me in any way.
I just let the conversation start, and then I let it flow. She talked, I listened. I talked, she listened. It really was quite unremarkable from a spectator standpoint, but from a connection standpoint it was miles above previous experiences that I would have facilitated in the past, in a misguided attempt to establish ‘respect’. The truth is, by allowing her time and space, and simply holding my own time and space, this developed an organic and genuine respect in both of us.
Horses want to connect with us, we just have to give them the opportunity.