The way your horse feels will powerfully Influence your results…

In my last post I talked about the importance of us being mentally and emotionally together  -‘cool, calm and collected ‘.   Well the same applies to your horse!
We can rely quite heavily on our horse automatically having it all together so we can have a safe ride, and enjoy a nice time with our horse…
But, as you may have already experienced, it isn’t so nice and cosy sometimes when you are with your horse!
Today I wanted to share some important ideas and a short video with you so you will know what to do when your horses actions don’t give you the result you want and why you MUST consider your horses thoughts and emotions to change your results.
The results we want and what we end up getting from our horse can sometimes be poles apart.  Yes there are many factors that cause this, the biggies include:
  • Having a proven systematic, progressive training plan or training method
  • Having good tools and equipment
  • Communicate effectively
  • A solid understanding of the activity purpose in theory and how to execute it in practice.
The way your horse feels and thinks, can bubble away hidden under the surface for a while before you notice something, and then it is usually when things go really wrong!  Even if you may know something is up with your horse, most people tend to stick to their plan or routine as usual hoping things will be ok.  This strategy can be doomed to fail, ending with you and your horse frustrated and stressed.
For me, being aware of my horse’s thoughts and feelings belongs in the biggies list.  I actually place this as number one because if you don’t deal with the core issue at hand,  you can have the best plan, the best tools and skill at communicating with your horse, but it will not get you very far!
Everyday our horses feel different just like us.
Your horse will tell you what’s up through his body language – his facial expressions, energy (ability to go forward), and his body parts.
What are the common causes when things hiccup?
  1. The cause of a horse’s positive or negative thoughts and feelings can be from their environment, where they live, how they live, and who they live with.
  2. They can be health related.
  3. They can be related to you.  Luckily we can tell if the issue is related to us, just by being with our horse and doing something together.
When trying to figure out what the core issue could be, it is important to be honest with yourself when considering what actions you did that could have caused this issue, i.e. was it too much pressure, were you rushing, were you distracted or a bit stressed?
If you think it could be an environmental or health issue, your powers of observation will give you possible answers or help guide a health professional to a correct diagnosis.
Remember, don’t beat yourself up 🙂  we ALL make mistakes, and your horse is relying on you to fix the mistakes without guilt, stress or worry!
Here is a video offering a couple of simple ways that you can support your horse mentally and emotionally in the context of some ground training.
Some of you may have seen the video before, but this time I want you to look at it from the horses perspective. Watch how Freya converses with me using her facial expressions, her body (her shoulder), the space of the circle to tell me that she is not sure about things.
Notice the strategies I use from my toolbox to support Freya and build her confidence.  Check out where I directed my support.  Which body part did I communicate to and why.
Notice how I used my tools with a smile on my face and love in my heart.

This will help you understand the importance of having a beautiful conversation with your horse, while being MINDFUL of what is going on and how you can best help your horse at any given time.
The key to all of this is that you are in a relationship with your horse, so you must act and consider your horse’s well being on all levels, mind, body and spirit.
Doing horsemanship and riding practice with self awareness is vital to your training success.  With awareness comes the ability to actively listen to your horse, have meaningful conversations that keep you both safe and confident. While backed up by your plan or method, great tools and constantly developing skill.
To your success!