• Suzy Maloney B.Eq.Sc.

The Inside Becomes the Outside



I have been looking into the power of beliefs. What I am observing is that whatever a person believes, they somehow make reality. This is especially true when working with horses. If you feel you cannot do something with a horse, then really, it is best to not even begin until you have moved the cannot. Our intention is a powerful thing, and if we believe we cannot do something then we are right. The horses can always pick up on what we are thinking, sometimes I think they can read minds! So, if we are about to do something we are not sure of, before we commence, we need to change our thinking to ‘I can’. This is a hugely important thing for both the horse and the person. We are much more likely to succeed if we do this.


An example of this is something I saw with a person picking up a horse’s hooves recently. The woman was sure she could not do this, and when she went to pick up the hoof her hand was stiff and controlling to which the horse objected and reacted by kicking out. This of course scared her and validated her fear of picking up the hoof. I then went to the same hoof and picked it up knowing that I can, my hand and arm were soft. The horse repeated the kick out with me, but I didn’t fight, just moved with the hoof then calmly brought it back to where I wanted. The horse felt the change in energy immediately and stood there with the hoof in my hand easily. The woman’s ‘I cannot’ became a reality and so did mine. We talked about changing her mental belief which allowed her to go back to the hoof and pick it up with confidence and with a relaxed hand. The horse obliged without a problem.


This is not just about skill. Horses most definitely perceive our thoughts, energy and intentions, their empathy skills are huge compared to ours. A horse will fit into whatever we believe. This idea can be confronting. It means we must take responsibility for what is happening. We prefer to blame others for our problems and issues, the government, our parents, our horse…. It is so much more comfortable if someone else is at fault. Then we can complain about them and try to change them, but we can remain the same. When we take responsibility for our own reality, we must do some work, on ourselves, and make changes. This is uncomfortable on several fronts. First it means admitting that what we are currently doing may not be the best way, then we must think about and research alternatives and finally we actually change what we are doing and how we do it. The last step is the hardest for many. All animals are creatures of habit and we are no exception. It can be extremely hard to change things we do in the external world, and even harder to change what is on the inside. But this is what is needed to move forward with horses. There is something about horses that pushes peoples buttons, makes them look at parts of themselves they would rather not. But at the end of the day, if we have a horse in the paddock then some part of us has chosen this journey.


The take home message is to look at your beliefs and see if they are limiting you. If they are then maybe pull them out and see if you want to keep them. If you choose to keep them that is your call, but if you choose to grow and change, you will find your horses doing exactly the same right along beside you.

Suzy Maloney B.Eq.Sc.

Happy Horses Bitless

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Bitless Bridle Associate Clinician