It's amazing just how much horses change when we change. They let go of everything we did in the past, forgive us all our mistakes, and embrace the new path of kindness that we walk with them effortlessly. There is so much to learn from these inspiring creatures, a lifetime of learning. In my interactions with horses, I do not follow a system, rules, levels, stages, or any other horse training technique. I have explored many, and learnt valuable things from each, but I feel the whole idea of applying a system to a horse is flawed in the most fundamental way. Each horse, each human, and each horse/human combination is different. To apply one system to multiple horses means ignoring the uniqueness of both the horse and the human, their past experiences, their personalities, and their desires. I find it helpful to learn as many possible things as possible from everywhere about how to deal with things that may come up with horses. Then, if I try something with a particular horse and they do not respond or understand, I can reach back into my pocket and pull out something else to try in that situation. In this way, the training that is done with each horse evolves to suit that particular horse only, and their needs. Each time it is totally new. Horses are so incredibly different. Each has an essential soul, an energy signature, that we need to be aware of and open to if we are to communicate and connect with them. Some horses are like delicate flowers, and need the softest, most gentle of touches. If they are handled roughly, they crumple and can have their spirits completely broken. Others are born strong, assertive types, and if you show weakness, they will not heed you at all, they want a strong leader they can trust. And every shade between. The incredible diversity of horses delights and amazes me and makes my work incredibly varied and interesting. I love the diversity in horses and would never try and make them all conform to one shape. When with horses it changes everything if you come from your heart and soul. It is extremely easy in these days of internet access to become a mental expert on anything. While head knowledge is necessary, it can also get in the way. When with a horse, to meet them where they are, we need to come from our centres, not our heads. We need to turn off the mental chatter and allow ourselves to be open to the constant communication that is coming from the horse in front of us. Sometimes I see people drilling a horse on something they have seen on you-tube. They become so intent on trying out the new thing that sometimes they do not even ask the question, ‘does my horse need this?’ The head has taken over and the horse pays the price. And then there is us. One of the most important parts of developing into a horse person is self-development. Not horse development. As we grow as humans and move into our authentic and powerful selves, the horses are right there by our sides, changing and evolving along with us. Sometimes I think the evolving of each individual human into their true selves is the most important part of horse training. Working with horses triggers and brings up so much in us humans. We have a choice, to look at it and learn from it, or to tuck it back under the carpet and get back to ‘fixing’ the horse. This is probably the most challenging side of horsemanship, but without it there is no movement forward. It is the key to everything. My goal is to act as a guide to others who seek the considerate path. I dream of a world where interacting with horses in a compassionate and considerate way will be normal, and all pain-based methods of horse control will be legislated against. It seems like a huge step from here to there, but every day I see more and more people choosing this path. I invite you to join us.
The Soul of The Horse
Updated: Jul 4, 2023