Ride like a Viking

Connect With Your Horse

It is really quite simple to connect with horses, but it is rarely thought. When connecting with horses no drugs, talent, special diet, minerals or other magic stuff is needed. What you need is honesty, respect and trust, blended together and allowed to work for as long as it takes. Honesty, respect and trust all sounds very fluffy and vague, I know, but some applied meaning in terms of handling horses might help.  

Let`s start with HONESTY, simply meaning don`t lie to your horse and don`t teach your horse to lie to you. The easiest way to lie to your horse is to ask for a task and then give it up, before your horse has answered with something in the right direction. You are then accidentally teaching your horse to come up with what you think is the wrong answer, but what the horse thinks is right. You are also teaching your horse that you can not be trusted and that your asks are inconsistent and hold no truth. 
There is a saying that horses never lie, and that is so true, unless you have been teaching your horse to lie. The best way to teach your horse to lie is by constricting it to stand still when feeling anxious. The second best way to teach your horse to lie, is to punsih your horse with tasks. The term make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy, does not mean make the wrong thing hell. To me it simply means that if the horse is not standing still as you want, when haltering, saddeling, mounting etc you can use the extra energy or honest anxiousness, to parctice good patterns of movement that will help your horse become more sensitive to your asks and relaxed in it`s body. Horses are very aware of the intetions behind our ask, always ask from a place of peace and understanding. When a horse is acting nervous and unsettled it is not making stuff up to be cruel, it`s telling you the truth about how he or she feels, don`t get mad about it. Be gratefull that you have a normal honest horse. 
RESPECT is another big and not always positively loaded word, but it is crucial that horses respects our space for safety reasons. Not meaning that you can`t allow your horse to come close to sniff you, lick your hand, or give a hug, but if you can`t get the horse out of your space easily, any interaction becomes dangerous.
For the respect to become mutual, it involves that you respect the nature of horses. Everything is so much nicer, safer and effective when you allow a horse to have a right way out, and that the right way out is the easy way out. Horses are flight animals, who learn from the realease of pressure, not the pressure itself.  
TRUST is the best part, and comes as a natural result of having honesty and respect in order. When you have been honest with your asks, you and your horse mutually respect each other, trust is easy. Your tools will work to create calmness or energy, and if something is not right you will know how to fix it. Your horse will also know that you can be trusted, and will want to be with you.                                                                                                                                                             


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