My SECRET to giving your horse a voice
I want to share with you one of my SECRETS to giving my horses a voice. When I talk about my horses having a voice, I mean that they communicate with me through their body language and facial expressions their opinion about things like whether they want to do training that day, how they feel about my suggestions during training, and how they feel about being with me.
Let’s start by thinking about the benefits to our horse’s having a voice:
- Giving our horse a voice opens up 2 way communication so they can constructively tell us how they feel (before something bad happens!)
- Allowing our horse to be heard makes them feel valued
- Horses who are listened become curious & confident and this in turn has them more inspired to want to learn and to challenge themselves!
- A horse that is cooperated with tends to want to cooperate in return
Things that might get in the way of allowing your horse to have a voice:
- Being worried about safety for you and your horse
- Concern your horse might take advantage of you
- Fear if your horse can be aggressive or if he bites?
- Being told by others around you your horse will ‘get one over you’
One way we can allow our horse to have a voice, while keeping safe is to have rules.
Perhaps you are working with Ribbleton Attunement and are focusing on harmony & kindness with your horse means you shouldn’t have any rules. Afterall, rules can often be restrictive and confining - the opposite of freedom! But I’m here to tell you it is ok to have some rules for your horse. For example one of my rules for my horses is.
ME > RULE FOR MY HORSE: My horse should not enter my space without an invitation
What is the reason my rule for my horse is not to enter my space without invitation?
It is because I want to feel safe, listened to, and respected.
However, here is a rule about rules!
Our horses are allowed to have them too! And if we try and put ourselves in our horses shoes and think of what they may say if they had a voice like ours, they may often be the same as our rules.
And because I want a good connection with my horse, with 2-way communication and harmony - I want my horses to feel safe, listened to & respected too. So, what might my horse’s rule about personal space be?
HORSE > RULE FOR MY HUMAN: My human should not enter my space without an invitation
We all do it - for example when we walk up to our horses and put the halter on without pause or invitation. But giving your horse a voice can be as simple as that - when you walk up to them with a halter, pause, and invite them to be with you.... then listen to what they say.
Ok, it is your turn now to come up with 2 more rules for your horse and then 2 more rules you think your horse would like to have in place with you! Write them in the comments section below….. Then head out to your horse and experiment with your new rules! Fun fun fun!
ME > RULES FOR MY HORSE:
- Rule 1: My horse should not enter my space without an invitation
- Rule 2: ......
- Rule 3: ......
HORSE > RULES FOR MY HUMAN:
- Rule 1: My human should not enter my space without an invitation
- Rule 2: ......
- Rule 3: ......
If you are enjoying all of the free training we are offering, I ask that you share our work with everyone you can so together we can create great change for horses and humans 🙂
I have never had ground training with my Friesian. He is very polite and I think respectful. One trainer says NO. I need help with inviting him in my space. Because I always have, I guess he knows he always is. I do move his head and he respects this and doesn’t waiver. I now know to let him invite me in. I feel I do need help. Something I can understand and know how to apply and make it work. I am so tired of people telling me what to do with my Friesian. First of all, they don’t understand the breed. We rode Saddleseat forever. Never had questionable issues until I hung up that saddle and bought a Dressage saddle for Classical Riding. Not so much Dressage Levels.
My rule no2
When I feel defensive Please give me space when I ask for it
In return when I see you looking defensive I will step back and give you space
Rule no 3
If I am worried please slow down and stop if you can
When I see that you are worried I will slow down and stop to check in
This shows respect for the fact that every living creature is an important unique individual
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