4 – My SECRET to giving your horse a voice

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 🙂

Leave a Reply to Petra Cancel reply

  1. I am here to try and fix something that is so out of control. Something as simple as grooming is met with a mouth open in my direction aggressively.

  2. Working with my new family member: he has only recently turned 3 and very young in his schooling. “The Brony Pony” purebred Waler just starting to open up and I am still just getting to know who he is and understand his “personality”. Still such a long way to go, Added this training to our commitment to achieve together. I have owned him only since March this year.

    ME > RULES FOR MY HORSE:
    • Rule 1: My horse should not enter my space without an invitation
    • Rule 2: show relaxation and respect always around food (have had to work on this over the last few months)
    • Rule 3: Always turn to face me when approached
    HORSE > RULES FOR MY HUMAN:
    • Rule 1: My human should not enter my space without an invitation
    • Rule 2: be patient and slow allow me soaking time when asking , teaching
    • Rule 3: always approach me with openness and willingness to learn from me

  3. I got that scratching wonderfully managed since a very long time as my horse was injured and we could not do a lot of other things together. LOL. My other rules would be: 1. No nipping each other (the horses amongst themselves) when I am standing in the middle 2. Taking treats and then wait for their next turn 3. Some horses like more physical space and they also give to me with others I have to request more space at times.

  4. Me for my horse: don’t crowd or push me, stand calm and relaxed, give me your attention when we are together.
    My horse to me: be polite and patient, be fair and give me time to understand, never give up on me.

  5. You let me tell you when there is something to be afraid of. No need to worry, we will get through it.