Learning to connect with wild horses taught me many new lessons such as, clear, quiet and focused body language, to listen to my breath, to adjust the tone of my voice and have an increased awareness of my thoughts.
I also learned how different my horses were. Some of my horses needed stronger body language while some would respond to just small moves from my fingers. Connecting with the horses awakened some dormant senses inside of me, it has been a beautiful journey from 2007 till today. I learned to observe and understand what was going on in their world. As my understanding and connection grew I became better at observing, thinking and then responding. In the beginning I took a lot of time just being with and observing the herd to learn from them how they communicated with each other. It was just amazing sitting in the forest garden just enjoy being among the grazing herd.
Once I had learned they language I was eager to share and teach so more people could improve their relationship with their horses. Many students came and one student was talking a lot and did not listen very much. My main lesson for her was not to teach her various exercises to work with horses but for her to realize that she needed to improve her listening skills. If she could learn to listen better and focus less on what she wanted to say, she could connect better with her horses. It was fascinating to see when this student became aware and then changed her approach. It did not take very long time before she could do anything with the horses, and she learned to observe, listen and then respond to what the horse was saying. It was beautiful and a good reward for me as a teacher to see the transition from the first lessons to the last ones.
At the same time as we build our own skills, we need to build willingness in our horse. To build willingness you need to enjoy what you do, love the horse, have patience and focus and welcome the answer the horse gives to us. Welcoming also unexpected answers that you wanted or had set out for in the first place. When you ask your horse to do something and your horse answers in a different way, pick it up, work with it, and consider how you ask maybe is the key is to ask differently the next time.
Keep in mind; – you ask, -the horse answers. This is an answer even it is not the one you imagined. Appreciate the answer anyway. It is like if you teach children and ask how much is 2 + 2? You expect the answer to be 4. Now if a student answer 5, you might say “oh” that is an interesting answer, instead of saying that is the wrong answer. Telling the answer is wrong might not build confidence in the student. You might find a new way to ask how much 2+2 is and then set it up so the child will answer 4.
Working with horses is a flow, see what he can give to you in the moment, work with what you can achieve and make sure to let go of your agenda. When the horse asks, you answer. You build your communication. This takes time. Your horse might not think you will answer, it might be new for her that you are trying to answer and you are not just telling your horse what to do or not to do.
Here is an exercise which can help you improve your communication using voice, intention and body language.
Five Piles of Food
This exercise teachers the horse to be more willing and it teaches the human more awareness and to communicate better through body language. You may need to invest more body language in the beginning, but after a while you can ask your horse to move using very small signals. This interaction of one horse moving another gently is frequently happening in a horse herd.
Much sunshine from Yurumein, St. Vincent