Following up on an earlier blog called Ask, Observe, Think, and Decide –
I said, “I wonder how many times we do that? Think one thing but do another without knowing it. But that’s a subject for another blog. “
Well here is that blog-
I see this all the time with horses and their owners.
Their owner is saying one thing (or trying to say one something) and their horse is hearing something else. This is because horses read our body language not our minds. Well, unless they are both saying the same thing.
I would actually go out on a limb here and say that EVERY horse owner does this at least once or twice in their horse’s lifetime. I’m including myself in this too. I know I’ve done it because I’ve actually caught myself doing it.
Intention, Intention, Intention!
As humans, we can think about many things at once and cover our feelings by saying something else. I’m sure at some point in your life you were sad or mad and for some reason when someone asked how you were, you said “I’m fine” when you weren’t.
Some people are better at hiding their feelings and at saying one thing when they really feel differently. Or maybe telling a white lie when your best friend says, “do you like my new outfit (or hairstyle)” and you really don’t but you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings so you say “yes”.
But your horse knows! Because you can’t hide it from your horse or ask your horse to do something when you are thinking about something else. It doesn’t sync up.
Have you ever heard the Buddha quote?
“What you think you become, what you feel you attract, what you imagine you create”
I strongly believe this.
What you think, your horse sees in your body language. What you feel, shows in your body language as your horse can pick up the slightest slues. And what you imagine (your intention) you create because that image brings out thoughts and feelings that sync up with your body language and your horse understands that and can follow your lead easily.
When it all falls into place, everything else develops easily, effortlessly, and quickly.
What you think (your intentions) will always show in your body language whether you want it to or not. Sometimes, even if you don’t know it. Your horse can see it. That is your horse’s language – reading body language.
So many times I see people trying to ask their horse to do something and they are using different cues and different words, but the whole time they are saying something completely different with their body language. So their horse listens to what they are saying in their body language instead of their words.
So, be careful what you think about when you’re with your horse because it will show in your body language. You might be telling your horse to calm down and relax, but if you’re stressed and anxious, your horse is not going to calm down.
If you’re thinking about what you need to do at work, what happened at home, or your agenda with your horse, it’s too much thinking. Thinking and planning should be done beforehand, then go relax and feel connected with your horse.
After that, you just adjust to whatever is happening at the moment. AIM for what you desire most with your horse.
I want to take you a step further, deeper, into my approach to training. First, read the above blog if you haven’t already for an overview and a starting point. This is how to come up with your most desirable outcome with your horse and what you want your daily agenda’s to look like.
After you have figured out what you want to accomplish with your horse and you are now connected with your horse, here’s the next step…
A – ASK – With your agenda in mind, ASK your horse by making your first request. If your horse responds as you wish, great! Move on to the next thing on your agenda, if it’s small. If it was a brand-new thing your horse did well, stop the lesson and move on to something old and fun.
If your horse doesn’t respond the way you want to your first ASK then move on to the “I” in this approach.
I – Investigate – Become a horse detective. Take a break and pause for a minute when your horse doesn’t respond the way you wanted to your request. Investigate by looking at the whole picture and try to figure out why it didn’t work.
Investigate why your horse didn’t understand what you were asking. I believe that no matter what the issue, it is always our fault, never my horse’s fault. So I have to figure out what I did wrong or what I didn’t do right. That’s what I investigate – How can I do this better so my horse understands me?
Were you thinking about the ask, were your intentions the same as your body language? What were you feeling at the time of the ask? Did everything feel like it synced up? If any of these answers were a NO then go to the “M” in this approach.
M – Modify – Ok, so the first attempt didn’t work and you think you know why because of the questions you asked yourself in the “I” section. Now, try it again but with the right intention, feeling, or connection.
If that doesn’t work. Again pause and take stock of the situation. Go back to the “I”. Ask yourself more questions. Why didn’t my horse understand me? How could I have asked better? Was my horse paying attention to me and did I get his attention when I asked?
After each modification, redo the ask. If it still doesn’t work go back and pause, investigate, and modify again before asking again. Rinse and Repeat, as they say.
Then once your horse gets the new lesson and does well, stop the lesson, allow for him to process the lesson as described in last week’s blog, and then go do something old and fun together.
- AIM to please your horse
- AIM to have fun with your horse
- AIM to be the best human your horse can have
And you will be able to achieve your most desirable outcome and have an incredible relationship with your horse.
I hope this helps. Until next week, Happy Horses!