I'm really proud of this photo.......this is me giving my horse some affection whilst he respects my space. It took me coming to Pippsway to learn about horse body language and what it truly means. After all we all adore it when our horses snuggle in….give us some cuddles…..because they love us like we love them…….right? Er no! I found out that what I had been mistaking for love is actually dominance! So when I was in the stable thinking I was getting a lovely ‘cuddle’ from a horse what was actually happening was that he was dominating me and making me ‘his’. When I thought horses were coming into my space to ‘say hello’ they were actually being rude! I learned that no horse should enter your space unless they are invited. Whatever the circumstance...
To ever have a hope of being at one with my horse I must respect his nature, understand that he is a horse and treat him like a horse! Ultimately if we want them to do our bidding we must be their leader. Not a bully! None of us wants to be the bossy, lonely Stallion that, whilst everyone does as he says, nobody much likes. What we really need is to be like the dominant mare that leads the herd. The leader the horse chooses for himself. By this I do not mean that our horses are stupid and can’t tell the difference between a horse and a human, of course they know we are not a horse! It’s about replicating that calm, confident energy. Giving our horse the confidence to trust in us. We have to earn their respect and we cannot do that and at the same time allow them to dominate us. If we are not their leader on the ground how can we hope to be their leader when we are in the saddle?
I’m finding that the challenge of being fully aware is a big one. Aware of myself and the horse at all times, all of the time. I think when I am at the yard my brain gets an even bigger workout than my body and that is really saying something! Forget Sudoku and the gym. Pippsway horsemanship is the full body and mind workout for life!