Connection, Partnership & Bond.

For me personally horsemanship provides us with an opportunity to forge a beautiful and spiritual connection with our horse. With animals it is how we respond and interact with them that will determine the effect they have on us. When I look into the eyes of an animal I see a personality, a character, spirit and soul looking back. I teach people how to connect and communicate with their horse using ethical, empathic and compassionate horsemanship.

Empathy and compassion is a skill you can learn and develop. In our fast paced world empathy and compassion is often in very short supply. We have all experienced feeling like we are just another number, the impersonal processing of our requests, and not being listened to. Many people live and work in relationships where there is very little empathy and compassion. Worse there is the damaging blame culture. So many of us know what it feels like to feel a lack of empathy and compassion. Some of us are harsh critics to ourselves and need to develop a more compasionate mind to ourselves. 

Sadly many horses suffer a fate of lack of living a life lacking in compassion and empathy when interacting with humans. Many accept and work for their human and you can see in their eyes a resigned expression, the joy is not there. Some develop a learnt helplessness. Others horses fight against the injustice. These horses are often labelled as dangerous or naughty. Once a horse has a naughty label it can be slippery slope for harsh training methods, gadgets, or at worse punishment or abuse.

All senitent creatures including people and horses thrive when living in a compassionate world and are treated with respect and dignity.  I offer tutoring with an ethical, empathic and compassionate approach so you can have a close connection, partnership and bond with your horse. 

For more information please read on. 

TRUST AND trustworthiness

Trust is a foundation stone in any relationship. We all appreciate relationships that are reliable, honest and truthful. Trust can take time to build. There is no quick fix once trust has been broken. Humans have the freedom to leave or abandon unhealthy relationships. A horse has no choice but to endure until the human decides to part with the horse. 

Plenty of horses come to us with trust issues from the hand of a previous owner. Sadly many are not treated respectfully and have been harmed physically or emotionally by another person. Some abuse is rife and is considered acceptable and normal in regard to management and training of horses. In extremes horses develop many behavioural strategies to survive including the sad souls of learnt helplessness. No living creature was born to be mistreated. With a damaged horse we have to demonstrate we are trustworthy; have integrity, honesty and commitment to a relationship with the horse.

2 legs or 4 trust is an emotional and logical act. Emotionally it exposes vulnerabilities because there is a feeling of safety and belief in another that they will not take advantage or cause damage. Logically, it is assessing the person in question will behave in a predictable and trustworthy manner. It is also about faith in another. There are strong emotions associated with trust these include companionship, friendship, love, agreement, relaxation, comfort. Horses and humans have a natural disposition to trust and to judge trustworthiness.

I can teach you how to train your horse based on trust as a foundation to build success upon.  

 

Positive Reinforcement

I teach using a positive reinforcement training approach that is ethical, compassionate and above all effective. It provides a fantastic way to clearly with horses. It creates a highly rewarding training atmosphere, which encourages horses to engage and try new things. It helps horses and people to grow in confidence, be less anxious, and be able to overcome fear. Positive reinforcement is fun for you and your horse. As when using positive reinforcement you will both be positively reinforced. Your horse gets clicks and rewards and you will have a happy willing partner. Win, win.  It helps horses to develop good manners. As it encourages horses to think, problem solve and to be creative. If your horse get easily distracted positive reinforcement helps horses to focus and concentrate. It is an accurate way to let your horse know it has done the right thing. Horses learn quickly as it accelerates learning. If you are curious about how to get an incredible bond between yourself and your horse then this is for you.  Positive reinforcement is the ignition to self-motivation. Activities become fun and rewarding. With my training approach your horse will want to engage in activities with you. It unlocks potential and is the key to success. If you could have a horse that is polite, mindful and aware of you, would you say yes? Using rewards is great for teaching your horse boundaries and etiquette. For more information on clicker / positive reinforcement please click here.

Bond

Horses are herd animals that require companionship that makes them feel safe, provides meaningful social interactions and a sense of belonging. Horses are driven to seek companionship and form pair bonds in the herd. For a horse to bond with it's human training must be based on a feeling of being safe for both horse and human. My training approach is all about providing a safe training enviroment, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Bonding requires us to listen to understand. For any living sentient creature to feel safe they need to know  they will be listened to and understood. Their feelings and opinions taken into consideration and taken seriously and not dismissed. I teach people how to become good at listening to undertand and to develop Equine Communication. How to bond with a horse is a topic I have written about and had articles published in many national magazines, you can read these for FREE in the Horsemanship Resources section on my website. If you are looking to work with a professional with a wealth of expertise in how to bond with your horse I am happy to work with you and your horse. Each equine and human relationship is different. When looking at bonding for horse and human pair it is very personal, each bond is unique. Issues that surface and block a close bond need careful and compassionate consideration to evaluate so a bespoke plan can be set out. I do not have a one size fits all approach.    

mutual respect

To gain respect you have to be respectful. Respect is a two way street. Horses thrive on clear respectful boundaries not force, intimidation and fear. Respect is about understanding, valuing and considering another’s feelings and perspectives on life. For us to have a respectful relationship with our horse we have to understand and honour their equine reality and have equine compassion. Respect is about appreciating the separate realities we exist in. Using the language of the herd you can communicate with a horse thoughtfully, politely and respectfully. It is seeing your horse as a unique and valued individual not a stereotype. It is about honouring the horse’s dignity and self-worth along with being sensitive to their needs. You must attentively listen to what they have to say, and work to make communication between you both comfortable and non-pressured. 

We all desire to be treated with dignity, respect, courtesy, politeness, and kindness. To be heard and understood with the freedom to express our opinions and ideas. It is no different for our horses. The way forward is to look for the try, no matter how small, and show your horse how much you value them and their contribution. Use praise and positive reinforcement training methods to encourage faster learning. Plus social herd niceties must be observed at all times. 

The most important thing to remember is a horse must be allowed self-respect, his dignity and self-worth must never be compromised. Respect is earned not given. 

MOTIVATION

Positive Reinforcement is the ignition to self motivation, enjoyment, and fun.  This is the most powerful internal motivational tool for developing a connection, partnership and bond with your horse. I had a series of 6 articles published in Horsemanship Magazine all about How to Tap into Motivation.

Food for thought - Does your horse think the interactions with you are fun and enjoyable? Would you like to use a training approach that is fun and enjoyable?   

Tap into fun, joy and you will discover self motivation is activated. You will then win your horse’s heart and be a winner in their eyes. Establishing this relationship is one of the foundation to building success, harmony and the partnership connection and bond we seek.

2 legs or 4 we all want to feel a bond within a relationship, to trust our spirit and soul will not be damaged or compromised, to be treated with respect and dignity, to know that we are given quality time with undivided attention doing something we enjoy. 

You will note I have spoken about what underpins the my horsemanship techniques not on the techniques themselves. I treat each horse and human partnership as unique. I listen carefully, observe , ask questions and consider carefully what each horse and human partnership need and put together a bespoke plan for that pair. I do not have a one size fits all approach.