Carolyn Resnick Horsemanship: Liberty Horse Training

The Foundation for All Equestrian Pursuits Through the Horse-Human Connection.

Working with Relaxation and Energetic Energy

Horses read and communicate with one another through body language and the vibrations they share with one another. Since horses are prey animals, they learn to read the intentions and attitudes from each other in silent ways in order to avoid being discovered by predators. When observing the body language of horses, variables between subtle and extreme body language can be seen as they communicate with each other. Horses also understand our body language and respond well to it when we make a point to communicate with them by using body language and posturing our intent. When a common language is not shared, body language is the universal way to communicate. Communicating our intentions with the right vibrations through our posturing is all part of body language.

Horses read and communicate with one another through body language and the vibrations they share with one another. Since horses are prey animals, they learn to read the intentions and attitudes from each other in silent ways in order to avoid being discovered by predators. When observing the body language of horses, variables between subtle and extreme body language can be seen as they communicate with each other. Horses also understand our body language and respond well to it when we make a point to communicate with them by using body language and posturing our intent. When a common language is not shared, body language is the universal way to communicate. Communicating our intentions with the right vibrations through our posturing is all part of body language.

The Accent of Your Body Language
Every horse you communicate with will take some adjustments in your body language in how strong or subtle you need to be. With horses, communicating through our body language causes the bond to become stronger, and through trial and error we uncover exactly how to approach each horse.

A Good Place to Start Developing Your Communication Through Body Language
After you have developed a strong bond with the Ritual Sharing Territory, the next step is to influence the horse to move toward you or to leave you. When your vibrations are in line with your horse, you can get your horse to come to you by simply waiting for him to come with a very relaxed posture. Another way is to follow him around for a period of time in an easy manner and when you feel he is enjoying your company, walk away from him at the right moment with just the right energy and rhythm- and he will come. To influence the horse to move away from you, use stronger body language that would cause a horse to want to leave in the same manner you would use to shoo anything out of your territory. All these interaction are important to share with your horse.

Once you can influence a horse at liberty, you will be able to align with horses quite naturally, and developing a working bond with them is quite easy. This may take you days to accomplish, but it is worth it from the relationship and common trust it provides. When we can influence a horse to follow and leave we have integrated into the horse’s world by bringing out their herding instincts. Once you have done this, it is an ice breaker in getting a horse to want to connect and know you better.

Bringing Out the Herding Instincts
To bring out the herding instincts in a horse, you will need to use subtle and extreme body language. Horses hold and exhibit energy as a way to influence and communicate with one another. How relaxed or stiff a horse stands and moves is a message to another horse. We can reach a horse in the same manner. They are different than other herd animals. Horses have much more posturing. Antelope and deer for example seldom posture as much as horses do as a way to communicate. We must develop our ability to posture and hold energy, and send energy to align our connection with our horses.

The definition of “energetic” is displayed energy or possessed energy in abundance. We also need to use our relaxation and to use stillness as a way to influence a horse. In the human world, we would find this energetic energy used by actors, speakers, dancers, bull fighters, entertainers, wrestlers, traffic cops, kindergarten teachers, and so many others too numerous to mention. An example of the power of energetic energy would be when an entertainer steps out on stage emitting and holding a magnetic energy that draws the crowd to him, and lifts the audience into a high pitched enthusiasm. His body language is alive and ready to spring into action in any moment. This is the power of presentation.

How to Practice Your Body Language:
Yawn and see how many people you can affect with a simple yawn. How we hold and use energy affects horses enough to use our energy to communicate with them. Practice communicating with body language all the time with your horse weather he responds to it or not.

In the beginning, working with horses at liberty might seem awkward at first. I think mostly it is because the bond needs to be more deeply formed. Having to use big body language in front of a horse and not getting a response might be embarrassing, or the opposite might happen by getting too much of a response and leaving you feeling that you have broken your horse’s trust. But once you get comfortable with making mistakes through trial and error, the adventure of trial and error is exciting and rewarding. The big adjustment to be made is to believe that the trial and error will actually grow the bond.

Trial and error is a school of learning. It develops your capacity for learning. We do not get enough practice of trial and error in this day and age. It is very important that we do because it is the only way to learn how to hone our skills and learn new ways to do things. It brings out the entrepreneur and inventor in us. Working with horses at liberty gives a horse the right to choose to interact with us or not and takes the arrogance out of us. It brings out a humane nature by having to find the formula of communication that works for the horse, rather than getting the horse to fit to your approach. It also puts you on the same level as your horse, which opens the door to a true relationship.

Announcement:
On May 22nd at 10AM Pacific Standard Time, I will be featured as a guest on Liz Mitten Ryan’s first “Live Radio Chat with Carolyn Resnick and Karen Murdock and Lukas (the World’s Smartest Horse)” For more information on Karen Murdock you can check out her site www.playingwithlukas.com. For more information about this radio show please email Liz Mitten Ryan at liz@lizmittenryan.com. Here is a photo of Karen and her horse Lukas!

Look forward to hearing about new horse and human sightings! For those of you who are in the Insider Circle and Extended Circle classes- I will be talking to you very soon!!! Reminder: there are only 2 days left to register!

Have a Great Weekend!

Carolyn

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21 Responses to “The Importance of Communicating with Horses Through Our Body Language: Posturing Intentions Through Energetic Energy and Relaxed Energy as a way to Connect with Your Horse”

  1. 20
    avatar Tamara Blits says:

    I am so happy with your words of life. My horse is so understanding , because I have learned alot from body language. My crazy horse is so relaxed today. I am amazed at how he moves with me. I trust him now, because, he is trusting me. He knows what I say to him. Love and understanding,
    the way to move with your horse is a great thing. Thankyou so much.

  2. 19
    avatar Bonnie Beresford WRIC 2010) says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    Checking in, will talk tonight!
    Bonnie

  3. 18
    avatar domenico says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    I’m in Italy and I don’t speack and I don’t write english very well…..Can I write in italian please??
    Ciao Carlolyn,
    il tuo blog è molto interessante ed utile;
    per quanto riguarda il linguaggio del corpo, in questi giorni sto sperimentando un sistema: vado nel paddock e porto con me del cibo; i miei tre cavalli subito mi vengono incontro ovviamente per avere da mangiare!!
    ho iniziato a mandarli via da me fino a qundo non sono veramente disinteressati al cibo.
    Facendo così, noto che loro diventano attenti alle mie posture, ai miei movimenti ed anche al mio sguardo……è eccezionale vedere come si connettono!!
    By Domenico

  4. 17

    Checking in and getting ready for the call in around one hour’s time. I am in the extended circle this time so won’t get to chat but will try and skype you at the weekend when Franklin is here.
    I love this blog, you write so clearly.
    I think of Trial and Error as having fun! Some people take it too seriously with their horses – chill out, relax and play – but stay safe (I hear you saying)
    Lots of Love
    Carolyn B

  5. 16
    avatar Anna-Karin Hägglund (In a box) says:

    checking in.

  6. 15
    avatar virginia (in the box) says:

    Wonderful blog post, Carolyn. I am finding that I am beginning to integrate your approach into my daily interactions with my two equines, and they become softer and closer. The trial and error does not feel so uncomfortable as it did a year ago because I was trying so hard to understand the ideas and struggling to keep from lapsing back into old approaches. It made me not trust myself or feel as natural. I think that process happens anytime someone learns something new–in order to feel natural one has to have absorbed the ideas gradually over time–and I am sure some people get it quicker than others and some horses are easier than others. But the good news is, it’s working and feeling lovely much of the time.

    • 15.1

      Dear Virgina,
      If you were living in the wild with wild horses what else would you be able to do but work with trial and error.
      This is what is truly natural.

  7. 14

    another great article with so much depth. trial and error are way underestimated. great how you can take the stress out of learning in this way.

    i was sitting in the pasture today – not anything to read on me i just let myself become still. that in itself was beautiful. great nature, open spaces, a forest in the far distance.
    lo and behold, one of my favorite horses came by (an arab mare). breathing at and with me. hanging out close to me. looking with me into the distant woods…. first over my left shoulder, then over my right, and then wandering off again a few meters to resume grazing.

    just a few minutes – time stood still and bliss and peace deepened. i took that home with me…

    thank you, horses and thank you, carolyn.

    sophia.

  8. 13
    avatar Patti G says:

    Thank You Carolyn!

    This is a long journey, and for me, it has been a mystery at times.

    I can do the walk, but not always the talk!!

  9. 12

    Dear Carolyn,

    This post has so much depth! Trial and error and allowing for mistakes have been an important aspect of my progress with Roscoe and even with Amigo, who has been with me for only a short time. It’s liberating because, if I am willing to absorb the experience, mistakes and all ,and am willing to learn from that, I don’t get tied in knots worrying about perfection. Also, I signed up for the Extended Circle this morning.

    Karin

  10. 11
    avatar Stephanie Morse says:

    Hi Carolyn

    I wish somehow this post of yours could be broadcast to all people (and especially horse trainers) who have horses.

    So often we are afraid of looking foolish. I think that, and the fact that horses are such big animals, is a big part of what makes people treat horses so badly. People are afraid of getting hurt – a dog or cat can’t knock a person over, but a horse…

    Glad to see you’ve connected with Lukas and his owner. When I first discovered that website I thought she and you had a lot in common.

    Here’s a website you might find interesting. I didn’t think zebras could be trained (that’s the accepted thought, itsn’t it).

    http://www.zebraguru.com

    have a great weekend

  11. 10
    avatar Tracy Litle says:

    Hi Carolyn,
    What a great post!
    Can’t wait to get started.

  12. 9
    avatar Susan Garvin says:

    checking in, many thanks as always, Carolyn,
    Susan (Italy)

  13. 8
  14. 7
    avatar Lisa Hill says:

    Hello Carolyn, Wow this post has a lot of meat in it. Going to print it out and read it while sharing territory. I need to let this sink in.
    Blessings~Lisa

  15. 6
    avatar Connie Huibregtse says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    Checking in! Enjoyed the post today. Always a good reminder.

    Connie

  16. 5
    avatar stina says:

    checking in! from San Diego!!

  17. 4
    avatar Elodie Belz says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    I like the reminder that we must accept the trial and error process. It seems that when we become adults, we become afraid of making mistakes because it seems to be seen as a weakness. I remember the first time I turned my horse loose in an arena, I felt clumsy and stupid because I did not know what to do and how to do it, and I was afraid of “doing wrong”. Since then I have learned that my errors are my friends, because they show me what I must do differently. And I have also learned that when I try my best to connect with my horse, even if I make mistakes, my horse is always willing to forgive me.

    Looking forward to speaking with you soon,
    Elodie

  18. 3
    avatar carolyn j says:

    just checking in… was doing this today in the field with my boy thanks for posting

  19. 2
    avatar deborah johnson says:

    Was gently reminded about this yesterday while taking a centered riding lesson. My mind was spinning with my husband leaving for work for 8 mos, drama with my daugher, and of course, Cusack my newest herd member. When I hopped on, my mind was racing, and Eclipse took off right away at a fast walk. I circled around back to the mounting block and got off. Carol, my instructor has a big smile on her face because she saw my horse follow my crazy mind. I took a deep breath, so did Eclipse. When I got on again, she stood and relaxed. We did some grounding work, much blowing and breathing. I was no longer tense, neither was she. It’s all true what Carolyn says. It’s not just true for her, it’s TRUTH. Body language, where you mind is, what your clear intent is, matters. It all matters.

  20. 1
    avatar Wilma van Wyngaarden says:

    Love that last paragraph before the Announcement about the radio.
    Great thoughts put into words!

    W