Companion walking is one of the rituals horse’s share with each other in the herd. It brings well being and a deeper bond and exercises the horse’s herding instincts. Companion walks are natural to us too when we are walking with a friend and sharing the same speed and rhythm. If we were sharing this with a friend, and we began walking a little slower, our friend would slow down. Or if we turned, the friend would go with us in the new direction. Shared rhythms when we want to be together are very nurturing. Once you have built the dance with my method using the Waterhole Rituals, halter breaking a horse is unnecessary. All you need to do is put a halter on the horse with a rope and ask for companion walking and the horse will stay with you. The next part is to teach three of the Uberstreichen Exercises and that is it! You will have a well-started horse in leading with a halter. What to do when you loose the magnetic connection while companion walking: A common thing that most people do when they have lost the magnetic connection with their horse during companion walking is to join their horse. Then, they try to get their horse to return to following them by trying to get their horse’s attention in a pleading way. Or, when the horse wanders off and disconnects from them, they send the horse away at a strong pace. You want to avoid doing both of these things when you have lost the connection. Sending a horse away causes the horse to feel you can be punitive when the magnetic connection is shared. It can cause a horse to become jumpy in close proximity to you which can develop the horse to lose interest for companion walking. He will develop a fear of companion walking from being driven away.
What you want to do: Let’s say for example that you are making a turn to the left and the horse wants to go straight. Instead of staying with the horse or driving him away, you keep going forward without your horse. Take a path that leaves his space and make a big circle around him with a little pause so the horse does not see your action as a reprimand. Then circle to his back end and do leading from behind in walk or trot depending on if you need to activate his energy or not.
Sometimes horses do not stay with you because they haven’t enough energy in them to play. Activating the trot wakes the horse and creates more enthusiasm to reconnect which brings more energy to make the effort necessary to dance with you.