I took a suggestion from a student of mine, Ulrike Kraft, to write a blog on "use of the Inner Core", which I refer to below as the solar plexus. The first thing to do is to listen to your heart and see your horse as family, not that he is in your family, but that you are in his. Speak to your horse through body language. Body language is universal to all living creatures. Body language reveals intent and easily influences a horse. However, your body language will not be easily read if it has no energy backing it up.
How to increase your energy through your solar plexus is to imagine that when you are communicating with your horse at liberty that you are stepping into his world with a posture that shows leadership, intent and friendship along with a willingness to consider the horse’s feelings. Take on any image that would empower your core to come alive enough that it would influence your body language to be clearly understood.
Take on the awareness of a child that just knows how to interact. These two videos show two children that are communicating in the animals’ world effortless, easily and naturally.
1. Child with a foal:
2. Child with down syndrome:
To have an inner energy that a horse would respond to positively starts from a feeling inside your solar plexus.
Every part of your body needs to take an active role while working and dancing with your horse at liberty. Give your horse your complete focus and at the same time bring more aliveness into your body, like a diver needs to have diving into water or a dressage rider when riding his horse. The rider is dancing as much as the horse. The rider becomes the solar plexus of his horse and becomes the energy the horse needs to be able to sustain a connection with his rider. When training at liberty you want to feel this energy come alive in you. You then take on a posture that sends the right message to your horse, like a posture that a lead horse would take when needing to call attention to his herd. Imagine this energy, which comes for your solar plexus, flowing around your body. It is like turning on a pilot light to a larger flame that you control as a communication aid with your horse.
Think of yourself as a dancer that uses his body as a communication aid like a mime would. When every inch of your body is engaged in your movements a horse will be more positively drawn to you. I often ask my students to imagine that when then are walking up to their horse to say “Hello” that they are turning the world under their feet with each step in order to bring the horse to them. This approach changes your posture and brings a confidence that will create resonance with a horse. Your posture and movement helps to mesmerize the horse to give you his full attention and respect.
If you want a horse to come alive and dance you need to come alive in your movements. An easy way to activate this body aliveness is to listen to music while training your horse at liberty and miming your request so that your direction could be clearly understood by a third party who is standing far away looking through binoculars or if I watched your video of what took place I could understand what you were asking of your horse. So imagine making such a video and it will help you to be more animated and clearer with your body language and your movements on the ground.
3. River dance:
I bet this video increased your energy from the power of the presentation of its dancers. The way you approach your horse with your body language and how you more over the ground can have the same effect on your horse as this video had on you. This is the secret to not needing to be aggressive with your lunge whip or any directional aids. This is the way to be able to whisper to your horse.
For fun if you would like to send in a video of training an imaginary horse using only your body language and see if we can guess what you are asking your horse to do. If you can, put it to music. If you use your arms use them in flowing movements as if moving through water. The winner will win a free coaching call of 20 minutes, from a video of their horse on any subject of the training of their horse. The winner will be chosen from a drawing from the people who sent in their videos. If I get only one entry he or she wins!!
Please add anything you like and ask any questions that might help your Liberty Training with your horse.
Have a great weekend! Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.