The horse whisperer knows to exhibit an ability to “own” his personal space because he understands that the horse with the highest ability to control his personal boundaries is the most respected in the herd. Actually sharing personal space and setting boundaries is the courtship in how bonds are built in natural herds. The reason respect is important is that it will bring about a magnetic connection where a horse will choose your leadership and you will have the full attention of your horse.
When personal boundaries are respected they are no longer needed. At that moment a magnetic connection is there for the taking.
This is the key to bonding with a horse. It has nothing to do with tack or capturing a horse against its will. You need to set boundaries in order to remove them.
All of this and more will be covered in my online course that starts March 16th and 17th. Hope to see you there.
The Valentine's Free Webinar -
I would also like to thank everyone who participated in the Webinar this past Monday on the code of conduct. We had such a great response we took the call an extra hour and we still couldn't get to everyone's questions. So I decided to answer a few more of the questions below.
Also I wanted to address a comment someone wrote in expressing concern that I didn't stay on the subject of "code of conduct". The reason is that the listeners had other questions off topic. I always, on the free webinars, answer the questions people would like to ask, no matter what the subject. I just offer a subject we can talk about and if it's not picked up, that is fine, it's just a suggestion. I hope everyone enjoyed the call as much as I did and I look forward to the next webinar with everyone.
Question 1. from Laura Shakeshaft:
When doing one pile of hay .... my horses energy can be a little high and to me it feels like he is rushing me. He starts moving through the turns quickly and rushing ahead, although he does return to me if I stop usually. Sometimes though because we've lost the same timing/energy we will get in each other's space and I don't know how to apply the codes of conduct around personal space you mentioned. If he rushes to the hay first I move him off. Where I am confused is when we've got a bit messed up in our positioning he sometimes becomes frustrated and bargy and I don't know whether to send him away as he is invading my space or to become still and let his energy come down and hope to become in sync again. I have tried both ways and have been safe each time but I don't know if its confusing him to send him away.
Dear Laura, I think what might help you in this one pile of hay exercise is to start out by Sharing Territory, stay away from the one pile of hay and if your horse goes towards the hay move him out and continue that until he sees that you are in charge of the hay. He should give up any idea that he is going to get the hay. Then Companion Walk with him, but not to the hay. He may dart off or leave you because he wants the hay. If he does this remind him that the hay is yours. Once you have established a calm horse that is not in a hurry, then you can move on to the exercise that you were doing and it should be fine. If you have any further questions you can write them in the comment section and I will respond to them. I hope this is of help. Carolyn
Question 2. from Olga Elena:
One of my mares really likes to bite, what is the best way to teach her not to do that?
Dear Olga, From your note I can not answer specifically because I would need to talk to you and ask you many questions in order to find out more about why your horse is biting. I'm about teaching people how to connect with their horse so the horse gives up wanting to bite. You can write more details on the blog and maybe I can help you out. Warmly, Carolyn
Question 3. from Michelle Dorsey:
I'm wondering if its more beneficial to do the sharing territory out in the pasture with the whole herd (we have about 10 acres and 10 horses) or to do it with one horse at a time in an arena? ..Or maybe both :)
Dear Michelle, You Share Territory both in the herd and separately. Warmly, Carolyn
Question 4. from Naomi Levine:
In your blog collection you mention that a horse will test your leadership and authority... on the other hand you talk about the need for flexible leadership when meeting with resistance... there is a fine line here, and for someone who is not experienced it's hard to know how to respond when meeting with resistance, under saddle for instance.
Dear Naomi, At the point that you are riding there should be no resistance. Leadership should always be with you. We are training the horse from the ground at Liberty so that he chooses your leadership in every situation over his own. That is the purpose of the Waterhole Rituals. First there is "Kindergarten" and in this program horses are more in charge. Then there is "Grammar School", at this point the horse has evolved into following your leadership more often. Then there is "High School" where you can depend on your horse to choose your leadership over his own. At this point you are able to ride and your horse would listen to your leadership with each step he takes. If he doesn't we return him to the ground for further development. I hope this is of help. Warmly, Carolyn
Looking forward to everyone's journey with their horse and the code of conduct. Have a great weekend and may the horse be with you.