How to enter the world of horses to trigger a horse's desire to follow your lead. In every single horse person there is in them a knowing in how to be in harmony and unity, which is so valuable for interacting with horses from a leadership position. The first thing to understand is that being a leader your horse is your equal and to be looked up to and to understand that you and your horse are learning from one another in how to be harmonious partners. If you understand that a horse is looking for your leadership you realize that there is a way to lead that is as smooth as butter.
So how do you start the leadership dance with a horse?
The first thing is to find the right moment that you could bring out a horse’s interest to follow your lead. You want to wait for the moment your horse sees you as a family member when you first meet him each day.
I do this by Sharing Territory, sometimes it takes a moment and sometimes longer. I know when to move on from that point from a feeling I get, it is a visceral feeling; It comes to me like a light being turned on from a light switch. I am sure this enegy could be measured by a Heart Match monitor; me telling you this might help you to feel it too, with just a little practice, or maybe it would happen for you in an instant!
When I say family member I mean that he sees you as part of his family rather than seeing that he is a part of your family. There is a big difference from the stand point that if he sees you as part of his equine family you then can speak to him in terms that he understands. For this to happen, you must show him that you respect his space and that you will not allow him to not respect your space.
There is a simple law that is universal to all animals and even humans. We know how to respect the space of one another when a bond is present and we are able to feel an alignment in the moment. We also know how to keep the respect in our partner as well.
This is how to greet your horse each day when you go to put on his halter so that he would want to follow your lead.
It is similar to when you go to a friend's home. You would naturally follow their customs; same thing as when you greet your horse in the morning, you are entering his home and you need to follow his customs.
If you walk up to your horse you are entering his “home”. If you ask him to follow your lead and he does not, you then need to respect his wishes, he has the right to decline. If this happens, you would then need to stop your leadership request and leave his space. How to bring out the instinct of a horse to want to follow your lead once he has declined it, is to leave his space and then return to him and as you are returning to him you would ask him to move on triggering his herding instinct to follow your lead.
When he moves a few steps from being herded, stop your request and then leave him. Wait a moment and then approach him from the front being careful not to cause him to move away from you. Take all the time it takes to seek permission from him to allow you to approach him. If at any time he moves away always walk in the opposite direction. This will build his trust and his wanting you to come up to him. At some point he will let you walk up. You then can put a halter on your horse and he will easily follow your lead. If this is not working out it is only that your approach may need some guidance or that more time needs to be taken in the advance and retreat part of your approach or maybe you are asking in a way that interferes with the trust and the bond.
I hope that you will enjoy this morning ritual each day. It is also like a courtship. Creating a parthership each day is a blessing and I would hope that this first meeting of the day brings out every bit of your fiber and energy to be fully present to the deliciousness of the Greeting Ceremony.
If you are on the cutting edge of your own approach with horses like I am, in my book Naked Liberty, there is a quote that might inspire you by Allan Alda. "The creative is a place where no one else has been; you can’t get there by bus; only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you discover will be wonderful. What you discover will be yourself."
Following the ways of horse's harmony and unity are the natural outcome. Your interactions will then be as smooth as butter. Enjoy!
You still have time to join my online course that starts Sunday and Monday March 1st and 2nd. The second class is March 15 and March 16th, so you have time to join the Insider's Circle and the Extended Circle.
Thank you and have a great weekend! Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.