My experiences in nature with horses unveiled an understanding that horses naturally want to bond with us and enjoy being ridden if it happens naturally.
The equestrian world increasingly begins training the horse to be ridden at a time when a horse is not ready, so lots of preparation must occur. In this modern day, a lack of Sharing Territory™ to grow and maintain the connection with horses is more than half of the reason why it takes a well-seasoned trainer to train a horse to be dependable and trustworthy.
Not sharing our daily lives with horses causes horses to be more wary of us. Rather than working with the horse when the horse feels safe and secure, most equestrians end up spending more time desensitizing the horse and showing the horse how not to be afraid in the moments he is fearful to gain trust. When we establish security we can then easily bring to the horse social activities that are more natural for the horse and human. This helps to develop the kind of trust and respect that creates a cross-species bond that brings about a unified working partnership. Letting nature take its course in helping bring a natural connection between horse and human brings out the nature of the horse to enjoy carrying us on their backs.
We do not have the time for these matters like we did in the past, so most training methods are considered better than others by how fast they work. It is my hope to stop the desire for the fast track and get people to be more interested in a horse as one of mans best friends, playing a predominant role in our lives. The slow journey is so good for the horse and returns us both to our own well-being. It keeps us young and humble and in a state of interest and wonder. Through working with horses when there is a bond and allowing a horse freedom to choose his relationship with you, you acquire the skills to make do in amazing creative ways. You learn how to use communication to develop relationships in your life at all levels.
The more time you spend with a horse the more you will find that less time is needed for training. I found this to be so when I was growing up in the desert. Allowing time to pass and being together worked well in advancing my ability to ride my horse from a growing bonded trust. A very important ingredient is how well you know horses and how you go about your interactions with him to grow what you want. Learning how to get a horse to follow your lead over his own in a natural way takes time. I learned from having a horse that naturally liked me and trusted me. People who knew horses told me what to do and what not to do to grow my horsemanship skills. The long journey makes a true horseman, if you can stay away from all the conflict.
This talent can be gained by taking the time to study horse behavior and Sharing Territory with them. This way you develop the natural instinct for leadership that is required to get along with a horse. The reason you are looking for leadership is that the lead horses are the ones that are liked and trusted the most. Sharing Territory raised my ability to know how to train a horse from a natural instinct to connect at will that I believe most of us have. After all we are parents, friends and live in a community that supports individual needs, so we already have skills in making connections and keeping them.
Returning to Sharing Territory with my horse, no matter what the existing relationship was, and allowing time to bring about the daily connection I wanted has been significant in helping me at all levels in my life. I have developed better friendships and become more supportive of others than I was before. It gave me the skills of knowing how to let nature to support me in whatever I do. The first step is to accept things as they are and to work with what you have.
Understanding the power of letting things evolve and come to me like a horse does has brought me opportunities that were far better than the ones I could have tried to create for myself. Whenever I can, I use my life as an experimental ground to utilize the power of natural support and evolution. Nature has a way of helping relationships develop to a deeper bond if you can get comfortable with the way things are in the moment.
There are some points I wanted to finish up about Leading From Behind. I really think it is very important for a person to understand the reason behind something in order to use a method in the most functional way. So, I want to clear this point up about Leading from Behind, the reason you ask a horse to turn around and go in the direction you want him to go is that the horse can more clearly understand which direction he is being sent. The other thing is, it sets up people to go to the head rather than the tail. Going to the tail and asking the horse to go forward will cause the horse to want to come back to you. Asking him to turn away causes the horse to keep going in the direction, you send him to. I do not care how you send away a horse, any way is fine, if it works for you. My guidelines are only meant to give you a clearer understanding and offer you a path that could help you if what you are doing is not working for you.
Have a great weekend and remember to watch out for new horse and human sightings.
I will be working on a book that will incorporate selected parts of all the journals submitted. It will take time so please be patient. In the meantime I would prefer that you did not share your journal with others so the book will have more interest.