This is a continuation from the last blog that I promised you on the subject of the Ritual Leading from Behind™. I want to point out that Leading from Behind™ is more like riding a horse than most any other activity you can do from the ground at liberty with the exception of the last two Rituals –Companion Walking™ and Liberty Dancing™. The reason Leading from Behind™ is like riding a horse is because in both cases the horse is stepping out on his own and being directed by you. He must trust in himself and accept your leadership at the same time without seeing you in both situations.
I have found that when you get the desired response and connection from each Ritual, it prepares a horse so that when you start training him from his back, you can do it without the need of tack in a free open environment in a simple and elegant way. The Rituals prepare the horse enough from a bonded connection to allow a human to ride him.
That does not mean that you can just jump on a horse and expect him to be there for you and do what he is told. You need to approach riding him with the same consideration you use on the ground. You must use a great amount of tact, and know when to get on, when to get off, and know how to keep your horse willing. You will have acquired this skill through the practice of the Rituals with your horse. The Rituals teach you how not to approach a horse, and also when and how to approach your horse that would create the reaction you are looking for. At liberty, you learn really fast that leadership must not be too strong, too weak, or uninteresting. You must always keep an eye on the emotions and attitude of the horse and only communicate with your horse at the moment the horse feels the bond and is in a willing state of being. You are learning Equis Tact™. Equis Tact™ is knowing when to ask a horse to follow your lead or direction at the moment he is willing and able.
To start Leading from Behind™ you want to go to the front of the horse and ask him to turn around in the direction you want him to go. Any time your horse gives you his nose you continue to tell his nose were to go. When he turns around you, then follow him in a passive way. Use your body and intent to vitalize your core energy and focus on his nose moving in the direction you want him to go. (In the video below the mare does an excellent job of demonstrating this. A horse will always go where his nose is pointed.) Start by stepping toward his nose and use an action like a policeman would do directing traffic. Use intent and enough gusto to affect the speed you would like the horse to go, which is slowly and sweetly. Focus the energy in your body like a conductor or the energy it would take to shoo baby chicks back to the hen house.
I want to share a YouTube with you on horses in the act of Leading from Behind™ so you can get the idea. The rhythm is relaxed and enjoyably shared. In the beginning, ask only a few steps, and then walk away and enjoy hanging out. Then ask again with more steps and so on to keep your horse from feeling a need to run away from your request. If the horse runs, then kept your pace just as slow and when you get to him, reconnect and start over.
Stay in the moment, feel your breath, relax and hold happy thoughts. Just like the horses in the YouTube.
If you have any more questions please ask me on my blog. I hope you will sign up for my next online course the Insider Circle Program and the In the Box program, which will be starting around April 2011. In these courses, you get personal guidance from me, and I coach each of you through the Rituals at your own pace that I set for you.
I would like to thank Toby (Elizabeth) Houtman for sending us her great video of Leading from Behind™. This is such a fantastic teaching tool! Great music too! Its always important to me to get videos of horses doing the Rituals that I’m sharing with you, which are the Waterhole Rituals™.
I will be adding this to my favorites!
Hope you are all doing wonderfully!