Mary Barrett asked a question in the comments section about the difference in asking the head of a horse to move away from you in Leading From Behind™ versus the nose, and why I make the distinction. Asking the head to move away is a softer message than directing the nose to move away. When I turn a horse around so I can start Leading From Behind™, I am a few feet or more away from his head. My focus and energy with my driving aids is directed at the head, not the haunches. You can see this in the picture at the bottom of the blog. I direct the head of the horse by using my body language to show a request to turn away. My eyes are focused on his head. When I am asking the horse to turn away and he does not move, I advance toward his head. When I get to his head, I then start focusing on his nose. The horse will understand your request taking this approach. But it does not mean that he is going to do what you are asking him. To ensure a positive response so that your horse turns away and heads off in the direction you sent him, you need to use the right amount of energy, not too weak or too strong so that it will activate the horse’s herding instinct.
I want to add that in the beginning, you may be too strong or not strong enough. You will learn from your failed attempts how strong your approach needs to be. You can be too strong and your horse will forgive you if you let him leave you and you give him time to feel at peace again with your presence.
How to approach your horse if he doesn’t respond to initial requests: You continue to drive your horse to the new direction you want him to go all the time using your body language as you get closer and closer to him. If your horse still does not move, you get as close as you can, so close that your head is right next to his nose and you use your fingers to push his nose away in the direction you want him to go and then cluck. He should know how to leave from all the intimacy exercises you have done with him where you hold a bucket in your lap working on allowing your horse to eat and not eat, and to go away and stay away on request, and be able to come back when you invite him to come back. If your horse does not listen to you do not continue this exercise without further coaching from me or from a certified instructor in my method. I do coaching calls on the phone. You can buy 60 minutes and use them as needed.
If you have any questions regarding this explanation in how to move the nose, you can respond in the comments section. Also, if anyone has any photos of Leading from Behind and you know how to put them in the comments section it would be appreciated or you could email them to CarolynResnick@cox.net
Announcement: I will be announcing the winner of the journal contest next Tuesday. The winner will receive a free spot in the Beyond the Waterhole Rituals 10 day Clinic this December at my ranch. It has not been easy for me to pick a winner. All of the journals were truly enjoyable, clear, and written from the heart. Thank you for submitting your entries!
Have a great weekend everybody and remember to watch out for new horse and human sightings!
Apollo sends you his best!