Horses respect politeness so much that when a horse corrects rudeness in their herd, they feel a deeper connection for the horse that pointed out their anti-social behavior. The most polite horse has many friends and a lot of respect. They have a lot of power because they know how to stay out of the way when another horse is not receptive to interaction or sharing space. They also know how to turn that energy around, how to develop a relationship, how to change another horse's attitude and how to court a horse with a dominant attitude. I use the Waterhole Rituals in the same way a lead horse goes about developing friendship, developing the bond, changing a dominate horse's attitude and helping a fearful horse to feel more personal power.
Relationships are paramount to the well-being of horses. The connections and battles they share are enjoyed. Just like we would rather sometimes scrap with one another than really find a solution.
It is been my pleasure over the years to see many herds where every horse is a lead horse and they share a different rank position as needed to fit the circumstances. In these herds there is no more battles because all the horses respect and follow the rules I wrote about, in long time herds the fights are over. For these horses, the young coming up keep the dynamics alive and exciting because they will turn into social rule breakers as they begin to mature. This unity and harmony could not be gained without the evolutionary experience of learning social behavior. The young must adjust to fitting in and learning how not to be rude, how to lead, how to follow and how to keep their own personal needs met without being rude.
As humans we need to play many parts, sometimes we are the leader, sometimes the student, sometimes the teacher, sometimes the follower and sometimes the banished. If you focus on the practice of the Waterhole Rituals all these roles lead to a perfect working bond in harmony and unity. You will discover a magnetic connection as the outcome.
To take a closer look at understanding politeness and rudeness, we must go back to the wild, into a herd of horses and look deeply into their culture.
When a foal is born, he is born polite. He does not intend to make any changes in his environment or see any reason to do so, his ego is not formed. So, he listens to his instincts. His instincts keep him alive, safe, and likable in the herd he is born into. The way he operates is to move away for anything that approaches him and to move toward anything that is leaving him. (This is a good practice for people who can share space in a herd).
These two responses carry a lot of social protection and politeness. It was how I stayed safe and connected with the wild horses I studied throughout my life, especially when I was a child. I kept my distance and followed them. Communities of horses adjusted to my presence naturally from following the first simple rule of politeness. Dominant aggressive horses really respond well to courting them in this manner.
This is the most polite way to be in a herd of horses. A new horse that enters a herd will be pushed by many members because the members of the herd want to see that the new horse is going to be able to fit in with them. They are checking to make sure that he has a good attitude that can show respect. Horses can read the intent of other horses most of the time and will get very aggressive with a new horse if they feel that the new horse could possibly turn into a horse that would not conform to the community needs. If the new member allows all the other horses to push it around, the horse then gains acceptance trust.
It is paramount to achieve this trust and acceptance before training horses and it needs to be gained by starting out in a passive manner, the same way a foal starts his life in a natural herd.
Using round pens and tack to develop bonds does not take a passive position with the horse. Taking a passive position in the beginning is essential to develop a bond as close as the bond that horses have with each other. The practical reason for this kind of bond is to bring out a true friend and to bring out the best qualities of the horse and his ability to work as a united team with you in harmony. The connection you want to gain is a magnetic connection on the ground because it will translate to a centaur connection when you ride.
There is no better dance or performance.
Have a great weekend.
P.S. I heard from Mark that he will be sending out the email about how you can 'be my voice' next week. Watch this space...