The practice of Leading From Behind™ causes the horse to gain a sense of belonging. Without tack, in a free open environment, we give a horse sanction to respond positively or negatively without consequences, which is so valuable to building a connection and trust with a horse. For a horse to express his feelings without consequences or concern and to feel a sense of “who he is” is life- enhancing to a horse and the trick to winning him over. Exercising your instinct for horses as well as humans creates a sense of well being and enthusiasm for life as well as an optimistic attitude for working with others. Experiencing freedom of choice without consequences builds a healthy ego. A horse that has a healthy ego will naturally bond with a human.
A horse’s greatest instinct is for companionship and freedom. This is what we can give back to a horse working with the Waterhole Rituals™. It is essential for a horse to experience a freedom of choice in order for a horse to feel well adjusted.
From the practice of Leading from Behind™ we are returning a horse to his roots, his well being, and his understanding of life, as we are building his trust with us. In the practice of Leading from Behind™ in a short time, he will choose our leadership over his own. When the horse finally accepts being herded like a lead horse would herd him from us, the character of the horse will evolve. This gives the horse a greater work ethic and an optimistic attitude, and a desire for training- a desirable quality for all equestrian pursuits and training methods. From clicker training to classical training, from Western to English from bits to bit less, from liberty to tack, when we can design a horse that enjoys learning from a willing heart without tack in a free open environment from free choice, most all things are possible using the Waterhole Rituals™.
When you are practicing Leading from Behind™ you are using a Ritual that horses use to travel together in nature. Lead stallions use it for rounding up the herd and to keep order and respect and keep the herd safe. Mares use it to keep respect and position, and all horses use it when the herd is on the move to keep the herd flowing in unity. From our practice of Leading from Behind™, we acquire the ability of a lead horse. We do not have this ability unless we practice. All horses know how to Lead from Behind™, but the ones that are best at it are higher in rank. Leading from Behind™ can remove the need of confrontation in pecking order squabbles.
Because of the freedom a horse has to not accept your leadership the horse’s resistance diminishes. When the horse gives up his resistance on his own, Leading from Behind™ is accepted. The practice of this Ritual takes the aggressive behavior out of a horse as well as to bring a shy horse to feel more secure.
In the online course there were a few people that felt confused or frustrated or concerned for a short while that they would loose the bond that they had built by the horse wanting to avoid this Ritual by running away in the beginning. I want to reassure everyone that the running away will deepen the trust and the bond when freedom is given and no consequence is received. You are going to bring up the resistance that is laying dormant in the horse and letting him express his resistance without reprimand causes the horse to let go of it. It takes time for a horse to release the resistance, but little by little, the horse releases all his resistance on his own accord.
The equestrian world is oriented toward having a workable plan to fix the problem of resistance in a horse by using an approach that tries to stop the behavior from occurring rather than letting the behavior run its course without confrontation. It is hard to give a horse a right to do as he chooses when he is resistant, but the resistance without control or confrontation is a strong component that will build trust, loyalty and a sense of duty. This is created from a sense of a freedom of choice. A horse with tack on believes that when asked to move forward he must do so. At liberty, horses express the truth in how they feel about a simple request. This is very valuable to flush out a horse’s attitude and let a horse make peace with your leadership through a process that is easy for a horse to accept.
If any one from the Insider Circle class or In the Box student would like to share their experience of this Ritual and its benefits to the rest of the class I would love to hear from you.
I want to write more on this Ritual next week and if anyone has any questions on this Ritual let me know.
Here are some photos of me in Leading from Behind™ to help show you what it looks like. They are titled “Progressive Qualities of Connection- 3 Stages of Development”
Have a great weekend, and as always be sure to watch for more new horse and human sightings!