There is a Left Brain and a Right Brain Approach to Horses
The Left Brain vs. the Right Brain There is the left brain and the right brain. This idea helps me communicate with my students and understand how to approach a horse in the moment. Being a linear thinker, using the left brain, a person would need to follow a specific formula for training a horse. Where a right brain thinker would be more creative and be able to come up with solutions and be more focused on the relationship with a horse rather than the goal.
Coming from a more creative empathetic approach, a right brain thinker, a person would have a more natural ability in knowing how to approach the training of a horse. For example: when to let a horse settle, when to change the subject to something that would be more desirable to the horse, when to press on or when to pause; and how to keep the horse focused, willing and respectful.
Horses would like a person to take a right brain approach because it is more friendly. With a left brain approach a person would not be so flexible in dealing with the conditions and moods of the horse in the moment. Horses naturally work from a right brain attitude. So working with them from a right brain approach, there is a commonality that would help the connection a person has with a horse. Horses need leadership and direction, but our approach needs to have a lot of intuitive instincts and a strong ability to have a more flexible leadership.
Horses Nature with Freedom
You can give into a horse when he is not receptive, more than you think you can, because of a horses nature. They enjoy learning and performing when they are not pushed to do so. When you give more freedom to a horse it brings about a much better attitude and willingness.
Normally for centuries Horses have been controlled and trained from a left brain approach. If any empathy is used, it is used only not to abuse the horse. The problem with this is that we would find it hard to agree on what is abusive. This is why I invented my method. Working a horse in freedom and following a general rule that if the horse leaves your company you need to stop his training to help the learning process of the horse. By giving a horse freedom to make the decision in what he will accept or not accept, he gets to define what is abusive by taking it out of your hands entirely. Choosing what is abuse is a tricky thing because what is abusive in one moment may not be in another. For example: a simple touch could be considered abusive if the touch causes extreme emotion or upset to the horse. However, you might hit the same horse hard to kill a fly and the horse could be thankful. Working a horse at liberty gets rid of all these concerns.
Approach to Horse Training
From today's approach the focus is to train horses quickly without any thought to making the experience a life enhancing one for the horse. By working a horse at liberty, without tack and slowing the training and warm up time, you can create more loyalty in the horse to be more dependable if we are more focused on the quality of connection and relationship rather than the leadership.
For centuries horse training has been approached from the stand point of halter breaking the horse first, before the training begins, then training the horse with tack until the horse is a finished horse. The problem with this approach is that it does not get the whole horse trained because it creates a submissive horse with a hidden resistance. The problem with using tack during training is that a person can not develop a deep loyalty from the horse and the result of this training is not thorough enough because of the hidden feelings of resistance that the horse has.
Training with tack perpetuates a behavior in humans in how they approach many forms of communication that I have personally experienced. When people use tack they can reprimand a horse easier and because of that they do. However, if a horse is at liberty, the horse is able to get away easier when reprimanded, and when he does, he loses interest in that person. Because of this freedom at liberty, the person stays away from reprimanding the horse in order to keep from losing their connection. I have also noticed that how a person makes a horse do something when the horse does not want to, while using tack in training, affects how they choose to communicate with and educate their own children.
A Short Story
I have a friend that was abused by her parents when she did not want to go to school, which pushed her right over the top. It drove her to be very aggressive and nothing would get her to go back to school. Her parents even had her committed to a mental hospital based on her refusal and her distress. She would have gone to school if she had not been so aggressively pushed into going when she was feeling resistance. When she was of the right age she went to college on her own and graduated with a doctorate degree in English literature, raised two boys and was very self sufficient with a purpose and there was nothing nuts about her. I wrote about her in my book. She was the person who taught me how to write a book in a very creative and loving way.
The reason this is so important to me is that how I was educated in school could have been a better deal for me as well. I would have learned a lot more in school if my teachers would not have been so forceful. All my education was really gained from one year at Verde Valley School and on my own, from my nature to enjoy learning. Even though I went all the way through school, I learned very little and was traumatized. Between my own abusive teachers, making me do things I did not want to do in extreme ways like hitting me hard with a ruler and breaking my skin on two different occasions, and from the education I received from Verde Valley School, I figured out how I preferred to be handled.
Finding My “Spot” in Society
Verde Valley School warped me in a good way, as far as I am concerned. They educate their students to want to become a contributor to world peace by the service the students can provide the community and the world. The School spent a great deal of time and helped me to find my spot in society and a way to make a living for myself that would contribute to both the community and to world peace. They showed me how I could do my part in bringing about world peace through my natural abilities, which I enjoy doing. I was happy to learn that I could teach people how to use empathy, working from the right side of the brain, as a way to make a connection with a horse. And from this, I could also pass on a universal formula for how to turn disrespect into respect, dislike into a connection, and disharmony into harmony. I truly believe I am making a difference through my blog, my Method and my teaching.
Clinics, Online Courses and Coaching Calls
Please remember that I am teaching an eight (8) day clinic, Beyond the Waterhole Rituals, at my ranch in Escondido California starting this month on March 22nd. If you would like to attend this clinic or join my next online course, please contact me to request a space. (limited space available)
The Waterhole Rituals online course starts next month, April 15th, 2012 and we still have a few spaces available. Also, please remember that I provide one to one coaching calls, 30 or 60 minutes, to students interested in a more private, personal approach to their ongoing training in my Method.
Have a great weekend. May the horse be with you and watch out for new horse and human sightings.