When a horse is responding to me from my influence, I am focused on what he or she is feeling in the moment. I want my horse to be engaged so that I can develop his interest to dance with me with enthusiasm, looking forward to the adventure and challenges that face our growing relationship. I want the partnership to be a co-creative adventure. When I listen to my horse in each moment, I can capitalize on furthering the relationship and his performance by making adjustments to my leadership approach and the horse’s program. I adjust my leadership and the program to fit the evolution of the horse’s dance behavior while at the same time building his interest in learning and performing. Every time I am training, my big focus is on evolving my skills of connection and courtship to keep the dance alive. I also focus on being sure that I bring my horse enough fulfillment of his need for companionship and connection, which is important to a horses psyche. Sometimes courtships are not smooth and we often make mistakes and in turn make over-corrections. It is through the “making–up” that we re-establish the bond that makes our connection even stronger. Your relationship with your horse will be strengthened through the trial and error you experience practicing the Waterhole Rituals while staying focused on the balance between the bond and respect you share.
One of the keys to success is allowing the time it takes to grow the connection without effort or agenda. It is always a good idea to start with a clean slate, temporarily forget where you are and check in to sense and see the real reality of the moment and who your horse is today and right now.
Time has an ability to grow the relationship you share with your horse. I would like to hear from you on what you think I mean by this, giving me an example of how time has contributed to the advancement of the training of your horse. Or how your relationship has grown deeper from the passing of time only. Or how you stopped the evolution of the bond from having too much of an agenda and so not allowing the passage of time to advance the connection for you.
When you focus too much on the advancement of the Rituals, it stops evolution through time from supporting you. Think of baking a cake, turning on the oven and waiting for the cake to be done. If you have not put the ingredients together, the oven will not make a cake. However, if you put the ingredients together and into the oven, and allow the oven to do its magic without any interruptions from you, the evolution that time brings indeed produces a cake.
There is a heartbeat I want you to learn how to grow. You can do this through reflection and experimentation. A simple away to evaluate the situation of how to handle your horse and the agenda you choose or not choose, is to experiment with a horse by pushing and pausing and patting. Too much patting and you will loose the respect. Too much pushing will lose the desire and too much pausing will loose the interest. You as the trainer are responsible for creating the cosmic soup your horse will learn from. Like a man does when courting a woman or a teacher who knows how to motivate a child to learn. While observing and being attentive to your horse in the moment, you will learn to make those fine and subtle adjustments that create the perfect balance in your relationship.
An interesting thing about relationship is, if it is not growing to a deeper level, the level that it’s at will weaken. You’ve got to keep depositing money into that relationship account to make it stronger and richer Many times this takes an effort. Relationship is a funny thing, you can actually be the cause of it’s demise but that downfall can create the opportunity for you to grow the relationship even deeper through the effort it takes to repair it, and how you choose to proceed from that point. Courting and romance I believe, is the name of the game with horses. The ups and downs you experience together are part of the courting process and it is these ups and downs that create the platform for the deepening of the relationship.
When your leadership is strong and inviting to the horse, making mistakes and seeing them right away allows you to opportunity to make the adjustment that would further the connection. Horses love that. The important piece is to make sure you start to observe and notice the actions and reactions that are occurring, then make the adjustments necessary to evolve] the depth of the relationship. Playing and pushing, and going too far and making up and coming back to the community. This is what horse’s lives are all about. Through being with horses like they are with each other, sharing space and practicing the Rituals, we bring to them dignity and an understanding they deserve.
Enjoy your weekend and I look forward to talking with the Inner Circle members on Sunday and Monday. Carolyn