In our last post we talked about using the flow of energy to communicate with our horses. This topic is going to be about how our energy effects them. We must make sure we can raise and lower our energy appropriately when necessary. Being sure to separate our emotions from our energy level is very important to always keep in mind. This can be a difficult task.
The first thing we want to do is make sure we are aware of "The Energy In The Room" so to speak. What I mean by that is, we need to be aware of our physical energy and our emotional energy.We also want to be aware of how our horse is feeling. If they are showing a lot of excess energy, we want to know if it is emotional energy, or just a fun playful energy. Don't get the two confused or make an excuse that its just playful when it is emotional. It is real important to be able to tell them apart. Each case should be handled in a different way. If they have a playful energy, we want to cut our energy back to get them to come down to our energy level. If they are still full of energy and not responding, then we want to ramp up our energy to get their attention and let them know we mean business, then slow it back down to a more serious, smooth,and steady energy. If it is an emotional energy, we need to find the highest level of our energy that we can use without putting them over the edge. We need to learn to keep our energy at a steady level just at the edge of where it effects them slightly. If we can keep it steady till we get a relaxing response and then reward them by releasing the pressure, they will soon learn that we are aware of their emotions. Soon enough they will ease up on getting emotional. The best way to learn the difference is to watch as many horses as you can while they are turned out. You will soon be able to see the difference from a playful energetic nature and an emotional stress energy. It can be difficult to tell the difference when we are working with them.Sometimes we cause it ourselves. They may think we are playing with them, or we may be raising their emotions. The problem being we generally don't know we are causing it. So being more aware of our own energy is so very important.
If everything is all wonderful and you are working with a horse that understands you. The ideal energy level will be one that is equal to the task you are performing. This will get the horse to match your energy. Remember to direct your energy properly so the horse understands where it is flowing to. That being said, everything is not always wonderful, and even a well trained horse falls out of the flow of energy. Most of the time it's us that changes the flow, but not always. I have to say there is nothing like those wonderful days where everything flows smooth. Its like a moving meditation, very peaceful. Unfortunately not every session goes like that and we have to learn to toggle our energy properly to be able to communicate with our horse.
Knowing when to raise and lower your energy is real important. Just like in the above examples. We want to lower our energy or even ramp it up at times for the playful horses energy. If we lower our energy with the emotional horse we may get their energy down, but we are not teaching them to deal with their emotions. They need to learn how to deal with their emotions. They need to know we got their back, and we know all about their emotional needs. Easing up on our energy will only teach them that if they get emotional we will stop. That can cause a number of other problems, like bucking, running off, shying away, refusals, pulling back, panicking when tied, and many more. In the real world, if your riding or leading your horse somewhere and something spooks them. It may be something that isn't even moving, or whatever it is, its going to run its path. Stopping only when its done or gone. So we need to teach them how to deal with their emotions or we are putting ourselves and our horse in danger. We do that by finding the energy level that is right at the threshold of emotions and holding steady till they relax then releasing. This way they learn when they relax, it goes away. We want to get to a point where we can make the threshold much higher. The higher we can get it the safer we are when we are with them.
Also if we ramp up our energy with the emotional horse we may push them over the edge and have a wreck. We want to be careful of that as well. I am very careful not to ramp up my energy on an emotional horse. To much energy on an emotional horse will just make them panic.I don't want my horse to be afraid of me at all. Unless their emotions cause them to forget about me and put me in danger. In that case I ramp up as high as I can go, to make sure they don't forget where I am. The only fear of me I want my horse to have is the fear of trampling me. I would rather them be more afraid of trampling me instead of being afraid of the horse eating shadows that don't exist. If you ever have to do this with your horse, make sure you go and rub and pet on them as soon as its over. They need to know you still love them. The sooner you do it the faster they will learn.
There are only a few horses that will need that kind of emotional scare. The horses that have been weaned and raised by the human who just can't stop themselves from cuddling with that cute little foal. Then when they get older the emotional attachment is so strong, the human won't be able to keep them out of their space. This horse learns that they don't have to be aware of your space. This is the most dangerous horse to be around. They have been cuddled their whole life and find comfort and safety in us. So, what happens when they get spooked? They come right to us for protection. If your lucky they will only step on a foot and break a few toes. But that could turn into a horrible wreck. So if you raise young horses, be careful not to create any of these little monsters. It is a very tough habit to brake.
So remember, a horse will seek your energy level. Whatever your energy is or no matter how you feel, your horse will pick up on it. You control the tempo. Clear your mind and take a few breaths. Make yourself aware or the energy in the room. Know the difference between Emotional and playful energy. Mistakes with the playful energy are a bit more forgiving. Mistakes with their emotional energy can cost you your life. (You may not notice its a problem for years, then bang, your in the hospital). Always be aware of and in tune with their emotions. Find ways of letting them know you understand their emotional needs. You can find more about this in "Working With Emotions" as well as a few other past posts.
I wanted to mention in closing here. Some of the most important topics have been overlooked. If you haven't read "Alphabets of communication", "Building Sentences", "Failing to Communicate Intention", "Attention and Awareness", "Getting Their Attention", or "Working with Emotions" I would recommend you go back and read them. They are very important topics but for some reason are being overlooked. Of course this whole blog is based on progressive writing so if you haven't started from the beginning you may want to do so.
Our next topic will be "How a Horse Should Behave" We will discuss this topic both from their out look and ours.Thanks for reading.