Friday, October 24, 2014

Connecting Through Emotion and Feel

Many off you have had a connection with someone close to you or your horse. How deep that connection goes, only you know, or maybe you don't.  Maybe it just seems natural and you just go with it. That's how it should be anyway. Simple and without any thought.

Making the connection in the beginning took some work. You may not even have noticed.  But soon enough you knew what they were thinking at almost any moment. You knew what they would say or how they would respond to certain things. This is a great connection. One in which I share with my wife, my horses and dogs as well.

Connecting on an emotional level and being able to feel what they are thinking or about to do is not always a simple task. Many of the great horse trainers talk about working or riding on a feel. So many people take that as what they feel physically in their hands, on a rein or a lead. Or even how the horse feels under them when they ride. It goes so much deeper than that. This connection and feel can be felt from 100 ft away.  Not connected by a lead or rope of any kind. When you ride bareback and bridle less it goes beyond your body and leg cues deep into the core of your being and your horses as well. If you don't have that connection, it doesn't work. Anyone who has worked on the ground loose and from a distance or rode bareback and bridle less knows that it works awesome when the connection is there and not so well when it's not. When the connection is there. You are feeling each other on a deeper level that transcends your physical and emotional and carries you almost into a spiritual level. It is something that is very difficult to write about or explain.  But I can tell you this. If you achieve this. "It Feels Awesome" This is something that in order to have it working for you when you need it to. You must maintain the relationship and the connection.

How do we get there? By heightening our awareness and understanding the important aspects of all communication principles first. Then digging deeper into ourselves through testing theories, pondering and even meditating. In short we need to constantly be looking for better understanding and not guess or make up answers. No excuses. Excuses will hold you back from the truth. Seek the truth in a humble way. Show no prejudice in any direction.  That should help guide you there.

I hope you enjoyed this.  I thought about this one on my drive to the barn and felt I needed to publish it.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Addressing inhibitions

Inhibitions are feelings of insecurity that can cause anxiety that interfere with the ability to act in a calm and natural way.

Every living creature has inhibitions of some kind.  When we work with our horses it is so important to address them appropriately.

Many people talk about riding on a feel. This goes way beyond how soft and light the rein or the lead rope is in your hand. They should feel you and understand you from a 100 ft away. As well as we would know exactly what they're thinking and are going to do next. It goes so deep that we feel all of the horses thoughts and inhibitions and the horse will also feel ours.

Being connected on a super deep level will help you feel all of your horses thoughts and emotions. When we look at our horses, most of us just look at them as an object of our own desire. We don't really see all the wonderful things that they are saying to us at every moment. When we don't respond to these things it creates insecurity in them. This causes inhibitions and this is what makes them anxious. It is the main reason a horse doesn't relax or respond in a calm natural way. If your horse has any adverse behaviors or anxiety, then you are either misreading something or missing it all together.
Knowing this is why I make sure every horse I deal with has the opportunity to get to know me and introduce themselves to me before we start working. I even do this daily with my own horses. Much like politely knocking on a door before you open it.

When dealing with inhibitions we first need to be aware that we are not causing any.  If we are feeling that way ourselves then it will transfer to the horse. The next thing would be to recognize and identify the root of the insecurity. We need to seek truth in this part and not just guess or make excuses for it. If we know for sure what the problem is, then we can put a game plan together to build their self confidence. The exact reason is not all that important. What is, is that we instill trust in us by making sure they understand that they can relax and we will handle any problems. After all inhibitions are just feeling of a lack of self confidence.  But we cannot help them with their self confidence if we are only guessing or making excuses for them. This will only make it worse. If we instill trust in us, then they become more confident when they are with us.

Building self confidence can be done in many ways. Desensitizing is what most people do. I find this to only help so much. And in some ways it can make it worse. I like to help them by asking them questions that I know they can answer. (This means I need to know them well enough to know what they can and can't do).  I will take my end plan and find a way to break it down to a series of questions that they are able to answer. I make each question help us move closer to our end plan. If they are able to answer every question to the end. Then they will have built up their confidence.  They also learn to try harder as well as seek out your intentions or the intention of the objects in question.

This also helps you build a dialect with them. Remember it is a conversation.  A two way conversation.  We must remember that as well. When we can speak to them and they can understand us and we can understand them. That builds both, our confidence, and the horses. This removes most all inhibitions. Ours and theirs.
Thank you for reading along with us. We hope this helps in some way.