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.