How do you view your horse?

People who know me will know that I am an EET  Level 3, a Positive Reinforcement trainer and I follow as closely as I can the Academic Art of Riding by Bent Branderups’ training ideals. Anyone who follows Bent Branderup will perhaps have heard him ask “How does your horse view you?” and this is a very valid question indeed, as your horses’ view of you is the only really important view.

But I want to turn this question on its head and ask ” How do you view your horse?”

Do you think that your horse is stubborn? Do you think your horse is lazy? Do you think your horse is quiet? Do you think your horse is dominant? Do you think your horse is unpredicatable? Do you think your horse is stupid? Do you think your horse is an introvert? Do you think your horse is an extrovert? Do you think your horse is quiet ?

 

Pain can make a horses’ emotions APPEAR – angry, stubborn, lazy, stupid, quiet, unpredictable, dominant, extroverted or introverted .

Fear can make a horses’ emotions APPEAR – angry, stubborn, lazy, stupid, quiet, unpredicatable, dominant, extroverted or introverted.

Misunderstanding of your communications can make your horses’emotions APPEAR – angry, stubborn, lazy, stupid, quiet, unpredicatable, dominant, extroverted or introverted.

 

It is too simplistic to use labels, and labels tend to stigmatise and stick. It is too easy to fall into the trap of over generalisation.

Labels like “stubborn”, “lazy” or “dominant” “quiet” etc etc make a tidy and easy pigeon hole to use, but they could prevent you from having a balanced relationship with your horse that is in the moment. Each interaction must be judged independantly and all of these moments –  if they are managed well,  will build up be step by step what you are capable of together, to create a confident relationship, built on trust.

The emotions behind your horses’ behaviours will only apply at some points while you are together.  Observe and take note of your horses’ emotions when freely interacting with other horses, both at times of low stress with no food resource guarding challenges, and also when there is some percieved anxiety, stress or food/resource guarding urges.

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