In settings where humans and horses come together, we can often perceive and witness a lot of pressure and control – even though they may be subtle. And many of us have been taught and grown up in the belief that this type of control and the forms of pressure that come with it are normal and necessary. And the horses, just as ourselves, have become used to be on the receiving end of such pressure and control.
If we change that pattern and move away from the one-sided exertion of control to more genuine and authentic interactions that allow horses to leave the state of learned helplessness and to express a clearer ‘voice’, there can be moments of confusion as the ‘rules’ are not clear anymore and the relationship has to be given some time to sort itself and to be newly defined.
If we allow this to happen and to move through this state of uncertainty, we can experience a softening – a softening of ourselves and a softening of our horses. And on that basis, everything gets the chance to become lighter and gentler. Horses are very willing to cooperate with us and well able to perceive and understand subtle and soft cues if given the chance by appropriate training and handling.
Picture credit: (c) Ingairis – Fotolia #122910028