Updated: Feb 27, 2018
The real art of working with horses is being able to have self-knowledge, self-reflection and
self-improvement through the horse.
The better you can understand your own body, how you project your energy,your body language, your movements, the more you will understand how your projection affects horses and even people. This means, to improve your communication with your horse, you will have to better understand yourself. The better you understand your own position, your own energy, the better you can communicate with your horse and therefore become a better horse trainer.
Getting comfortable with tools:
ground training rope
Partnership and Ground Skills
1. Learn how to be comfortable working with your horse at 6-7 foot distance away. Most people hold their horse too short, too close and too tight. This is really unfair and ineffective, and in fact, can make a bad situation worse. If you can learn how to influence your horse from a distance he will respect you more.
2. Using the tail end of the rope as a support tool. When you hold the rope at the middle, the “tail end” is available as a support tool. When you swing it, it “drives” the horse and supports your given request.
3. "Phases and hinges" (Parelli method).
The joints (hinges) in your arm (from your finger to your wrist, to your elbow to you shoulder) allow you to deliver a message with 4 stages (phases) from subtle to an increasing firmness. Once the message is understood, the goal is to send messages with only subtle cues.
"Blocking" your personal space. Cute behaviours can quickly become annoying ones. Creating personal space, creates respect.
Learning to read your horses Body Language
Signs of worry:
head up, tight neck
staring eyes, (not blinking)
ears half back or to the side
won't stand still
tension in the muscles
Signs of acceptance and relaxation:
soft look in the eye
resting a hind leg
chewing, licking lips
sighing or a big exhale
Parelli and TTR (Tristian Tucker) are just a couple of Natural Horsemanship masters!