I've found that to truely communicate with a horse and form a bond that lets you dance together, first you need to truely understand, accept and be comfortable about who you really are, rather than always trying to be what other people want you to be.

Second once you have found this, you need to learn to hold this secuirity, and be able to understand your emotions, where they are coming from, and how to control them...

...and third, you have to be able to put everything in, and really work your concentration powers, so you are completely focused on your horse, rather than getting distracted by other people or your surroundings. After all you expect your horse to give you their full attention.

It seems to me that us humans have a lot more to learn then simply the body language of horses, as using that by itself is like using any other method. Meaning, you apply pressure, and when your horse responds correctly to that pressure you release.

If you have found all three of the above, and are completely secure with yourself, and can concentrate fully on your horse (of course remain aware of your surroundings, or you may put yourself or you horse in danger), you are more likely to get the equal amount of effort and respect from your horse.

When person and horse are learning from each other, they have found true understanding and harmony together, and this is when they seem to dance.

My dream is to learn how to help other people find this harmony, and it is where I am completely stuck. I would love to work with adults and children and people who have had difficult backrounds, or have disabilitys.

My question is, is there anyone else who is like minded, and has maybe set something up, or done some sort of training that has helped them?

I would really appreciate any tips, guidance or comments, and would also love to hear your dreams...maybe I can help you too!

Thanks for reading,
Gabrielle

(my blog is - http://www.hoponahorse.com)

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Replies to This Discussion

Gabrielle. My trainer and I have worked this way for five years. In addition I work on relationship
Training. Not alot of people get it
Most of my trainers students don't love it as much as me or spend the time on the ground with their horses. My dream is not to train but just to do it ever since I saw cavalia. I want to ride too but my horse is only four and I'm a novice so my traiiner rides him. I am like minded but in a small minority where I live. Most people just want to get on and ride and coffee clutch and chit chat during the ride. I've been hanging out alone with my horses , my other horse is 28, and learning herd dynamicsmbonding joining up and roundpenning. I work on myself. I even get hypnotized for calmness and confidence. I would love to learn from you that is why I am here. I love playing on the ground. I haven't ridden since jan. I hate to be the only one. People around here don't get why I move so slow. My horses and I get along well. Not dancing yet but I think we all want to.
The people who just wanna get on and ride, and chit chat, along with those who treat horses like machines to win rossettes is a scene all too familliar to me, being an ex-pony club kid! Unfortunately I was once like that too. I'm lucky enough to be on a very small yard, where everyone has the same keen interest in wanting to understand horses, however I want to spread out because although it is great being with these people, non of them are training or looking for ways to improve what they are doing.

Its interesting you say your trainer rides your young horse. Personally I feel you should be the one up on his back. What you have to keep in mind is that you are the one who bought him, and will eventually be the one wanting to ride him, so you should put a lot of effort into creating a really strong bond with him on the ground, and doing with him, everything you would want to do when riding. Once he can behave himself with you on the ground, and respects you as a calm, confident, respectful, understanding and friendly leader; once he is happy following your every request, and can remain focussed on you (obviously he is young, so try to keep lessons short with lots of thinking time for him), try getting on his back (bare back if you're feeling confident, and preferably with the halter you have been using to train him on the ground, and simply sit on his back.

Why do I say bareback and with only a halter? Because then only one thing has changed and that is that you are sitting on him, rather than standing next to him, and this will make it a lot easier for the two of you to process!

Once you are comfortable sitting, you can start asking for go and whoa, slowly building it up, and giving the same signs as you would when on the ground!

Don't let your trainer know what I'm about to say next!!! I think its unfair that your trainer is getting all the fun riding your horse! I think you should at least get to sit on him, even if you're not walking. And who said he has to be ridden by someone else, just because you're not ready? If you're worried he's going to buck, rear or gallop off with you, the only reason he's doing it is because you've asked too much in one go and he can't cope!

I'd be interested to here more about your hypnosis. Its always interested me, but I've never actually been hypnotized myself. Does it work for you?

great hearing from you and look forward to getting to know you,
Gabi


He IS getting all the fun riding my horse.. but I asked him to....

Oliver is an orphan and I've spent four years with him, since he was 8 weeks old... but I was green, and he was green, and you know how that saying goes.... this might be a cop out, but I actually, don't know how to ride.... or, I'm still learning.... and since he is young and wild, I decided to just work on me.... and yes, of course, going to bareback is the next thing... and I'm almost feeling confident enough to do it by myself.... right now we are doing roundpenning, joining up and grooming.... and working on ME.... I am in the mortgage business and I've suffered a very huge lull in my business. Last year I used the lull to train train train because I had time and my trainer and I rode alot. I ride my 27 year old and he rides Oliver, who just turned 4.... this year I told him I had to come to work, hours and hours of my time is spent trying to make measly amounts of money compared to what I am used to... right now my trainer rides Oliver and is putting miles on him and ponies my other horse.... because I asked him to... for 4 years I spent 4 days a week in lessons and now I spend my time working and thankfully he is there to help my horses get out of the yard. I do the ground work, grooming, cleaning, feeding and what I am personally comfortable with, which isn't riding.... I love horses in that you always know when it is time to take the next step if you just go slow enough.... I know I will feel when it is right to jump on..... and he and I will never separate after that.... I bet me and this colt spend the next 30 years together, and I am in no hurry....

this morning I groomed both my horses and it was a great morning.. now to work, and they are getting out as we speak, Steve takes them out 4 days a week... it just makes me feel better..... I'm glad I didn't have to fire my trainer eventhough times are tough. he rounds up horses for the blm and he helped me rescue my mustang, and he helped me raise him since he came to me as an orphan. I gladly share him with him..... and I know he's teaching him how to cross water, go in traffic, meet other horses and stuff that I personally am not experienced at... Oliver is getting excellent time as a young horse with a super trained professional that loves him and is helping him put on miles.

My hypnotherapist works with equestrians on fear and confidence... it totally helps me.... just brings my subconscious back to being calm and confident when I need to and not letting fear creep in at all.....

and while you are saying that he is having all the fun, I live with my horses at my house, and we have nothing but fun..... and I never ride.... it just isn't as interesting to me as building the relationship is, and bonding..... BUT, it will come... and then I'll wonder how I stayed on the ground so long....

:) Jen

:)
Hey Jen and Gabi, have you ever tried sitting in a deck chair, dressed like a tourist on the beach in the Bahamas, in the middle of the horse pasture with several horses around loose (no tack)? Just sit there...and wait.....don't do anything....don't say anything....don't even look at the horses. What an awe inspiring feeling when they come up to you and smell you all over. When I did it with my gang they thought I was nuts, they grouped together and ran around in circles around me, it was quite interesting. Soon they slowed down heads up looking, snorting then once they decide I was not going to harm them the younger ones came to check me out while the oldest gelding went hohum and wandered off without checking me out. The mare followed him not once checking me out. The other 4 geldings all took turns and the gelding I ride the most stood guard over me while the others each took turns sniffing me. It kinda feels like your being frisked, I'm sure I was because to these guys I always smell like treats, didn't have any this time, in fact I smelt more like tanning lotion. Ryn our youngest at 6 yr. is my great communicator, he is very easy to read and he is a very personable guy. He even uses his front hooves to touch with which I try and discourage too much of. I verbaize a lot with my horses so they understand the human voice language, the different tones and some simple words. Anyway, I thought I would share a bit of that experience with you. I got the idea from Liz Mitten Ryan who uses her horses for healing. I can only say that this experience has deepened our trust in each other and I plan to do it again in the near future. The black gelding in my profile picture is Parka the one who stood guard over me. He loves kids.
I have two horses, so our herd is kinda litle, but I've spent hours and hours just "with" them... since my Oliver is an orphan, if you sit in a chair in the middle of his arena, he is right there... he has boundary issues..... my other horse, he takes more time to come over..... how fun for you to just hang out with your horses.... I've learned so much from observing... I'm doing some training between Chris irwin and Pony Boy Gawaini and I love how both of them give you permission in the training to learn and observe body language of horses.. my last four months have really changed for me... since I found out about the training. :)
I often go round saying hi to all 9 horses/ponies in the herd, and because my horse is the leader and he follows me, the other's respect me, and see me as part of the herd. I did however go and sit in the field among them and, as suspected they treated me like they would any herd member that they respect. First my pony Marcus, stood gaurd over me, and another horse called Jaffa, who lay down near by. Then Jaffa stood up, and Murphy, (a black shire x) took over standing guard while i was resting.

My horse, Shadow wandered over for a sniff at one point, just to say hi and acknowledge my presence, before continuing to munch...thats all I got, so think they know me too well already!

One of the horse's, called Freddy, is being kept in a small paddock away from the other's.He's had a very difficult past, and unfortunately his owner now, although she thinks she know's what she is doing, hasn't managed to give him any form of security. She just pampers and strokes him a lot, and several years on, he is the same nervous horse, just healthier.

I had a bit of a conversation with him, and soon discovered his problem is that he still has no trust in people, because know one has offered to be a good leader. I soon had him circling nicely round him, even with a slight bend, so believe he isn't nearly as much of a problem horse as his owner thinks. He would even walk and trot on command, and seemed very happy to coorporate with me. Of course I gave him lost of breaks in which to lick and chew, and many oppertunities for him to come closer too me. He came in and sniffed my hand three times, but wasn't brave enough for anything else, and because I hadn't asked the owner permission, I couldn't take it any further...don't worry though, I'm friends with her, she often asks for advice from me, and know's I sometimes hav a chat with Freddy.

Nice photo Jen!
And, if the reason for your getting someone else to ride is because you don't have the time, I completely sympathise, and also believe that when you feel ready you will hop up!
Good luck!

Gabi
My horse toby is very shy and insecure... every time I have a chance I ask him to join up with me.... then he gets close again.... but on his own, he does not trust people and he mostly only trust me.... he is so sweet.

It is very different to have an OVER friendly and confident orphan and an under confident and insecure older horse.... I can only imagine what other people did to the poor guy... I hope he's more secure and not just healthier like Freddy, but it's hard to know..... I actually have to push him around from the rear to get him to come close to me... as in showing my leadership, improves his security and then we are close again and he follows me.... I think people don't understand that stroking a petting a horse doesn't make us alpha... in the horses eyes.... my trainer says most people don't get that.... anyway, I'm having a blast on the ground with my horses. I cannot wait for the weekend. :)

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