Define ‘Close To’ A Horse or A Person

If you’ve been with me for the past few years, you know what most people want more of with their horse. It doesn’t matter. It’s the same across the board – English, Western, recreational, or competitive rider. You might also know something most riders (and trainers) think can’t be taught, but I don’t see it entirely that way. That’s what this video is all about.

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Who are the people you feel closest to – those you trust and with whom you have a special connection?

I bet they are the ones who:

  • Understand you for your individual quirks
  • Listen to you in a quiet and attentive way
  • You trust with your secrets
  • Are nonjudgmental and stand by you in your weakest moments

Horses have some favorite relationship desires. They want:

  • To feel safe
  • To feel comfortable
  • To know we understand their language
  • To experience consistency in communication

Because we are the ones who determine a horse’s everyday life (they’re not out on their own making their own decisions) it is incumbent upon us to understand them, and hopefully, build their trust and confidence – just like we would a close friend.

In my very informal polling type research, people always want to feel more connection with their horses. That’s what they crave. I understand this connection piece because we all want to be connected with both people and horses.

When I think of ‘connection’ with a horse, I think of great trust and communication.

When asked this question, “Can ‘feel’ be taught or learned?” the answer is typically a resounding “NO! It takes time and experience.” I think of feel as the ability to detect the micro-moves of a horse in an instant and respond in a supportive way.

And I’m afraid I have to disagree with the fist-pounding ‘No’ about the ability to learn “feel” (that’s the answer from many people). Can feel be learned without a good amount of riding? I don’t think so. We need technical instruction, time in the saddle – AND – a BIG AND – some things that only we can do. The good news is they are fun and easy to do. But they take a commitment to do them and time to develop.

We must get grounded and maintain that calm state. We can’t be thinking about making dinner or anything else while we’re with our horse.

We must take the time to focus on how a horse moves beneath us. I mean, really feel it.

We must learn to respond with our mind and body to create waves of energy in the horse, help a horse come down or relax, or maybe engage with us if he’s lazy. Energy is everything!

Last but not least, our cueing must be arranged in the correct order sequentially to allow a horse the time it takes to respond with confidence… and not be intimidated.

These are foundation skills of horsemanship, connection, feel and incredible confidence-building behaviors for both people and horses.

A few days ago, I started a free video series that’s an overview and an introduction to exactly how you can grow your feel and connection skills with your horse. I would love for you to join me. Just click the link or the button to join us.

Join us in this free series, and you know how much I love hearing from you!

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4 Comments on Define ‘Close To’ A Horse or A Person

  1. Carol MacGregor on Sun, 11th Jul 2021 11:10 pm
  2. Hi Barb, Thank you for today’s podcast about connection with people and our horses. I have not had time yet to listen to the first video that you released last Thurs. we have had record breaking temps here in Nor Cal so time was spent keeping the property watered and horses comfy. Looking forward to the video in the next day or two. Again, thank you so much!!

  3. Lynn Wheeler on Mon, 12th Jul 2021 6:50 am
  4. This series will be such a benefit for my mare and I. The relationship, communication, trust, all of it that you share with them, is like nothing else.

    Looking forward to this, thank you so much for putting it together for us😊

  5. Dawn on Mon, 12th Jul 2021 4:44 pm
  6. Looking forward to being on the connection path with my horse. I love the idea of correct cueing for confidence and NOT intimidation. Love this! Thank you Barb.

  7. Katrina Thompson on Tue, 13th Jul 2021 12:11 pm
  8. I took notes. 💜 Your instruction is my missing link and the foundation I need to achieve a consistent experience and help end the roller coaster ride I’ve been on for fifteen months trying to figure this world out.

    Thank you💜

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