From the Horse’s Mouth …
Ever want to know what your horse is really thinking?
To get inside your horse’s mind and really hear their thoughts?
Anyone who is a horse owner will know how possible it is to read our horse’s body language and surmise what it is they could be thinking. But imagine not having to simply guess or predict, but to really know, to be able to have an intimate two-way conversation where you can really hear them, and they you.
Horses have a number of ways of communicating: facial expressions, the placement of different body parts, their individual behaviours and mannerisms, sound, their body structure, touch and importantly, their presence. It is possible to refine all of these means of communication, so that one can freely and deeply connect with your horse.
We can learn to heighten our knowledge of the different communication styles. And we may also find we are better at one style than another. If you are finding your relationship with your horse is not as good as it could be, you might want to experiment with growing your abilities to communicate visually, verbally, kinaesthetically (through touch) or auditorily (through sounds). By taking the time to watch and hear our horses, with an open and neutral mind, we are able to learn may things.
I’ve always thought an important skill to develop is to practise removing our ‘human’ filters – the projections we have from a human perspective. For example, “wouldn’t it be so much more comfortable for my horse to eat from a feed bin on the fence?” (as I might prefer). The reality though is that a horse’s digestive system is most effective when they eat with their head down, as naturally horses do in the wild. This assists the gut, and also ensures even wearing of the teeth.
An important human filter to watch out for is where we may substitute ‘convenience’ in our own lifestyle for ‘care’ of our equines. Living in a modern lifestyle, most of us will do this to some extent. For instance, we may have one horse rather than two because it is more affordable. However as horses are herd animals they thrive on companionship. So, if we are keeping a horse on their own we must strive to give them plenty of companionship, entertainment and grooming – as they would do for each other in the paddock.
Being aware of the needs of horses is important. And it increases our relationship with them no end.
Unfortunately horses rarely get a choice about their surroundings. So by deliberately reaching out to any horses in our care, we can make the horses journey in a human world an easier one. If we attempt to think from the horses point-of-view we can learn a lot, and we can give our horses the very best circumstances to thrive in, both emotionally and physically. This sometimes requires us to step out of our way of thinking, our assumptions and our projections, to really tune into the languages of the horse. And we need to do this regularly, not just occasionally. As with any great relationship, it takes refinement.
It is possible to learn to telepathically communicate with your horse. This may seem a foreign approach for people, but for the horse its everyday. Horses are in fact very good at this, as unlike people, sound is their least dominant form of expression.
Thirdly, the feel of a horse’s body can tell us a lot about their health. Tightness in certain areas or looseness, can reflect areas lacking in chi (energy) and can communicate our horse’s current state of health. Getting to know our horse’s bodies can help us make decisions about how to best help and support their wellbeing. Therapies such as acupuncture, massage, shiatsu, bowen, energy work, facia and muscle release therapies plus other such modalities can influence this vital chi and maintain your horse in great health.
I regularly enjoy hearing stories of ways you connect with your horse, so feel free to add your comments here to share with everyone.