The Photo: You can do the “Pay attention to me please” exercise from much further away than Val with Topacio in this photo. This lesson is about a gentle but attentive to each other way of life with our horses. If I am just wandering the paddock I am happy that they are just gently aware of me and where I am and in that case might just be flicking an ear at me rather than looking so beautifully as Topacio is doing.
As you delve deeper and deeper into helping your horse to live a life with as little fear and anxiety as possible and to release old tension and anxiety and resistance, it’s time to balance that by delving deeper into the two aspects of yin and yang that we talked about in the last two lessons.
BUT the big key is the BALANCE.
The less anxiety your horse has, the more you can delve into anything that is not polite and easy around food and the less anxiety your horse has, the more you can ask for their attention so that they can keep you safe.
Well, you can see that, can’t you? You can see that it’s pretty difficult for a nervous horse to concentrate on keeping you safe, hey? So the less anxiety your horse has, the more you can ask for their attention so that they can keep you safe. The less anxiety and tension your horse has, the more circumstances you can ask for that attention ie loose in the pasture, in the halter, in the saddle.
And about you taking ownership over food – whether it’s grass while they are grazing or the feed bucket when you are feeding them – if your horse is nervous you don’t want to be too demanding over the food.
So how do you know how much ownership you can take of the food and how much attention to ask for under what circumstances?
It’s easier to flip over into dominance once your horse has the halter on, so getting this game really good, really gently good between you and with a deep understanding of what you are looking for from each other, while they are still loose in the pasture is a VERY GOOD DEAL.
This audio is one of those lessons that pulls together what we have learned so far.
All of us have SOME trouble understanding what our horses want from us sometimes, especially when they don’t do what we want them to do – and yes that means me too occasionally – so in the second part of this Lesson, I have given you a great new tool to fall back on when you need some extra understanding.
The second bonus audio below is support for a Quiet Mind for you to use when you cannot find enough quietness to get the answers that you are looking for when your horse isn’t doing what you want them to do. This can be a very healing process too, so I have designed it for you to come back to over and over again, whenever you need it – until the process that I talk about on the audio comes easily to you without being guided to do it. This 14 minute audio will help you lay back, chill out and get those answers!
Click here for the alternate recording of a Quiet Mind for a deeper understanding when your horse isn’t doing what you want them to do. (To download, right click and save.)
Written Version of the Audio
Hmmm… when you have trouble figuring out why your horse isn’t doing what you want them to do.
You already know the most important parts…
Approach and retreat using your Not Quite Right, stopping and waiting for The Chew, will help your horse expand their Comfort Zone and will also pick up those old fears and anxieties and resistances from the past that need releasing and/or re-thinking.
The advanced My Grass Game is a VERY important part of the Yin-Yang balance that I have spoken about. Many, many of the “problems” that you experience – the opportunities for a deeper bond – will be addressed by taking action on the frustration version of Not Quite Right and driving your horse away from the food, taking possession of the food until the energy changes for the better.
This is always better done loose in the pasture under natural feeding circumstances rather than on the end of a lead rope and you would have to be INCREDIBLY good to do this in a stable or yard, so I strongly recommend that you do that game in a larger space first.
You would laugh at me if you were a fly on the wall listening to me – I still use the words “My Grass” even when it’s a bucket of feed that I am taking possession of because the energy has got pushy.
AND there has been occasions when feeding my herd of 14 all in together that I have allowed the energy to slip and then have had to have a small war to straighten things up again. I have learned now to be lots more attentive to the feeding energy so that I can ask in small gentle ways rather than having to have a small war!
If you were to have a Not Quite Right about taking possession of the food with a very dominant or aggressive horse, then listen to your Not Quite Right and DON’T DO IT.
Find out what you have to change so that that Not Quite goes away. It might be that you will need to be prepared to get REALLY BIG and it might mean that you need to get a tool to keep you safe while you get really big. It might be that you need to get REALLY SOFT. It might be that it’s not the right time, you might benefit from getting Lesson 30 really good first. That’s the one about “Pay attention to me so that you can keep me safe”. Whatever…
Later on in this Lesson, I am giving you a special bonus as a support to figure out the answer when you just cannot figure it out easily by yourself.
Lesson 30, about helping our horse to keep us safe when they are loose in the pasture is another critical part of the Yin-Yang balance THAT WILL fix a host of your leadership issues where you are concerned about your horses.
The gentle expectation of that game that they are EXPECTED to keep half an eye on you at all times, EXPECTED to be aware of you at all times SO THAT YOU CAN KEEP EACH OTHER SAFE is a critical part of your gentle leadership with your horse. With this game YOU HAVE SIGNALLED YOUR EXPECTATIONS and those expectations are both reasonable and gentle.
Notice that I am suggesting that you and your horse get good at all the major attitude things when your horse is either loose in the pasture or playing at liberty. Because when you add THOSE FOUR THINGS we’ve just talked about, to using the advanced mirroring game to get your horse used to saying “yes” in small ways at liberty and building on that as slowly and steadily as you need until they are used to saying “yes” to most things at liberty – then that co-operation tends to keep going into the halter and saddle work.
Here’s another very important aspect of the gift of healing that your horses bring to YOU. Horses do not like it when our emotions are incongruent. That means they don’t like it when we put a brave face on our own fears or sorrows or anger or whatever, ie when what we show to world is different to what is inside us. And they will help US find that emotional balance which is all about the happiness that I keep raving about that horses can bring us to.
So sometimes when they don’t do what we want them to do it’s because we need to stop and look at what needs to change with US FIRST.
You can take care of that when you get a Quiet Mind or go into Inner Awareness or listening inside yourself that we’ve been working on and the special bonus audio here is an extra support for those times when you need to go inside yourself to find the answers and will help you to create a habit of that.