Working with self awareness to develop the relationship with horses

Working with self awareness to develop the relationship with horses

It’s been a long day at work, college, looking after the kids… life is full of commitments in one way or another and then there is the biggest commitment of all…your horse of course. The being you spend all your spare time and money on, who you invest in on a daily basis.

Those with horses in their life know only to well the time and money it takes to ensure their horses needs are met. Horses are in your life for a reason; because you love them. They provide you with much joy on many levels whether its to keep you grounded, fulfill desires, to have a companion to share your time with, to hang out with a being who doesn’t judge or moan at you… horses offer so much. Yet we can often find ourselves getting frustrated with them when they don’t do what we want them to do. For some it can be easy to get annoyed at them and even easier to enter into a power struggle with them, but are you aware of when you are taking your frustration about other life circumstances out on your horse and in the moment convincing yourself its all about your horse somehow not complying with your desires? 
This can be so easily done, we are only human after all but what are the consequences with something like this? Do you feel guilty or ashamed afterwards? Does your horse shut down on you or get fiery towards you? Whatever the response, is it necessary, was it worth it? Did anyone benefit from it? 

You know deep down when you are taking something out on another or in this case your horse and you know when it is misplaced yet you keep finding yourself repeating it with them and maybe it has become more about them in the moment but the root cause was nothing to do with them….or perhaps you don’t realise you are taking your frustrations out on your horse but find yourself in regular conflict with them…. Or maybe it has never crossed your mind that you could be doing this? 

It is after all very easy to fall into control tactics, using force with horses and this is seen as the norm in the horse world, making it a default behaviour for many without really acknowledging it as this

The first step to developing a trusting relationship with your horse is self awareness. Without awareness of your thoughts and emotions it is hard to recognise anything from your horses perspective and it is impossible to create change…

The next stage is having the tools to be able to self process your emotions and understand why you are feeling like you do. When you are able to acknowledge where your feelings are coming from it makes it easier and often takes the sting out of potential conflict. Working in this way with yourself takes time and practice, it can seem a bit like too much work at first but once you start engaging with it life can get easier.

This has been a process I have engaged in since 2002 after the death of my 18 month old horse. I didn’t realise I was embarking on this path to begin with but gradually over time I seeked more and more knowledge and tools to help me self process. As I embarked on this journey I started to notice how my relationship with my horses was changing in a positive way. I learnt I could impact the relationship with my horses positively through becoming aware and consequently changing my behaviour and feeling state around them. I didn’t have to just rely on ‘training them’. This was a game changer, my relationship with them became much richer as a result. 
I started to see them in a different way. I started to recognise subtler cues they were giving me, when I heard and understood them it opened up better communication between us. As our communication developed our trust developed and our connection deepened. It gave me a different perspective towards horses and myself. This journey inspired me to share techniques I use and share with my clients at Intuitive Horse as I feel this is a crucial missing piece to creating fuller trusting relationships with our horses. I have observed that the more a horse is heard and understood the more you can develop the relationship. 

Rewilding with my Horse- the online course walks you through steps towards working with more self awareness with your horse. It is packed with exercises and questions to get you thinking about the relationship you have with your horse. These are exercises you can learn and apply straight away, the more you practice them the more second nature they becomes and before you know it; it is your normal.

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