Exploring the Basics

Like any other relationship, before you start working with a new horse you need to get to know each other. I start by “Hanging Out”, spend time in the paddock and Observe.

Two weeks ago a new horse arrived at our place, she will be a part of our small herd for a while. There was a lot going on the first two weeks, where everyone was getting to know each other and find their place. This is great time to observe how the horses respond to each other, how she responds to her new surrounding and how she responds to me.

It’s about exploring our relationship with distance, becoming aware of the space we share. It’s not about shaping the horse but about understanding her character.

How is she physically?
I noticed straight away that there was a distinct difference between her hind legs, one more carrying and the other more pushing. This observation is very helpful for when we start the Gymnastic work.

How is she mentally and emotionally?
She was quite anxious and unsure in the beginning. She is a sensitive mare that responds quickly to everything (sometimes overreacts). She loves to connect but not always sure if she could trust me.

This is important to understand as this will determine how I approach her and how I‘ll respond to her behaviour and actions.

How is she spiritually?
The spiritual state has to do with her true personality. Can she be herself or is this held back by any physical, mental or emotional blockages?

Luckily she has no problem telling me how she feels. She does have a few emotional issues from things that happen in the past but who doesn’t and it is not stopping her expressing herself.

Observations don’t ever stop. Every morning when I get to the horses I check for changes. It’s a great tool to find out what horse you have in front of you that day. It will help determine how to approach your horse, be it in your training session or just during the daily interactions.