Monday, December 3, 2012

Mind vs Feet

Mind Vs Feet
“Connect with the Mind and the Feet will Follow”
‘What do you mean by that Katherine?’ 
I will say this, I spend a lot of time listening and working with horses.  Experience allows me to answer with conviction.  Many so called ‘trainers’ can get a reaction or have a horse submit to demands.  Many ‘accomplish’ this by becoming the “dominant” leader.   
But what goes on inside their minds, I often ask myself, when we introduce implements such as a whip, sticks, ropes or even spurs?
I often give a description to this as follows, “This is no different than turn on your car, open the door, roll down the street, then proceed to run after it and jump in”. This can really never have a good outcome all the time, most often than not, the end result leaves us with injuries along with a bruise to our ego.
The Introduction from human to horse starts with a trusting partnership.  Certainly, both the mind and feet need to be addressed, but they need to be looked at as an entire entity.
A horse’s mindset, has been such, that they are prey to all the territorial pedators for hundreds of thousands of years, where life preservation is their first thought. The humans have tapped into this fear and now become the “dominant leader”. I would prefer to be the horses “nurturing leader”.  The reason being, I would be the one they would trust and mimicking as a herd member.
Connecting with the mind allows you to achieve what you are looking for, helping the horse set up for success. When I ask a horse for participation in a ride, they are more than willing to be an equal team member.
Not communicating with the mind can result in our partners voicing their displeasure. The lack of understanding, demonstrated as confusion and frustration, becomes the precursor to many behaviors such as biting, bucking, rearing and kicking.
Once communication is established, the feet can now follow direction with less resistance. Understanding   a horses movement components, allows us to direct them to follow in a dance like fluent motion. Even when eventing in the saddle, less pressure is needed more response is shown.
We should never forget, we have not created the method in which the horse’s feet move.  Horses in a natural herd are taught at an early stage of life. Unfortunately when we get involved, their balance, movement and timing are compromised.
 This process of working the horse’s feet, after you have connected with the horse’s mind, resolves and eliminates stress. Challenge of authority and resistance to perform, are now minimized. 
Allowing you and your equine partner, more time to enjoy each other, sharing the compassion of one living being to another. Discovering new journeys with your horse having the ability to ask instead of tell.