Meet n’ Greet
After demos, I am often swarmed by attendees wanting the same special connection they saw me share with horses. Often, I’m asked ‘how can I develop a better relationship with my horse?’
For starters, I ask people to remember horses’ most natural instincts, those of prey animals. We look different, smell funny, sound unusual, and just might be mountain lions. Our equine partners need us to prove we are not predators but that we are their nurturing leaders.
Horses live what they learn. If we burst into the stall, reach immediately for their head, rush to throw something on their back, that’s INVASION. Doing so you have now taught your horse that invasion is okay.
Whoa, back to kindergarten friends. Let’s start, as horses do, with a regular INTRODUCTION. Horses in the pasture, the wild, or the barn generally touch another’s nose when meeting for the first time giving an ‘international handshake’. I suggest you mimic horses’ social order accordingly. ASK to say a simple ‘Hello’. Yes, that simple. Just offer your closed hand palm down about an inch or two in front of their nose. WAIT for them to touch your hand. Patience is necessary! If they don’t, back up, take a breath, and offer the introduction again. Once touched, GIVE back the reward of a soft stroke. You have just begun your first conversation in the language they understand. Access granted. This practice should continue anytime you greet a horse, first time, all the time.