Tame Is Not Always Safe. But why?
Tame is not always safe. Tame without leadership can be an unexpected bomb!
If a horse is accustomed to taking a feel off their own mind or feeling off of their own world they can react in a way that they instinctively believe keeps them safe in a world constantly changing around them. They are essentially on their own. If so, they feel for their own safety, their herd mates, or the barn.
If that horse co-exists with people and we interact around them but much of the world is taken in from external pressure and no connection of listening to people, they don't develop the ability to look to us when they are troubled. They naturally look to their instincts. They can easily become over sensitive, go into flight mode and run for home, taking us with them!
We can methodically teach our horses to follow and feel for us, rate with us, sense us and listen to us. We teach them to look to us for what they sensitize to and what they listen to. They are able to be stopped and relaxed by us rather than go into full flight. We become their home or their sense of comfort. There is also a simple balance here. I want my horse to feel me and to still be aware of their world, to still be a horse. I need to have leadership for safety and not become a control freak who micromanages their every move.
It starts very simply. Is my horse feeling me, moving off me at the pace I’m asking them? They need to be more connected to you than to their instincts of self preservation, the environment or their herd mates. When the balance goes the other way and they are not connected to you, then it is dangerous for you because it means the horse is feeling their instincts, their home and the herd. When they are in that state, you are no longer relevant and thus at risk of being hurt. My best guess, for safety, is that they must have much more feeling for me and my guidance than their instinctual self preservation. However, they still have to be running their own operating systems, paying attention to their feet and being aware of things in their environment while feeling for me at a higher degree.
Many tame horses are described as ‘trusting’ people and they often do so under a very limited world, if they are at home, no cows present, no running horses around… you get the idea. How does your horse connect to you when you are out in the world that is different from their everyday environment? Have you prepared your horse to trust and listen to you even if they have a worry? Would it result in them wanting to run you over to get home? Can they still hear you? My horses spook and look like any horse - my goal is when they do they can very quickly hear me before we’ve moved very far, like a foot or two at most!
Look at your training program and ask yourself those honest questions. You will see that many horse people simply share space with horses, safely, only on the condition that everything remains calm. I’ve seen top horses spook and go wildly out of control over the silliest of things. I’m never surprised at horses doing what their instinct tells them to do. Nor am I let down by a horse being a horse. I’m always asking, 'how you have prepared your horse', to navigate the unpredictable world with preparedness and connection to you when they are in a sate of reaction.
Is your program at home good enough to prepare your horse to be a reliable partner when difficult situations arise?
Get Started today! Purchase a single Natural Foundation Series DVD 1 Become the leader your horse needs you to be. And learn as Jonathan teaches a reactionary herd bound horse to connect and learn to listen to Jonathan. You see real trust and leadership in this full uncut training session. It's even set up with a trained horse to help make the points before you dive in with the challenging horse. This was one of the most popular videos we have ever produced!
And if you have it - Go back and review! It's a good one.
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