I can hardly believe that we are already into April – time is flying by. We have had some great clinics this year.
The highlights have been:-
Teaching my newest insights in the POSTURAL THERAPY (development of optimal biomechanics on the ground) I am very excited about that. I have been doing a lot of experimenting with my horses and really loving it. I believe on the ground is the best place and the quickest way to make big changes fast, in the beginning especially. If someone’s horse is really compromised then it think it is really critical to develop the horses physically on the ground. We also had great results with using some specialized Fascia Tools on the horses and on ourselves. These tools are amazing. More about them at another time.
The LIBERATING WITH LIBERTY Course. Liberty is not just about a trick or a “thing” you can do with your horse. Not for me anyway. When we do it well and really give the horse’s choice it really does liberate them from the feelings of supression, learned helplessness or resignation that many horses feel when the halter is put on. This is actually how a lot of horses feel in halters because they feel they don’t have choice or a voice any more. Much of this started the first time the young foal ever had a halter on. When the horses know they have a choice and choose to do it everything is different. Good different and a million times better different. So liberty can be truly liberating, but of course it has to be done without coercion or pressure. We have to make it a mind game and there has to be something in it for the horse. The other thing I love about teaching this course is that people learn so much more about body language and using energy which they can then take into all the other areas of horsemanship and it will improve everything else. Some of the simulations we did in the Liberating with Liberty course blew people’s minds when they felt the magnetic draw of the energy when they got things right.
It’s also been fun teaching the POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT and MARKER TRAINING and using it for some of the Postural work. It can be incorporated into everything really. There are times when I would choose not to use it as I want the horse to experience the deeper intrinsic feeling and then use this stronger intrinsic motivation to inspire them. The intrinsic motivation (internal good feeling) is always the strongest and best motivator, it is just sometimes extrinsic motivators can help us get there. It’s also fun to do. It feels so much better for us as well, to be frequently stopping and thanking our horses, showing them gratitude, pinpointing and highlighting everything that they are doing well rather than waiting till they make a mistake and our conversation being one of constantly correcting them. Lots of “end points” gives the horse clarity and a sense of achievement which is highly motivating.For me using positive reinforcement really highlights that the more we can move away from causing the horse to feel uncomfortable or pressured in any way in our training, even if minimally, the better and happy they are. It really causes up to use more psychology rather than physical pressure. It means we need to get smarter not harder. Good positive reinforcement trainers are “smart” trainers. They have to be really thinking, really precise and read horses really really well. Like every methodology it really boils to down to the skill of the individual. Positive Reinforcement and Marker Training can be done just as mechanically, without heart and without savvy and psychology as conventional training. When used with the FOUNDATION I teach of CONNECTION & FUNDAMENTAL FEEL it is an amazing asset. It will really up your game.
Getting DEEPER & DEEPER RELAXATION. This is big. Facilitating sessions where horses are really turning lose so their whole body, nervous system and emotions that they have been holding on to for a very long time let go, has really increased of late. At first this happened almost by accident, because my presence provided a safe space for horses and then I would acknowledge a deep emotion that the horse was holding onto and they would “let go”. There are levels of relaxation and more and more in clinics and lessons horses have been going into really deep states of releasing tension. It is so healing for their minds, emotions and bodies. It also the master key for optimal biomechanics and powerful athleticism.It’s not infrequent for horses to lay down or go into deep meditative states in sessions. It is not that we always want that to happen but when there is tension that needs to shift we need to help it shift.I now can be more conscious about leading horses into this and help others to do the same. Most horses (and probably most people) need to “let go” at this very deep level. Ultimately doing this with a horse comes back to our way of “being”. How deeply relaxed are we and can we let go of expectation and just be present and in appreciation with our horse.
Very deep relaxation is integral and I would say the number one key to great quality in everything. It is tremendous to see and wonderful to be able to facilitate this for the horses. The changes that can happen when they and us truly let go are extraordinary. The sky’s the limit when this happens.
So lots of evolutions and great things happening. I feel really excited by the constant growing of this work and teaching. It just continues to get better and better. A never ending journey of improvement, growth and evolution empowering people and horses. As Tony Robbins would say “Progress equals Happiness”. That doesn’t mean it is about needing to arrive at a destination or goal, or not being happy with where things are at now, but when we feel like we are continuously making progress towards something, that contributes to happiness. It’s about enjoying the process, the journey of the learning. When we have a happy horse partner our experiences with horses are just so…. much better. Happy horses are created from happy people with real horse savvy. And then we have a good horse session and are even happier. How good do we all feel after we have had a great session with our horse? The whole day feels so much better even if the world throws challenges at us. We are still happy because we had a great horse session.
So here is to happy horsing for all of you and developing more horse savvy.