What do these two words mean to you? What would it mean to you if your horse responded? To me, to respond means to do something in a positive manner. When I am doing things with my horses, trying to teach new things, I want them to respond. So, to get my horse to respond positively I have to ask in a positive manner. I have to ask in a nonthreatening manner. I have to ask with lightness and with feel.. I am not going to make my horse do something, but I would ask and encourage. In this manner I will be building on a positive relationship.
Why would you want to treat a horse this way? I treat my horse in a way that its dignity is left intact. Treat it in a way that it wants to be with me and not the herd. When your relationship is like that with your horse you’ve been getting a lot of response time. I’m not talking about your horse comes when you have treats or a bucket of feed. It comes because you are its best buddy. When you have that response you have a relationship like no other. When you and your horse can have that communication, that understanding, with one another, it’s an awesome thing. I’m here to tell you, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. When you see me and my horse together and you see us both smiling, ask this; is the time and effort, the study time, the times spent together doing nothing just hanging out, the time we spent working/playing together, was it worth all the hours it took to get to this point. You bet it was. I can tell you now; it will be worth it to you as well. If you want to know how to achieve this with your horse, attend my school or one of my clinics
On the other hand, reaction, to me, is negative. I wouldn’t want a negative experience with a horse. Negative experiences hurt your relationship more than help it. If we move too quickly the horse will tend have a reaction. On the other hand, if we move too slowly (sneaky like) the horse will have a tendency to get worried and bothered because that is a predator action, stalking.
Move fluidly around your horse, no jerky or fast movements. Be predictable with your intentions.
Let me give you a for instance; what would you do if someone suddenly poked you in the ribs? The thing we usually do is, flinch or jump. It is the sudden movement, then the poke that causes that. If the person doing the poking does it every time they are in our presence, we usually become leery of that person. The same is with a horse. He doesn’t understand it’s only a poke in the ribs, he thinks you are trying to kill him. That’s usually how they think.
So, when around horses, try to think like the horse does. If you are unsure of how that is, get with someone who knows. Learn from a Natural Horseman. Natural Horse people know the language of the horse and how to be around horses using the nature of the horse.
If you want to know more about this, I would highly recommend you attend one of my 6 hour day classes this summer. The dates will be announced soon.
Your horse will be your most loyal, long term buddy if you treat it right. If your horse responds and not reacts, that’s when you have the mutual respect, trust and understanding. It takes a little effort and time but well worth it.
I AM WORTH THE EFFORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And so are you.