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So often a person relaying a story about a time when…
“out of nowhere, the horse just started ________ ” (fill in the blank with some action word!)

Now, I understand things can go awry quickly. However, rarely does a thing go awry without some notice that things are about to change and we just missed it or, we recognized a shift and chose to do the wrong thing about it.

Sometimes we even create the thing to go awry by imagining it so much that it manifests before our eyes. Horses are good at reading the unspoken.

It Takes Consistency Over Time

It takes consistency over time to help a horse know that they are safe with you in all situations and they should come to you and you will listen instead of going opposed to you and your ideas or requests and then, need to save themselves from something, maybe even you! You prove to your horse every single interaction who you are and just how much you can be trusted to listen to them and to pay keen attention to living through any situation that arises.

Here’s a Strategy to Help

Here’s a strategy to help sensitize you to what happened before: Often when we are retelling (or re-thinking) the story of what happened, we start at a place in the middle of the story. We don’t think it’s the middle, we think it’s the beginning. I’m asking you to go back very slowly through time before things went awry. You may need to go back minutes, hours, days, weeks or even forever. What was happening? For you? For your horse? In the environment, the weather, other horses, people, what time of year is it and what’s typical where your horse lives and what is unique or different? So much happens in our horse’s life when we are not with them. Did their schedule change? Did some new bug invade recently? Did your horse’s friend leave or move to another field, did a new horse enter his space. We are just making a list of what changes have occurred. Is there some sort of change in diet, supplements or digestion? How about us, are we ________?

When we get the list of what happened before we can make educated choices about what’s next; and how to fix it so it doesn’t happen again. We humans have a propensity for putting our past into our future.

Calmly riding stallion

A story for Illustration

One day I cleaned up my stallion and saddled him up intending to ride. After getting permission to get on and move forward, he started to buck a little. I thought that was weird, he hadn’t done that before. I got off and re-saddled him to see if I missed something, no, all good. It was then, that I invited him back to the mounting block and he wouldn’t come. Another thing he hasn’t done before. So I got down and did a search on his body and found all these little tiny ticks all around his testicles. I brushed there but did not make a hand search. I’m sure they itched like crazy! So I removed them all and applied some lavender essential oils. With gratitude, he came right over and picked me up on the mounting block, and off we went.

When we put our relationship, communication, and willingness to change ahead of our goals, riding or competition, or ego, we can live safer, more fulfilling lives in the company of horses. I hope this strategy helps you be your own problem-solver! I would LOVE to hear your stories of how you problem solved what happened or even how you wish you would have!

#RelationshipBasedHorsemanship
#Unbridled
#IntheCompanyofHorses

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