You will never have to tell your horse that you are sad, happy, confident, angry or relaxed.
He already knows—long before you do.
While we can fool another human with words, we can never fool our horses.
Our emotions and moods are language to our horse!
Energy is the expression of emotion and horses sense vibrations of energy.
So be aware of your emotions and energy at all times.
What kind of energy is your horse getting from you?
Your horse is constantly observing you and reading your energy and emotions.
You have to be aware that your energy influences the horse and the way he behaves (horses are often a reflection of their owners!).
The energy you're projecting internally is the message you're sending to your horse.
In this article you will find 3 tips how to use your energy effectively.
1. Create the right 'bubble'
Your intention and energy happen to be the most powerful tools that has ever been created.
Being able to harness the powerful language of energy is crucial in fostering better communication between you and your horse.
Learn to recognize and control the energy you project.
Your horse will benefit from calm, confident and happy energy.
You are not being a good trainer if you respond to unwanted behavior with fear, anger or frustration. Frustration, fear, anger, or anxiety will only reinforce unwanted behavior in an uncontrollable and unbalanced horse.
As a horse trainer you must help the horse to expend his energy in a productive way:
- If a horse is in an anxious state, you need to step in and help the horse to calm down.
- If a horse is in an insecure state, you need to build his trust.
- If a horse is in a fearful state, you need to make him feel safe.
Maintain calm and confident energy at all times.
Don't feel sorry or frustrated. These negative emotions will just feed your horse's anxiety; it won't help the situation!
2. Protect your bubble
For your own safety you need to establish your authority early, often and convincingly.
If you don’t protect your space and energy bubble, the horse could take it and become more dominant. So if your horse bumps in to you and ignores you when you stand next to him, he is the dominant one.
It must be your second nature for you to protect your own space and own your energy bubble!
A horse can only enter your bubble, if you invite him in!
A horse who understands that you, as the leader, own the space where you stand, will respect your asserted authority.
3. Vary the size of your 'bubble'
In dealing with horses or training horses you can also influence the horse by making your energy bubble smaller or bigger.
If your horse is too dominant or too submissive, you need to be able to resize your bubble to claim more space or to give more space.
If your horse has more or less energy than you, you need to be able to increase or decrease your energy bubble to calm him down or to animate him.
During training you can change your bubble to make smaller or bigger circles, to make transitions, to move the shoulders out, to yield the hind quarters , to back up or to ask the horse to come in.
During training you can also extend your energy bubble with your whip.
Because horses are constructed more horizontally and humans more vertically the whip can help you to extend your body and energy in a horizontal way.
Using the whip as an extension of your intention and energy you can create an equally horizontal energy bubble, so you will have a bubble as big as your horse's.
This way it is easier to reach the whole energy bubble of the horse and not only the front of the end of his bubble.
Now I am aware that some riders feel uncomfortable with the use of a whip or stick. The association we as human have with certain tools is based on our past experiences, on our beliefs and on our perceptions of the world. I respect these views, however in my opinion, whips don’t become energy until you touch it. A whip lying on the tack room floor will never hurt a horse. It's always te human behind the whip that brings a whip fully alive, because the moment you touch it, you ARE the whip, it's part of your energy bubble. (Check out the article: It's always the human behind the tool >> )
Therefore we have to master our energy!
Become skilled in creating, protecting and varying your bubble in order to use your energy effectively.
If you commit to learning how to use your energy, a successful relationship will emerge and you will be able to train your horse successfully.