What is horse communication? Lots of things. Lots of things in many different ways to many different people. A lot of people do indeed want to “communicate” with their horse, some on a spiritual level, some on a physical level, some on a level of cooperation, and some on a dominance level.
I don’t believe we can truly communicate with our horses if can’t see, feel and hear the spirit living inside. You see communication should not be about training, which sadly is mostly what folks think about with their horse. They figure their horse must “learn” to do this, that and a bunch of other things—and learn to do them better and better. No they don’t! They already know how to do anything we ask!
It is WE who need “training” in the art of doing this, that and the other thing—With our horses. They already know how. We must learn to communicate, and not by learning cues, leg aids, the “art” of using mechanical devices, that is not communicating. But too often that is what is taught, practiced and promoted.
I’ll admit I go on and on about the release and relax exercises of Peggy Cummings that I believe in and promote. I do this because they work. They work on many, many levels from creating proper posture to teaching US to hear, and therefore communicate with our horses. Just the few basic exercises I promote will open the door to communication, the inner spirit. Once we find the inner spirit of our horses, communication just begins to happen, if it is allowed. If it is welcomed. Then any training, learning and growing together becomes easier, more graceful and bonded.
There is a real spiritual being inside a horse, and more and more folks are beginning to understand and discover that fact. Horses are not, and should not be viewed as means to an end, equipment or tools. They are not slaves, nor simply objects we own “for what we get out of it.” They indeed have feelings, thoughts and can feel love, affection, stress, worry and fear. How than can we not communicate with them?
Horse communication, to me, is the ability to hear the horse and understand their point of view, their comfort, desire and needs. When we begin to understand that is important, our horses will indeed communicate with us in a way we can feel—and hear. And I don’t mean the standard outward communication like pinned ears, stomping foot, or greeting nicker. Those are the horse shouting. What communication is, is hearing the whispers, feeling the thoughts. And yes we can all learn this, if we believe and try.
Most folks who don’t believe have not really tried, and their horses know it so they quit whispering and only shout, or worse yet, they shut off communication—then the person feels compelled to train and often resort to mechanical devices, which will often have the effect of creating compliance, but not communication.
Horse communication? It is inside the horse quietly waiting for us to receive. Try it, you’ll like it.
Gitty Up, Dutch Henry
P.S. If you've not yet read my book, "It's for the Horses: An advocate's musings about their needs, spirit, gifts and care," Please have a look here www.itsforthehorses.com