Many might be wondering how it is possible for me to work in so many foreign countries and strange lands as an equine professional. I have traveled my fair share, having worked Internationally with horses for the past eleven years in nearly a dozen countries and covering countless states from east to west. Every time I travel to a new country I am thrown into a new mix of languages, cultures, and native dialects. In Italy they speak Italian, in Romania they speak Romanian, Egypt they speak Arabic…you get the point.
Although the humans may speak different languages and practice different religions and customs, there is one thing I’ve learned never changes: The language of the horse. No matter how far my travels have taken me, from the Pyramids to the Taj Mahal, horses speak horse.
Horses. Speak. Horse…
Learn the language of the horse, and with it you can travel to the farthest corners of the planet and be able to communicate fluently with all walks of horses. From the Akhal-Teke’s in Turkey to the Marwari’s in India or the Icelandic ponies from Iceland. Communicating with horses is about body language and energy. Once you master the art of understanding your equine friend with your energy and breath, you will find that no matter the type of saddle you ride in or the discipline, you will be able to bond with horses on an energetic and subconscious level. You will hear them whisper. You will feel their movements and body through you. You will know their emotions, their spirit and their voice. You will be able to earn their trust and loyalty even when you are new and unfamiliar to them.
I can’t tell you how many times from my own personal experience, I’ve ridden a horse for the very first time and was able to receive great feedback from my horse as well as their owner who stood baffled and amazed on the side simply because I listened to what the horse was trying to tell me.
First you must learn to follow the horse. Then you must learn how to make the horse follow you. This method applies both to out of the saddle and in the saddle. When riding, you must learn to allow your body to follow the horse’s movements. In walk, your hips should sway with his walk motion, your legs should wrap around the belly of the horse and rock side to side as if cradling a baby and your hands should move back and forth in motion with your horse’s head movements. The brisker the movements, the more your body must work to follow.
Sigh when your horse sighs, breath when he breaths, and just learn to flow with him until you cannot differentiate between your horses’ movements and your own. This process might take months or years to master, but once you are able to truly understand how your horse feels under you, you can then begin to influence his movements and rhythm to match your own.
It’s all about energy and how you play with it. It is the difference between someone with a strong, Alpha energy walking into the round pen with a wild horse and someone entering the same arena with low energy, dragging their feet and not at all confident in themselves and their movements. The wild horse needs to know that he is safe around you, that you are trustworthy. This can only be achieved by creating a “safe energy” and confident aura about you.
Because no matter where you go or how far you travel…horses speak horse!