Calmness and trust

Calmness and trust

In my work with horses I have two keywords – calmness and trust. The way I see it, everything is possible if these two aspects are present. A horse who is calm will have the mental capacity to try understanding what you want. A trustful horse will try even though he is insecure, because he knows that you will take care of him and support him. That is why I spend a lot of time with these two parts. I work my way towards trust and calmness in many ways, but I will now share some of them with you.

Walks side by side

Walks side by side is one of my favourite things to do. You get the opportunity to experience together on equal terms, and usually both horse and human will be more relaxed than while riding. Walking side by side is like going for a walk with a friend. You will be on the ground to support your horse if he gets insecure, and he will be able to hide a little behind your shoulder if he is afraid. Walks side by side is great bonding and it evolves trust as well. Besides it can be really relaxing for both horse and human, while nothing is expected or ordered. Just two individuals exploring the world.

_DSC2036.jpg

Environment training

Environment training follows automatically when you go for a walk, it could be meeting cars, other horses, bicycles or people with dogs. Nevertheless I think that it can be fun and rewarding to be creative in the pasture or arena too. I have tried with different obstacles myself, and some horses react more on obstacles than others. Some of them are listed below:

  • Tarpaulin to walk across
  • Pallet to stand on or walk over
  • Curtain of strips to walk through
  • A narrow passage to walk alone
  • Mattress to stand on
  • Small jump

Only creativity will stop you here! I see several great things about doing environment training with my horses. First of all your horse will become less reacting to terrifying or new things. Secondly overcoming these obstacles will build up the self-confidence of your horse (especially insecure horses will reward from this). Lastly overcoming these obstacles WITH your horse or convincing him to do it will make him trust you. He will then figure out that if you say it is okay, then it is okay and he will not be hurt.

_DSC5870.jpg

Peaceful moments 

Oh gosh… Peaceful moments. I will never get enough of them! I believe that it is gifting for horse as well as human to just be together. Not doing anything. Just being present. Some horses prefer to be close while others likes a little distance. Some likes to just sleep by your side while others prefer to be rubbed or stroked. No matter what you or your horse like it is  nice to just forget all about everything for a moment. Horses are really good at being present, and we should be too. Sharing a peaceful moment together once in a while will also show your horse that being together doesn’t always means working. It can mean peace and calmness as well.

_DSC6427-2.jpg

 



12 thoughts on “Calmness and trust”

  • I really like how you approach your relationship with your horse psychologically and in an almost spiritual sense. I think that we humans find inner peace when we connect with our horses’ frame of mind and live in the present.

    • Wow. Beautiful words! I am deeply honoured that is your impression ❤️ But yes. I believe you are completely right! I hope even more people will realize this and strive for it… It would be amazing!

  • I am so inspired by what you’ve shared! I want to be a professional Equestrian one day. And idk if that means going to school for it, or just years of experience. Either way, even if its both, I know I have just now learned some more awesome knowledge and wisdom on how to approach my future horses.
    I love the way you think. I agree, that as humans it should be out job to take care of that relationship with our horse. To me, I want to treat it like an actual relationship. Not “some animal”.
    Keep up the amazing work! I cant wait to read more!
    Question: how did you get to where you are now?
    Were there sacrifices involved?
    And- other trainers have told me ” treat the horse like an animal because they are dangerous and wild and can hurt you at any moment”.
    I never liked that way of thinking because I feel like it doesn’t open any doors for me to get closer in companionship with my horse. And it limits what I will allow myself or my horse to do.
    What are your thoughts?

    • Hello Selah. First of all thank you for your kind words! Your dreams sound amazing, and I don’t think you will ever find a final answer on how to become a professional. Some people are just gifted with while others have to work their way towards skills. I am sure that a well balanced combination of experience and lessons is a really good start!

      How I got to where I am now.. Hm, that’s a hard question to answer. I have been much around in different genres of riding and horse-handling, and how slowly formed my way by picking out what I liked and leaving what I didn’t. Much of it has arose from inspiration from other people, but most importantly I think my intuition. It has guided my through many things. Ideas, right or wrongs and so on… Most things comes with some sacrifices and so did mine. Horses has always meant a lot to me, but now more than ever. That also means that they are my first priority, and has caused me to cancel several events with my friends for example. Despite doing “weird stuff” with the horses (as some think I do) makes those who don’t understand taking distance. I have ‘lost’ a few horse-friends on my way, because I didn’t wanted to attend competitions and such. So yes – I have made sacrifices, but they have all been worth it!

      Considering your last question… Of course you have to take care of safety because it IS a big animal with strong instincts, BUT. Being careful doesn’t mean that you cannot treat your horse as a friends. Of course some manners are necessary, but I don’t like that saying either. I believe that a horse to whom you have a strong bond will always be more careful around you compared to a horse, who is not trusted and who is seen as ‘just an animal’. So go with your feeling of the horse ❤️

  • Hej Sophie.

    Nu har jeg fulgt dig et stykke tid, og tænkte at det var på tide, at lade dig vide hvilken stor inspiration du er.
    Jeg følger dig både på facebook, instagram og nu bloggen (hvilket er et super godt tiltag!)
    Jeg ELSKER at læse dine medrivende historier, og se dine enormt flotte billeder og imponerende videoer 🙂 Jeg har en del spørgsmål, som jeg godt kunne tænke mig at stille dig, men skal nok prøve at begrænse mig lidt 😉 –

    Når du er sammen med dine smukke drenge, ser det altid så harmonisk og konfliktfrit ud – har du aldrig nogle dårlige oplevelser/knap så gode dage?
    (I så fald kunne det også være spændende at høre om, da det på ydersiden ofte ser meget perfekt – Ikke at det er nogen dårlig ting!)

    Kan du fortælle lidt om, hvordan du er inden i, når du er sammen med dine heste?
    Hvordan skaber du denne ro, og hvad gør du for at dine heste har LYST til at være sammen med dig, og syntes at det I laver er sjovt?
    -Jeg har selv samme tilgang som dig, og min drøm om at få egen hest gik i opfyldelse for ikke så længe siden. Jeg drømmer om, at kunne være sammen med ham på samme måde, som du er med dine. Men jeg syntes, at det er rigtig hårdt og svært, da jeg er forholdvis uerfaren, og har svært ved at finde ud af, hvad det er han vil lære mig.

    Er du i gang med uddannelse, eller hvad laver du til hverdag? Drømmer du om at bruge dine evner til at beskæftige dig med heste i fremtiden – eller har du andre planer?

    Har du nogensinde overvejet, at undervise andre mennesker og heste? Er sikker på, at du ville være forrygende til det! I så fald vil jeg gerne skrives på listen 😉

    Kærlig hilsen Camilla (19 år, Jylland) <3

    • Hej Camilla! Hvor dejligt at høre fra dig, og tusind tak for dine utrolig flotte ord. Jeg kan vel lige så godt starte besvarelsen fra en ende af 😉

      1. Først og fremmest – nej, det er ikke altid harmonisk og konfliktfrit. Dog vil jeg sige, at det nok kommer an på hvem man spørger… Udefra set tror jeg sådan set ikke man kan fornemme/se, når jeg ikke synes det er harmonisk eller konfliktfrit. Der er det mere min egen fornemmelse, og ikke rigtig noget der kommer til udtryk udadtil via skæld ud eller andet. Altså der er selvfølgelig små ting, som man som ung hest må lære eller få sat nogle grænser for, men der er som regel ikke snak om meget mere end et par sekunder… De dårlige dage er der også nogle af, og der er det udelukkende fordi, at jeg enten har for lidt tålmodighed eller for høje forventninger. Det kommer som regel kun til udtryk via mit humør enten på gården eller efterfølgende 🙂

      2. Når jeg er sammen med mine heste forsøger jeg altid at være afslappet og tilstede i det jeg laver – selvom det kan være svært nogle gange! Jeg forsøger så vidt muligt at have forståelse og være åben for deres ideer eller tiltag.

      3. For at skabe ro må man selv være rolig, og det vil uden tvivl smitte af på din hest. Hestene læser os bedre end vi selv gør, og hvis du har ro i dit sind og er afslappet i din krop, så vil din hest tage det til sig. Således kræver det i og for sig ikke særlig meget, men kan være rigtig svært, så længe man ikke har fornemmelsen for at være fuld af ro! Det er bare et spørgsmål om øvelse… Jeg fokuserer som regel mere på om jeg slapper af end om hesten gør, for så kommer det helt af sig selv 😉

      4. Såvel som mennesker har heste selvfølgelig også dage, hvor de er mindre oplagte end andre. Sådan vil det altid være – også med mine 2 drenge. Men for at svare på dit spørgsmål… Jeg forsøger efter bedste evne at lave noget, som de synes er sjovt. Forsøger at give dem plads til, at de selv kan komme med ideer og forslag når vi er sammen. Det giver utrolig meget initiativ hos hestene at de også bliver hørt, og så tror jeg også på, at det giver dem lyst til at være sammen med deres menneske!

      5. Jeg går i øjeblikket i gymnasiet i 3.g, og er dermed færdig til sommer, hvilket jeg glæder mig HELT vildt til! Jeg har helt klart en drøm om, at lave noget med hestene i fremtiden, men er endnu ikke helt fastsat på hvad… Der er jeg stadig i gang med at undersøge og udforske. Jeg vil rigtig gerne i gang med at undervise, og skal faktisk afsted for første gang i denne weekend og undervise! Jeg skal da huske dig, hvis jeg en dag får lavet en tur til Jylland for at undervise. Det kunne være super hyggeligt 😉

      Du skal endelig kontakte mig, hvis du har flere spørgsmål eller noget du er i tvivl om.
      Julehilsner fra Sophie <3

  • Tusinde tak fordi du tog dig tid til at svare <3
    Jeg krydser fingre for en fremtidig Jyllands-tur!! Det ville være så fedt!
    Alt mulig held og lykke fremadrettet – Jeg glæder mig til at følge jer videre på jeres smukke rejse.
    Glædelig jul <3

  • Det var da så lidt, Camilla – og tusind tak!
    Jeg synes det er rigtig dejligt, at du stiller spørgsmål og er nysgerrig. Bliv endelig ved med det 😉
    Du må meget gerne skrive en privatbesked til mig på min Facebook-side, så jeg kan kontakte dig, hvis jeg pludselig får arrangeret en Jyllands-tur! Du må også have en dejlig jul <3

  • Hej Sophie
    Jeg bliver så inspireret af den måde du omgåes dine guldklumper på, og den tilgang du bruger. Dine opslag efterlader altid en form for reflektion, som jeg gør mig i forhold til min egen guldklump.
    Men jeg har et spørgsmål, der faktisk ikke har noget med træningen at gøre. Det drejer sig om de billeder som du ligger op. Har du altid en med dig, der kan tage billeder? Og hvilket udstyr bruger du? Spørgsmålet, er ikke kun af nysgerrighed, men også af interesse da jeg selv er fotograf 😊
    Kram herfra ❤️

    • Hej Rie!
      Hvor er det dejligt at høre, at jeg kan bidrage med inspiration. Mit største mål med al skriveriet er bla. at kunne vække nogle tanker og overvejelser hos folk, så det er jo fantastisk når det lykkes! 😉

      Det er min mor der tager langt størstedelen af mine billeder, og det gør hun med mit semi-professionelle fotoudstyr. Det primære grej vi bruger er et Nikon D7100 med et Nikkor 70-200 2.8G objektiv på. Det åbner jo en del muligheder at vi bare kan slæbe kameraet med når lyst og inspiration til det, og at min mor har et super godt øje for vinkler og motiver! Derudover udvælger og redigerer jeg selv alle billederne i Lightroom efterfølgende 🙂

      Håber det var til hjælp! Hilsner fra Sophie <3

  • I know this was posted a while ago but I’m going through your blogs and all I have to say is wow! My horse Sora is insecure and she is all about trust. I’m working so much with her to gain her full trust but sometimes it just seems like I’m getting no where. She’ll be doing great then she’ll be nervous or scared of something and she’ll turn unreasonable. She starts flipping around and pacing and getting really hyped up. Do you have any insight or ideas in how to calm her down in these situations? I love my horse so much and she means the world to me. My Instagram is @thesoraproject if you’d like to look at her. I’d really appreciate any help! I’ve been taking her for walks and she’s been very good for those but she still gets very worked up over practically nothing (like sponge bathing her legs) I would be so happy if you have your insight!

    • First and foremost I must say thank you so much for your kind words! I will say that my best advice is to keep up the good work. Build up a lot of trust which will allow her to trust you even more when she becomes insecure or scared. I know how difficult it can be to calm down a horse who is already hyped up, and therefore I think the best way to come around it is to make her have faith in you. That way you will minimize these situations.

      If I stood in the situation I would concentrate on keeping myself calm. Talk to my pony, strike him kindly and try to distract him a bit with goodies or so. You could do some desensitising with her as well. Try to overcome ‘scary stuff’ together – it could be things such as tarpaulin, a curtain made out of plastic strings or so. Do you get my idea? 🙂 Feel free to write again if you have further questions!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *