Take your fear for a walk…

Take your fear for a walk…

When you can take your fear by the hand and go for a walk, then you are prepared to do the same with your horse!

You ride your horse across the field in a lovely trot when you suddenly start to think that a canter would be really nice right now. Before you even give the signal you feel how the horse makes an amazing transition into canter right underneath you. You have the feeling that your horse just read your mind and it fills you with joy to be so connected to your horse that he even knows what you think about! Maybe you have experienced it yourself or maybe you have heard about others who have…

Horses are experts at reading body language, intentions and energies which is also the reason why we sometimes get to experience these mind-blowing moments of ‘mind reading’ from our horses. What we usually seem to forget about is that the horses are not only receiving all the things we DO want (like the canter in the field), but also the things we DO NOT want and that causes problems very often.

I know from myself that I am really good at putting a lot of energy and thought into things I don’t want to happen. Not only with horses, but also in many other aspects of life. Often I can get away with this fear in my everyday life without noticing, but with horses you can’t avoid being reminded. It is like sitting in the classroom after a question has been asked by the teacher. You don’t know the answer and therefore you really start this ‘Please not me. Please not me’-talk inside of your head. Now guess who is picked out by the teacher? YOU! Why so? Because all of your body and mind was fearing and preparing for it to happen. It is like a magnetic attraction. And the very same goes with horses…

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Horses not only sense when you start thinking about this awesome canter across the field in the sunset. They also sense this growing and awful fear inside you that do not want them to run off because the neighbour got a new mailbox in a different color! They sense how you pay all of your attention to the mailbox. They sense how every muscle in your body tense. They sense your fear of the possibility that they will run away and what do they do? RUN AWAY! You gave your horse all possible indications that this new mailbox is a red monster that will chase them and hunt them down to eat them. It was not what you meant to signal to your horse, but it sure was the only way for him to interpret every little change in you.

What else could you have done instead? First thing you should do when you saw the mailbox was to smile at it. Observe and admire the lovely red color and share with your horse what you just saw. “Oh look the neighbour has got a new mailbox. The old one was so terrible to look at. This one is so much nicer than the old one and what a lovely color”. Already by now the chances that your horse will spook at the mailbox has significantly dropped because you changed the whole situation by smiling and acknowledging the mailbox. You did not deny it was there or hoped that your horse wouldn’t see it. Instead you MADE SURE you horse saw it and approached it with the same enthusiasm as you did.

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You never got to the point where you stopped breathing. At least it would be really hard to talk and hold your breath at the same time! You never got to the point where you tensed every muscle in your body. At least it would be really hard to do so while smiling and talking nicely about the mailbox! You never got to the point where you deeply feared and thought that your horse would run off. At least it would be really hard to do so while you are having such a nice time studying this new mailbox with joy and amusement!

The only way out of the problems when you are with horses is to take the fear by the hand and take it for a walk. Acknowledge that it is there, let it know it has been heard and simply move past it…



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