Understanding the horse - ForTheHorse

Understanding the horse

Is it easier for our horses to learn a language like English, a human generated language, or is it easier for us to see the world through our horses senses?

Here's what happened to me the other day to help illustrate the answer to this question... 

One of my horses was way out in the field, two kilometers away.

It was a beautiful sunny day, a spring day, there were dandelions sprouting up everywhere yellow flowers, and it was just gorgeous. There were bees out and it was warm with a fresh coolness to it.

So I walked all that way to the end of the 30 acre field to get my horse.

I got to the end of the field and I put the halter on her and I decided, this is a long way, why don't I just jump on her back. So I jumped on her back with the halter, I was bareback, and I started to head back towards where she needed to get her feet trimmed.

And as I was going, I was considering the fact that I haven't been on her back for probably eight years, a long time, but I used to ride this mare daily so we know each other really well.

I was concerned about her back, with having my weight on her back, I don't weigh much, but still, she's 30 years old and I was concerned for her...

I assessed the situation and we were to head down a hill and so I thought, "okay, I won't go straight down the hill because that will put more pressure on her withers in her back, instead, I'll traverse across the hill."

I decided to do that and I led her across the hill. We got to the bottom of the hill and our next step was to go straight for the gate. I directed her to go straight to the gate. She said, "no, we're not going there."

I said, "This is where we're going. We're going straight to the gate." I decided to listen to the wisdom of my horse, try to see the world through her senses and said, "okay, then we won't go that way."

"What way do you want to go?" I gave her the rein, the lead of the halter. And I said, "take me which way you want to go."

What she did was she walked perpendicular to the gate. She walked not at all towards the gate. I trusted...as hard as it is for us humans to do!

And we walked all the way to the fence line. She then turned right and she headed in the direction towards the gate.

My rational mind was thinking...you want to do this? I don't know why you're doing this right now, but this is what we're doing. And it's fine. Everything's going well.

When we got to the fence line and walked down it for a bit I figured it out...she went that way because there were no dandelions. There were no yellow flowers therefore there were no bees.

I recollected how on my walk to get her, there were lots of bees.

So she found the place that she knew so well, and I didn't... where there were no bees and we could be on our way to get to the gate.

This meant that she wouldn't get stung, which then meant, and this probably wasn't in her mind, but who knows... that I wouldn't get bucked off if she gets stung in the belly.

So that is an example of actually trusting in the wisdom of my horse...and how it was difficult to do.


You know, years back when I realized that I could listen so much more deeply to my horse than I had been, that's when my results started to come faster. That's when things started to be a lot easier.

That story of walking through the dandelions or not is an example of how we can choose to trust the wisdom of our horse or not.

I could have chosen not to... but I saw the opportunity there and I chose to do it.

Let's get back to my question ...  Is it easier for our horses to learn a language, or is it easier for us to learn to see the world through our horses senses?

The answer, of course, that it's easier for us to see the world through our horses senses.

It may not be easy, of course it's not easy to do, but it's easier than the comparison, which is if we flip it for our horses to learn a language that we are used to communicating.

When I teach clinics, I ask my students that very frequently, because they get frustrated with sometimes having to understand exactly the horse's perspective.

When we don't understand our horses perspective, as best as is possible, then we start to do things like blame our horses, or make excuses or lie or defend any of those things that we do because we're not taking the time to actually see our horse's perspective.


One other thing that I found that really changed things for me and contributes to how we listen much more deeply to our horses, is that I have the general belief that horses are just trying to get along with us in our human world.

We have domesticated them. They have evolved to just get along with us and in our human world.

If we see that, along with their perspective on the world around them, then we're not so quick to be impatient with them or not so quick to blame them.

The other day I was speaking to someone...she had an issue with her mare and she said to me, "I don't know what's happening with my mare, she's always choosing to go faster."

I went through with her, my problem solving process, and it's a process where we look at all the options and understand, what I just was mentioning to you, the horse's perspective... and take into consideration the wisdom of the horse and listen very deeply.

So I took her through this process and went through the pieces.

The issue was that the horse was in pain. So then I referred her to a local holistic veterinarian in our area, and she got some veterinary health.

My point is here that we can do this process ourselves. We can figure out this problem solving process ourself, by going through and understanding our horses perspective on things.

Listening much more deeply and trusting in the wisdom of our horses, because our horses have so much wisdom, and believing that horses just want to get along with us can help you to understand horses.

Sometimes I think what do our horses think of us? Sometimes I've heard people say, or we can say, horses are so stupid.

What did my mare think of me when she thought I was going to lead her through the dandelions and the bees the other day? That's a different perspective on things.

If this is interesting to you and you know of somebody that you'd like to share this with, please go ahead. These are my ideas, my way that I help people with their horses.

See your horse's perspective, trust in the wisdom of your horse, take the time to actually make that choice.

If you'd like help to get crystal clear on your communication and listening skills so that they can grow beautiful, thriving, impactful equine relationship that will bring you the fullfillment, togetherness, a dance partner and results that you deserve, CLICK HERE TO WORK WITH ME.


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About the Author Chris Adderson

Chris Adderson teaches riders and horses how to move with ease and grace to create astounding results and lifelong relationships of their dreams. She teaches valuable skills and educational strategies to get more results, quicker and faster.

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