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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Thinking In Pictures and The Films We Run In Our Mind

There has been much written and recently taught regarding natural horsemanship techniques involving body language. It seems to be all the rage these days. Horses respond to body language, but did you know they respond even quicker to the film you are running in your mind?
Most people are not even aware that they ARE running films in their minds.....but they are. All the time. Practicing scenarios. Predicting outcomes and often imagining the worst.

Some years ago I was called out to a new client. I had been recommended by the farrier due to an 'ill mannered' horse who would not pick up its hind feet to be shod and had kicked the farrier soundly.

I stood and spoke with the owner for a time to get a sense of the property, surroundings, and especially the area which had been chosen for the shoeing to take place. I was able to discern that the owner expected her horses to be 'little buggers' as she put it. I noted in my mind that the outdoor area where we were to work was surrounded by forest. The 'shed' was placed at the edge of the forest....a place where horses would be hyper sensitive to the possibility of predators. Horses would choose a place more visually open, a place that would allow them to see into the distance.

All the while I am also sensing apprehension in the horse in question. He is an Appaloosa. One of my all time favorite breeds. Many horse owners and trainers have little use for Appaloosas, calling them stubborn and often stupid.
In my opinion they are strong minded and intelligent.....something I can work with. Appaloosas along with Arabians and Thoroughbreds seem to connect mentally and more importantly to me they connect rapidly to emotional intelligence level....which is why many people have difficulty with them. Humans have all but forgotten their own emotional intelligence.

As I stood with the horse and its owner I was 'redirecting energy' from my base or root chakra to the earth....not willing it to go to ground, but rather allowing it to go to ground....and as 'my' energy moved to ground the horse began to relax. He dropped a hip and began to lick and chew.
His owner yawned a time or two and apologized for it. Yawning in my world is a good thing. It shows me energy is moving. It shows me that the being is reaching for a higher state of consciousness.

With both owner and horse in a more relaxed state I moved closer to the horse. As I approached I started 'the film in my mind'. I showed him where I was going to start touching him, on his left shoulder, with the BACK of my hand palm facing me. I use the back of my hand on first touch simply because I've learned over the decades that my energy flow is strong and can startle horses so I've learned to pull in my energy (without changing my posture ~ body language) and I've learned to direct the flow of energy back toward myself. I stroke the horse once in a firm decisive manner. I am not 'careful' nor 'cautious'. I am firm and confident and carefree.
Anything other than that instills fear in the horse.
Next, I began the film of my picking up his near front foot, and beginning at the shoulder I ran my hand down to his pastern....using the back of my hand. He shifted his weight as he thought about picking up his foot and shifted back again with I started the film again....and he shifted and picked up his foot in one motion.

I flooded him with energy from my heart chakra.
I didn't pat him.
I didn't give him ten good boys.
I didn't click a clicker and hand feed him a treat.
I flooded him with love and appreciation.

He dropped his head lower and closed his eyes.

I ran the film of me going toward his hind leg....and he slowly and calmly shifted his weight preparing for me to do so.

As I moved along his side I 'saw' his owner running the film in her mind of him he had done in the I made 'my film' more clear and he calmly gave me his foot. I held it up. I wiggled it around. I picked up a nearby rock and used it 'like a hammer' tapping soundly to imitate a shoe being nailed on.....and the horse remained relaxed.

...and the owner asked me why he wasn't kicking me or attempting to take his foot away..... and I told her about the films we run in our minds.

In extreme cases I put up a blank screen to assist horses who have been traumatized. This way we have an opportunity to rewrite the film.

I know that what I am saying will seem very foreign to most people....but to me it is natural.
Natural Horse-Man-Ship. One Mind Horse-Man-Ship. One Heart. One Soul. One Love.

As a child I was labelled emotionally disturbed. These days the label would read 'high functioning autistic' or perhaps 'Asperger's, but like the horse...labels don't stick well on me.

Recently I gave an impromptu demonstration of free lunging  a young horse in the round pen....without a whip or a 'carrot stick' or a flag.....just the middle, standing still with my eyes closed....running the film....and the horse walked, trotted, cantered, stopped dead in her tracks, changed directions and loved every minute of it because she is natural. She hasn't had to learn 'body language' cues or listen for a click....she simply watched a movie with me.

Try it. You might just amaze yourself. I know your horse will be amazed.

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