Learning to read Horse Behavior

People tend to fixate their visual focus on one or two body parts of the horse, which limits what they see. As they work with the horse, whether the animal is loose or on the lead rope, people need to learn to be able to "zoom in" and out and scan the entire body of the horse.

Although folks need to learn how to feel what the horse is offering, being able to initially see their horse's behavior and communication, can help them learn how to recognize the horse's thought and then connect what the resulting behavior looks like.

By learning to do this, it takes away the "all of a sudden" moments or element of "surprise" that people experience with their horse. As they learn to see, then recognize earlier when the horse is starting to anticipate/worry/feel concerned, the human can interject and offer an alternative thought/manner of handling something, that can help the animal diffuse his stress, decrease dramatic behavior and instead build his confidence by supporting the horse through the scenario.

Folks always talk about how their "timing" is off when they are trying to work with their horse, but a lot of times they are waiting to "see" what the horse will do before they act. In many cases, it seems as if they need to be proven that the horse really will do/offer an unwanted behavior. They wait until after the unwanted action, and then attempt to "fix it."

By then it is too late, and so the human feels like they are now having to "catch up" to what the horse is doing, feeling totally at the mercy of the horse. It becomes a vicious cycle of anticipation and stress in both the horse and human every time they interact.

All of this is preventable if people learned to see, recognize, and act, without having to be "proven to" that the horse will get "it" wrong. This is a skill that needs to be learned, practiced, and experimented with.

The biggest challenge to folks not seeing, or wanting to see, what is happening with their horse, is because they have a preconceived idea/task/intention, and they become so focused on their goal, they ignore what the horse is trying to tell them. By doing this, neither the horse nor the human comes away with a positive experience.

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