“To ride a horse, there needs to be safety, trust and partnership. They follow you not because of fear or bribery, but because they trust you. When you show them leadership, they look to you when they sense danger, they don’t run away and leave you.”
“When we first meet someone, we shake hands, same as humans, we need to built the relationship with the horse, let them sniff your hands, eyes down, no eye contact, animals don’t make eye contact except when they’re alerted or try to warn you. Let the horse sniff you first and approach them with the back of your hands facing them, not the front, until they give you a puff of air as a signal of permission for you to enter their space, then approach and stroke them as slow as possible.” “You have to help them to lower their guard by becoming a part of their energy, drop your human energy.”
“Most animals don’t attack to attack they attack when they feel under threat.”
A beautiful day out horse riding in the woods, up to some 700m above sea level overlooking the foggy valley. Learning life lessons from true horsemanship.
Entirely different to my half forgotten 2 terms of dressage lessons that felt like I was either bulling or getting bullied by the horse (being thrown by Howie for instance). When the horse got scared and didn’t want to walk forward anymore, rather than kicking it harder (like how I was taught in one of the bigger stables in Sydney “it won’t hurt them kick harder”), Geoff got off the horse and walked in front of the horse “When they’re scared you need to make them feel safe and protected, you need to show them the way by walking in front of them, that’s how you show that you’re the leader.”
Safety, trust, partnership, empathy (to be part of my energy), guidance, protection from danger, don’t we all need it.
Today I felt like a team with my horse, we both didn’t like the downhill and at times were exhausted, and wanted a wee😝. This cheeky little thing (actually, huge) kept biting the bum of the horse in front, and even hopped up when going downhill which gave me a huge freight, but was fun!
Unlike what I’ve learned before, we didn’t have to use the rein to steer the horse, but simply point to the direction, we almost never had to kick them but most of the time use the ‘tsk tsk’ sound to signal them, or gently tap. While I don’t think cheeky Rocky would listen to me if Geoff wasn’t around, it’s nice to know that this loving and respectful way of training worked so well. These horses don’t need to wear shoes, they just run around in the mountains on their happy feet. Living freely in their most natural form, how nice ❤️
It’s an incredible experience making friends with Rocky who kindly took me on his back to hike the mountains, connecting with the nature and noticing the emotions of these beautiful sensitive creatures. It’s a dream come true.