What a breakthrough of understanding this year!
Many of my mentors and peers have contributed to this, and one of those contributors is Sharon Wilsie.
Sharon is the author of the fantastic books Horse Speak, and Horses in Translation (abridged titles!).
There is much I hope to learn from Sharon this year as I study her works more in depth. In the meantime, she has already helped me tremendously in explaining how horses communicate, and how we can make small changes in the way we approach them to build a beautiful bond.
For Sharon a foundational piece of all of this is how important it is for we humans to be at "Zero", that place of inner calm inside ourselves.
I believe she is SOOOO right in saying that this is what is most appealing to horses--being in a state of peace, calm, and security. It's amazing how quickly we can get them to feel this when we can find our own inner zero.
I am a very exuberant, vocal, direct, emotional, energetic Greek woman. You would think "Zero" would not be possible for me. And yet, it has been such an easy state to cultivate. With a little practice, I find myself reaching for zero rather than giving in to anger, disappointment, frustration with my horses, either on the ground or in saddle.
I now see how the best handlers and riders/trainers of horses all have this ability to stay in Zero. Next time you watch them in action, check out their emotional state and the energy around them--you will start to notice this "zero" state!
I have yet to be able to be in that state at all times, but it's getting better. And you know why I know I'm on the right track? My horses have begun to seek me out no matter where I am--if they can come close to me, they do. I find them sighing and licking and chewing around me, more signs of relaxation and peace. It is so beautiful!
See my video clip called "Come to Momma" for evidence...In it, watch what happens when I stop to allow the horse I'm riding to relax and soak in my praise and I go to a place of "Zero".
Pretty. Darn. Cool.