Charisma Connection

Bully of a Pony

Nancy Proulx - Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bully of a Pony

I am feeling so grateful for an opportunity this week. I was asked to do a demonstration for our young equestrians. I found an interesting character when I was brought a 6-year-old gray, very handsome pony. His person loved him very much and she ended up with him because no one else wanted to deal with him. You see he was a bit of bully. He was very pushy and when it came to responding to the bit he just pushed right through it. Just a few minutes in the ring at liberty showed me who this guy was. Using body awareness and the ability to sense and adjust the approach will tell you who they are. He first showed himself as disinterested in me, which is a subtle way to not connect with a human. I waited and asked him to show me who he is. Fairly quickly he showed me his anxiety on a nonverbal level. I am so amazed at how honest horses can be when you just wait and choose to connect. My body could pick up his anxiety under the surface of his bully behavior. I realized that his anxiety showed up as pushing through everything in response to a human. It didn’t take long for the pony to understand that I was sensitive to his needs and that I understood him. He was following me in no time and then the release happens, the yawning and releasing his pent up tension. I don’t necessarily feel like he was outwardly abused, just misunderstood. He was born sensitive and the way we are taught to train animals and people not usually very empathic. He just developed a bully type response to protect his sensitive nature. He learned to push through everything with blind force. By teaching the rider his point of view not only will help her in understanding where the behavior stems from but the pony can have some peace with a more aware human.

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