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  • Writer's pictureNancy Proulx


I love going out to the barn in the early mornings mainly because no one is usually around. No, I’m not antisocial and I really do love people, but it gives me the opportunity to be with my horses without distractions. I am able to be fully present with them. Yesterday was just one of those days. It was lovely morning with the sun trying to peek through the overcast sky and the barn was still.

As I quietly groomed and saddled my mare Dianna, I noticed how much she enjoyed being in my company. I have owned her for a little less then two months. Today I became aware that a subtle shift had happened. All her fear of being separated from the herd had seemed to organically just move on. I could feel how our interactions with each other were allowing both of our true essence to come forward. I was falling in love with every quality of this little horse.

Once in the riding arena I asked Dianna to step up to the mounting block. In contrast to her usual behavior, her neck arched, she raised her head, nostrils flared and her breathing deepened. I noticed that she was looking at a pad and surcingle that was hanging on the gate. I walked her over so that she could check it out. Of course sight and smell were important to Dianna on evaluating this so called threat, but I could sense that there was more to it. It was as if she was processing this piece of equipment on an energetic level also. I immediately received the thought and emotion from Dianna that this piece of equipment was scary to the horse that it was used on. It was as if Dianna was reading the energetic imprint left on this piece of equipment. I quickly wanted to doubt that I received this information. I questioned myself as to whether horses can have that level of thought process.

Then I remembered that one of the greatest gifts that the horses have taught me is the skill of deep listening and to trust it.

I’m sure everyone reading this article has had the experience of walking into a room where there has been an argument and you can feel the residual heavy energy lingering there. Now think of how a horse is wired? They are 100 times more sensitive then us.

The horse’s language is about reading energy. When I gave Dianna permission to check out what frightened her, I also gave her the chance to develop a healthy coping strategy. I witnessed what she felt with a calm supportive nature. Dianna was able to tap into this piece of equipment and my strength simultaneously. Once she was able to fully process this experience and deemed it safe, she sighed, backed away calmly and followed me over to the mounting block for an awesome connected ride.

This is why I teach horse people how to connect more deeply to their senses. The horse wants to partner with us but first we must learn to speak their language and become more horse like. It takes a lot of trust to step out of our mechanistic way of training horses. It’s essential not to shut down or numb a horse out if you want any level of connection. When we give the horse the opportunity to keep their senses intact then they can facilitate the growth of ours.

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