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  • Writer's pictureNancy Proulx


Have you ever seen this scenario or something similar?

A human has their horse on crossties in the barn aisle. The human is grooming their horse while the horse is having a conversation with a neighboring horse that has its head out of the stall. The conversation between the horses is subtle at first, than escalates into a nip from the horse in the stall and a little half rear on the part of the horse in the aisle. I personally have seen both of the following responses, the horse in the stall is yelled at with an attempted swipe at it or the horse in the aisle gets smacked for their bad behavior. Doesn’t matter which horse got hit, in either case a horse just got punished for being a horse.

This isn’t as much about bad behavior on the horse’s part as it is about the lack of awareness and leadership on the human’s part. How many times during the day do we miss the subtle signs of communication in the moment until they are screaming at us? We have become a distracted society. Many of us walk into the barn with our minds racing, still focused on what just transpired during our work day or we are half present because our thoughts are on everything we need to do when we get out of the barn. We admire our multitasking abilities being able to groom our horse while talking on our phone or worse yet we talk on our phones while riding our horses. Remember when you first started riding? When you got lost in the moment? Do you want to get back there? A good starting spot is learning to retrain your ability to focus, feel and direct your energy in a balanced way.

Awareness and leadership are not new components of horsemanship it is the lost art of horsemanship and of our nature. If we peak back into history we see evidence of this all over. The knights rode their horses into war without reins. The Native Americans kept their horses without fences, intuitively knowing that their horses represented their power. Then there is the picture of George Washington on his horse in the mist of battle, chaos all around him and Washington’s horse standing perfectly still with an invisible connection to the general as he yelled orders to his troops. This level of connectedness goes beyond mere friendship. These are examples of self-awareness and balanced power that these individual holds.

Connected leadership is powerful for both the horse and human. It offers the horse peace and security whether you’re on a trail ride, in a show ring or just being with your horse?

You know you have touched magic when your horse’s heart and body choose to follow you.

Are you ready to reconnect and remember?

Looking forward to connection, Nancy

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