Today I was on Pinterest searching for a new recipe, and a post caught my eye. It said, "how could something this easy be so good"? Immediately my mind flashed over to my work, helping horses overcome a fear of humans and helping humans understand the language of horses. Why do many of us conclude that something so easy could NOT be so good?? I wanted to speak about this subject as it is often overlooked.
Recently, in our Resnick Method Liberty Training FB group, people were commenting on one post that a woman made about the unbelievable shift in the relationship with her horse since she began practicing The Waterhole Rituals. She said it was like magic; it seemed too easy. Many people commented on the magical shift in their horse's behavior since learning to practice Carolyn Resnick's Liberty Training method. When I read that post, it hit me! Of course, I know this information and believe in it, obviously, but I don't think that people understand that it is indeed possible! Could it really be this easy?
Everyone can have a better connection with their horses. It is so simple; it's only about relationship. Same as it is with humans, dogs, cats, and other animals. The more time you spend with a person, or animal, the deeper the bond grows. It seems so obvious, but it's not. It's not because there has been a myth about training horses for hundreds of years. Beliefs that you have to be dominant, that you have to "mean business," that you better never look a horse in the eye, etc. It all seems so over the top, knowing what I know now. The sad thing is that there are still so many horses out there being misunderstood.
When I teach a clinic, people bring horses of all breeds and all backgrounds. They often come telling me the history of the horse, and I stop them. I want to get to know a horse on his terms, in a new environment, with a new mentor, and teach him a new way of being. If I come in with an opinion, it distorts the situation because I have an opinion. To me, all horses are created equal. We can't change the basic nature of a horse, but we can shape the horse's behavior to become dependable. We can teach a horse flexible boundaries around our personal space and still let him be who he is. After all, horses have flexible boundaries in their environment and herds. They constantly communicate that a code of conduct must be followed; it is about social order, just like humans.
There has been a shift in consciousness when it comes to horses, for the better, for sure. But, it is not enough. It is not enough that we listen to others who tell us that we can "control" our horses if we do this or that. It is not enough that we learn how to maneuver around horses in a "less" dominant way. We need to give horses, and all animals, for that matter, a BETTER deal. We must stop judging them at first glance and get to know them first. Just because a horse shows up with fear or aggression does not mean that it IS who they are. How can that be determined if you don't know the horses' background? Are all horses created equal? Are all humans? Because a horse did something terrible to one person, should that condemn him? What did the human do in that situation? Are all prisoners horrible people? No, No, No, No!! Things happen in life. We don't always know why a person does what they do or why a horse behaves a certain way, but if we want to be better humans, we need to give all beings a break! Better humans lead to better horses. Rehabilitation comes in all forms. Sometimes it is a new environment, and sometimes it is a new friend, a new mentor, a new way of being.
So, when people say, "could it really be this easy," or say that we are horse whisperers, know that we can all be horse whisperers if we are horse listeners first. All horses deserve the right to be who they are without judgment. We could not work with every person the same way or with every horse the same way. We must find our entry point of connection with each horse, allow him to be who he is, and figure out how we will communicate to the horse what we want him to understand.
When you think about it, it is no different than raising a child. We must work with each child differently to bring out the best in the child. As my mentor, dear friend, and business partner, Carolyn Resnick, said to me today, "we have to start with no opinions. The awareness of life must be found in the presence of your journey when you least expect it".
Something this good IS this easy. Try it; you may find a different way of being with all life, not just horses.