The Crucial Role of Communication in Horsemanship
“When we focus on clarifying what is being observed, felt, and needed, rather on diagnosing and judging, we discover the depth of our own compassion. Through its emphasis on deep listening- to ourselves as well as to others- non violent communication fosters respect, attentiveness, and empathy and engenders a mutual desire to give from the heart.” ~ Marshal B. Rosenberg, PhD.
Although I began reading the book, Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life by Marshal B. Rosenberg to improve upon my ability to communicate with the people in my life; I have found it very congruent and in alignment with how I feel we can most effectively communicate with our horses.
Often when I work with clients on finding a better understanding or deeper connection with their horses, there is a lack of balance in speaking and listening between the horse and the human… Sometimes the horse is doing all the talking and not listening to the human or the human is doing all the talking and not listening to the horse. Either way, behavioral concerns or disharmony are the end result of either type of imbalance.
Clarity and Mutual Understanding Between Horse and Human
It is also important that clarity is established in the conversations between the horse and human. Lack of clarity and understanding will result in behavioral concerns from the horse or frustration on the part of the human. We must make sure we can “speak their language” and that we are fairly and clearly communicating our wants, desires, and needs to the horse. Then as mentioned above, allow for a response and encourage a dialogue or conversation.
I don't know about you, but riding robots is not my idea of a good time. If I wanted my sessions to be emotionless, mechanical, or on autopilot I would be riding a four-wheeler or motorcycle… I want connection, relationship, communication, and understanding. That is my goal and intent with every session with my horses.
Horsemanship and connection is an important piece of horse health. If there is tension and disharmony between the horse and owner it will have an impact on the health of the horse in a negative way. That is one of the reasons that improving and deepening connection and communication between horses and their humans is another passion of mine and part of our mission here at Equine Essential Wellness.
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