How to Build Trust With Your Horse
Aug 12, 2021
Before we can trust another living being, we need to be able to trust ourselves. What we desire to see in our world, must first be cultivated and nurtured within.
If you want to build trust with your horse, you must embody being trustworthy yourself. How does one go about this?
First, you must take a good look at your patterns. Are you quick to judge what’s going on? Or do you take some time to examine your situation and decide what the best course of action would be?
To be an Inspired Rider, one who trusts their intuition, listens to their horse, and thus builds trust by default, you must slow down and build awareness.
These are the steps I suggest to my students. If you truly desire transformation, I highly recommend taking these ideas to heart.
- Get out all of your thoughts that no longer serve you. Write them down. Shed some light on them. Take time to decide what thoughts are pushing you towards a better relationship with your horse and which ones are holding you back. Remember, you are the ultimate scriptwriter in your life. You have the power to shift your thoughts. Once you do that, you can then begin to feel better and better. Then new, inspired actions will be your most natural next steps.
- Establish your inner compass to trust yourself more. Say statements out loud that are absolutely true. You can begin with saying your name out loud. Then just notice how you feel. Then say statements out loud that are absolutely false. Notice how you feel. Once you can pinpoint the exact feelings in your body, you’ll be able to create this compass for anything you’d like answers for. Think: “I am ready to canter right now.” Your body will let you know. (Of course, be sure your horse is at the ready first).
- Now that you’ve cleared out your unwanted thoughts and started to find trust within, we can begin to look at our horse in a new light. Again, think of what you already know about your horse. Think of their history and what they’ve already proven to you from experience. Focus on the aspects that you enjoy. Just like writing out your thoughts in step one, write out everything you know about your horse. Examine what’s working and what isn’t. If you take this time, you might find some really interesting patterns here. Once you’ve taken stock of every little detail, seek out solutions to highlight the good stuff and allow the unwanted things to fade away. (You’re thinking, but how? Keep reading)
- Be sure you’re creating clarity. Clarity creates trust. You can focus on having clear thoughts, followed up by your actions, and then your horse will relax. They will know that you are thinking and doing exactly what you intend. If you’re thinking about something else and then trying to do another thing, this creates static. Horses are not fans of static. They relax when you are crystal clear about your invitations. When you’re imagining something bad happening, but then trying to push through it physically, your horse will respond by either getting confused, stressed, or if you’re lucky, they will carry on in a stoic way, hoping you’ll get with the program. Do your best to focus on what you want and then follow through. It can be as simple as asking your horse to go on a twenty-meter circle at one end of your arena. Imagine it first and then ask. Then praise and appreciate that they did that with you. Yes, something as simple as that can build trust, little by little.
- To expand on this last one, think of this: Where attention goes, energy flows. If you focus on the idea that your horse might spook in the next part of your ride, guess what? They might spook. This is created by your thoughts, which influences your mental pictures you’re sending to your horse, along with unnecessary tension building up in your body. Your horse feels everything. I’ll repeat that: Your horse feels Everything. So if you’ve been known to repeat thoughts of ‘oh no, my horse might spook here’, decide to take life by the unicorn horn and CHANGE your thought. Alternative thoughts: ‘We are doing well. My horse and I are connected. Even if she gets nervous, I’ll be able to move with her beautifully. Let’s aim for the best transition possible. I will breathe and stay with my horse. I can feel what she needs in each moment.’ Can you feel how these thoughts are way more empowering than, ‘oh no…. What if… ?” You are powerful. Build trust by creating more productive thoughts during your horse time!
- Ask for less. Seriously! If you had intended to go work on certain movements that are challenging for your horse, focus on simple things that you know she can have success with. Begin to notice when she tries extra hard for you, praise her for it, and then end the session much earlier than she expects. Do this for several sessions in a row. Then begin to notice how much more your horse offers. When you take the pressure off, in any relationship, your partner can feel relief and get more excited about showing you what they can do. If you’ve never done that before, you’re in for a treat! That’s how I’ve trained all of the green horses I’ve worked with. We go super slow, with short and sweet sessions, and then we look back and feel proud with how much we’ve accomplished together.
- Practice basic telepathy. Yes. It’s possible! Get grounded, quiet, and breathe into your heart area. Imagine it expanding and connecting to your horse’s heart. Ask your horse if she’s willing to chat with you. Ask her good quality questions. ‘What can I do to help build our trust?’ Notice what comes up. You might see flashes of images, hear sounds, feel sensations, or even smell certain things. Be open to what comes in. Even if you don’t feel like anything came through, always thank your horse for being willing to connect. Notice what happens when you see them next. You might be surprised by how your trust builds exponentially.
- Grab an outdoor chair, a fun book, and sit and read out loud to your horse for an hour or two. Don’t think you have this time? Replace one of your riding sessions with storytime and watch your relationship build. The more comfortable you feel just hanging out with your horse, the more your trust in them will build. They will also begin to appreciate that not every interaction is based on riding. You can also experiment with sitting in silence and enjoying each other’s energy. Just be you. That’s what your horse really wants. They want to know that you are willing to accept who you are and who they are. Isn’t that a wonderful way to create trust in any relationship?
I will leave this with eight points, as it also reminds me of the infinity symbol. May your connection and trust with your horse grow to infinity!
And, as I always say, being a huge Star Wars fan as well as loving this concept of your horse truly enjoying your company:
May the horse be with you. Always.
P.S. If you’d like to know more about my services and products, kindly visit InspiredRiding.com where you'll find a free mini-course on building a powerful bond with your horse!