Some time ago, the term “horse whisperer” came into being, not necessarily by the horse enthusiasts themselves, but largely by the people outside of the industry. The term claimed its fame thanks to Robert Redford who starred in the movie with the same title, while he posed as a rancher who developed a spine-tingling connection to an otherwise unmanageable horse.
The romantic notion of being able to communicate with horses was propelled into the mainstream media and readily devoured by horse people and others far removed from equi-mania.
Long before the movie came out, and fairly early in my horse career, I had already started taking lessons in ‘natural horsemanship’. Not only could my friends and I already do what Robert did in the twinkling twilight (with the mysterious, hovering silhouette of the horse in the background), but we knew there was so much more to communicating.
Along my path to becoming a more educated horse person, I learned a common-sense truth that follows me to this very day: the most effective way to whisper to a horse is in fact to LISTEN.
If you’re not a horse-person, you’d be amazed at how much horses communicate – to each other and even to humans. If you know how to listen, and how to interpret their body language, you would be an adequate interpreter of these amazing creatures. It’s not a secret other-wordly skill. Just be quiet enough and sensitive enough, learn the body language signs, and the world of horses will open up to you in a most organic manner.
So here we are at my first official entry of my blog entitled “Horse Listening”. My intention for the blog is not to necessarily convince you that there is only one way to ride a horse. In fact, quite the contrary! In this world of electronic communication, I want to stick to a timeless, ancient source of education: I just want to ramble! In a sense, I want to put forth a proposal, if you will, about a topic that has my attention at the moment.
And then I just want to Listen.
I am hoping to open discussion about many and varied topics related to horses, riding, dressage and ultimately, life. Because if there is anything that the horses have taught me, it is that EVERYTHING about horses has a human parallel and every growth (and setback?) we gain through the horse world can be mirrored in our own lives. And the more we think we know about horses (and life), the more we discover that we in fact know so little. Each can be an ever-learning and developing process, and there’s stuff to be learned from everyone….
Feel free to drop a line in the comment box and contribute your thoughts on the subject, if you agree, disagree, or have an experience you’d like to share. Stop in and say hi personally by clicking here. Whether you’re into horses or not, this is a blog where you can contribute what you’ve learned by ‘listening’. Looking forward to rambling along this road of life with you!
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Read more here:
A Cautionary Horse Tale: Once you decide to ride horses, you put into place a domino effect of consequences, which will occur whether you are conscious of them or not. It’s like a rule of nature.
Is It Me Or Is It the Horse? What is your opinion on this question?
When Do You Start Riding Your Horse? This question was being posed to me by a very respected and horse-wise mentor one day long ago, early in my riding development.
How To Be An Active Horseback Rider (a.k.a. Riding With Intention): What do you do when your ride isn’t going as planned? How do you respond when your horse scoots out from under you, spooks at the horse-killing object, or flat out ignores you?
Dressage As A Healing Tool: Even at its most basic level (or perhaps, especially at the most basic levels), dressage holds a value to horses of all disciplines.