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Yesterday we talked a little about the 6 Keys for a Life Long Partnership with your horse, today I would like to visit with you about the first key, *Understanding.*
Have you ever wondered why your horse acts like he does how he thinks and moves? If so, then you need to understand the prey-predator relationship, but before we start it's important that you understand, if your going to effectively communicate with horses you need to *think like horses*. You need to look at and approach everything from the *horse's point of view*.
If you understand that horses are prey animals and that *horses perceive people as predators* and realize that each thinks differently, you can begin to understand how your horse thinks, acts and moves, and why you react the way you do. Understand, Both the horse and human are simply considering all factors then adjusting to the situation.
If you understand that horses are Prey animals by nature, are programmed to be cowards and are herd fear-flight animals, in other words when they perceive danger they run and continue running until they feel they have escaped the danger, then you can begin to develop a deeper apreciation of why your horse acts, thinks and moves like he does.
To horses we *humans* look and smell like *predators*. If your going to communicate with your horse in an effective manner then it's necessary to prove to your horse that you are not a predator. You need to understand what type of behavior you need to show if you are to get a certain behavior from your horse.
Once the horse accepts that you are not as bad as you seem and you are not a predator he becomes gentle, in other words he no longer perceives you to be dangerous.
In a herd of horses there is always a pecking order and once your horse decides that you are not a danger to him he will put you in a pecking order to fit into his world (remember all of this is about the horse his world and perceptions not yours) you will be placed higher or lower depending on respect and authority.
*Remember the horse is a prey animal and is supposed to act the way he does.** It's your task to help him act less like a prey animal and more like a partner. To accomplish this you need your horse to be sensitive or aware of your cues and communication rather than danger.
You need to turn his flight from fear reaction into forward motion or impulsion. You have to work at getting him to want to be with you, to take the herd instinct and turn it into bonding with you.
The concepts you and I have discussed today are much easier said than done. Why, because horses and humans think differently and this is often a source of conflict.
Let's wrap up what we have discussed today. You will gain respect from our horse if you uphold your responsibilities which are: Not act like a predator, be where you need to be emotionally when communicating with our horse, to think like a horse and not a human and focus on where you are headed and what you want to do, if you do your horse will sense this, respect you and follow you as the leader.
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In the next article we will discuss Mind Set; Your Attitude= How you communicate. Being assertive vs.aggressive and being evenhanded. Your mind-set (attitude) affects the mind-set (attitude) of your horse.
Copyright © Mike Gorzalka All Rights Reserved Worldwide
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*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in this article is of my personal opinions and beliefs and should not be taken as anything more.
About The Author:
Mike Gorzalka has spent the better part of his life around horses. His dad, Mike Sr., taught him the importance of understanding the horse and how to use a firm, but kinder and gentler approach to helping horses understand what it is we humans are trying to communicate.
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