I went to a demo clinic last night about riding with feel.  Interesting thought – feel.  In our human world we often see a situation and say it doesn’t “feel” right; we meet someone and later declare that we didn’t have a good “feel” about that person.  But, how does this fit in with horses?  Is it the same kind of “feel”?

Being prey animals, I know my horses are on the watch and aware of their surroundings.  But what about the people they interact with on a regular basis?  Through my studies, I know that horses mirror the rider or handler.  How many times do we go to the barn after a bad day at work only to find that our horses does not listen or obey our commands.  Still in a bad mood, we place the blame of the bad ride on the horse – it has an attitude today, not even considering that the horse was playing off our “feelings” that evening.

When performing therapeutic riding, our horses are interfacing with both a rider and a leader.  I know that they will often tune into the rider and adjust their gate accordingly.  But what about the leader?  I have seen horses that were very edgy in one class and calm in the next.  Was it the leader, the rider, or a combinaiton of the two that cuased the horse to react?  Did the leader in the second class have a different aura or feel and the horse, “feeling” the calmness became calm as well?

I am considering purchasing the book and maybe the CDs on this topic to see what insight they might give me when working with our horses.  I’ll post the results when I see them.

True Horsemanship Through Feel, Second Edition

Horse Handling & Riding Through Feel