Touching a horse deep inside and getting an insight into its personality and its character is not that easy. Because a young horse living freely in the pasture within its herd doesn’t need us humans at all: it has managed perfectly well on its own – mentally and physically.
Of course it has developed certain crookedness outside, which it has learned to live with in the truest sense of the word. For example, a large number of raw horses have more physical awareness in the left hind leg than in the right. On this hind leg they accomplish everything – whether turning, fighting or fleeing. The young horse is highly functional with regard to its life.
But now, suddenly, there is the human being. He wants to build a relationship with it and prepare it for its future as a riding horse – but the horse is neither physically capable to do so, nor is it willing to deal with us beyond a certain level.
And this is where the work in hand becomes so important. We start very early. This enables us to rebuild the horse physically so that it can cope with its new tasks, and gives us the opportunity to engage into a genuine dialogue with it.
Through the work, the horse must inevitably come to terms with us and also open up to us mentally. And by this we do not mean conditioned behavior like, for example, making it available to certain signals. We mean real, primarily physical, work that helps the horse getting out of its old behavior patterns and creating a new relationship with its body.
As always, when old structures are loosened and parts are reconnected, this is sometimes very challenging as it facilitates a lot of resistance within the affected body and thus also for the mind. In these moments, we have to listen very carefully to the horses first reaction as this will tell us a lot about its character. For example whether it is open-minded and curious or whether it rejects completely anything new.
Remember, we ask our horse a lot. Namely that the horse allows us to access it very deep inside. Through its body, we ultimately also reach its soul.