Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Touching Your Horse


With horses, there are a handful of things you can do that always help. They help to relax the horse, advance the relationship, and reinforce your leadership position. They help regain control and focus when things get muddled. And they help you get more enjoyment out of your time with your horse. One of these handful is … well, getting a handful of your horse. Touching him. Increasing your body-to-body contact.

The picture here is of Jim Masterson performing his “integrated equine performance bodywork.” I could just as easily show a pic of Linda Tellington-Jones doing her TTouch or Mary Midkiff using aromatherapy or the late Ray Morris massaging a horse. Each of these protocols has its own particular value but what they all have in common is touching the animal in a comforting way.

You can do your own version of this. Just clear your mind and think about what your horse means to you. Now touch the horse. Don’t pat or slap. Touch. Get as much of your body in contact with your horse as possible. As the old song puts it, “Let the love flow.” Horses are sentient beings. They have feelings that, even if they aren’t exactly the same as ours – they are a dramatically different species, after all – still correlate to feelings we have. We enjoy a loving touch and so do horses. It calms them and it calms us.

Touching your horse is a way of giving something without asking anything in return. But of course, you do get something in return, and that’s exactly why horses are still relevant in this technology age. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

3 comments:

horseposse said...

Thank you, thank you!
You have touched on a major pet peeve of mine- riders slapping their horses. And the guilty ones are often riding English and at high levels of jumping and dressage. And you know who you are! Sure the rider is happy with a good performance, but STOP SLAPPING AND SMACKING YOUR HORSE!! If horses can feel a fly on their body, why slap them? Use some restraint here people and find another way to show your emotions. If top riders do this, others will follow.

horseposse said...

Thank you, thank you!
You have touched on a major pet peeve of mine- riders slapping their horses. And the guilty ones are often riding English and at high levels of jumping and dressage. And you know who you are! Sure the rider is happy with a good performance, but STOP SLAPPING AND SMACKING YOUR HORSE!! If horses can feel a fly on their body, why slap them? Use some restraint here people and find another way to show your emotions. If top riders do this, others will follow.

Rick said...

Thanks for your comment. Horses are incredibly adaptable animals and will tolerate much that is not "natural" to them. Pat Parelli made a comment many years ago that stuck with me. Men and dogs like to be patted. Women and horses like to be stroked.
Rick