2018 Series 1

The Foundations of Perception

Us and the herd.jpg

January 20 - February 4, 2018

course content for week 2: Self-care, basic survival needs and resources

Welcome to week 2!

Summary of week 2

This week we'll take our self inquiry one step further, identifying how we feel when all is well with us and what the sensations and emotions that arise when all is not well mean.  We'll take a look at what constitutes the basic survival needs of horse and human and why that matters. 

Topics to be covered: Finding our health and coming into relationship with the bedrock of what is already working for us:

  • Basic Survival Needs
  • Self-care
  • Resources
  • The importance of a healthy nervous system

The basis for healthy interaction with our horses and the world around us.  


Course Content for Week 2:


Last week we had quite a few conversations about initiating contact with our horses.  Here is a video showing an interaction with Huey, Sundance and Peppy, demonstrating how I might use touch when I interact with my horses.  They guided the interaction and I followed their lead, sometimes, if I felt like they were all in (like Sundance is) I would initiate contact and take the lead.  When we really connect the lead and follow roles will swap seamlessly back and forth to the point it becomes impossible to tell who is leading and who is following. 

Bonus Materials


more on the nervous system

For those of you who like to have more information here is some additional reading.  I wrote this a few years ago.  It's a comparison of the similarities and differences between the human nervous system and the horse's nervous system.  In it I discuss the physiological reasons for our differences and speculate about what I think versus what science has discovered to date:  A Nervous System Tutorial PDF


some ideas of  how to interact with a horse that includes bodywork

Here is a session from last year's class where I demonstrated how to integrate a lot of the concepts we've been talking about.  This was a session where I was aiming to demonstrate how to use my body language to encourage Aero to move a bit.  But I soon discovered that Aero was quite stiff and sore so we switched gears and he ended up guiding me into an amazing body work session!  Aero is 30 years old and can get quite stiff.  I did do a fair bit with his hind quarters so you can get some ideas of how to work with touch and your body to support releases.