2018 Series 2

Deciphering What Your Horse is Telling You

Week 2:  communication through touch

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March 12-18, 2018

course content for week 2:

Communication through touch

Welcome to week 2!

Summary of week 2

This week we’re going to talk about how to use touch in the form of palpation to help us determine if there is something more to it when our horse appears to be saying ‘no’ or having difficulty with our requests.  We’ll talk about how to us touch combined with movement and intention and resonance to release those areas of restriction or physical and emotional discomfort.  And we’ll learn how to assess and track problems and find solutions. 

Because really, there is no point in training a horse until they are physically, mentally and emotionally reasonably comfortable.  They don’t respond well or accurately to our input.  They don’t learn or retain information well when they are stressed or uncomfortable. They can’t build the correct muscles, balance and coordination to perform well either.  And most important to me is that they can’t hear my whispers and I don’t want to have to shout. 

Course Content for Week 2:

Communication through touch

Audio REcordings of Pdf files:

video demonstration:

In this video clip you'll see me interacting with Gin with the intention of exploring what might cause the kind of behavior I talked about in the document: for example, turning her head away when I approach with a bridle.  These same explorations could just as easily apply to helping release tension in the poll or jaw. 

As you engage in your own explorations around discovering in more detail what your horse might be trying to tell you through their behavior, remember to be tactful in your approach.  Negotiating physical contact when there is stress, tension or held emotions can fell threatening. 

I'll cringe while doing it, but following the first video you'll find the original segment I shot.  It's like I went back in time 5 years and Gin lets me know!  In the end I think it's a good example of the same horse, within a few days, so same issues - how differently she responds when I get it right for her versus when I don't.   (the 'good' video is still uploading to Youtube - both videos will get posted as soon as they are ready).

And here is the first take on the video demonstration.  This first one we filmed on Saturday - I think there's still some good information here but I felt like I was just running through a bunch of procedures to demonstrate instead of showing you what an actual session should look like.  I had a lot of trepidation about it.  The second take feels much better to me - not so much information and not so much trying to make something happen.  See what you think. 

live chat March 18

Topics Covered:

  •  How do I feel about clicker training and use of food rewards.
  • The thoracic sling muscles and how they relate to movement and what we're doing here.
  • I'll be elaborating on how, when, where and why I might use palpation points to gather information from my horse.
  • And I'll talk a little bit about where we're headed in weeks 4 and 5 if time allows.