2018 Series 3

Body Language Fundamentals

Week 1:  Body Language and body awareness


April 30 - May 6, 2018

course content for week 1:

Body Language as a multi-sensory experience

Welcome to week 1!

Introduction to week 1

Communication via body language is a multi-sensory experience! Whether we are aware of it or not, we are influenced by the same nuances as our horses.  It is quite remarkable what you can learn about someone without ever exchanging a word, just by learning to be an astute observer of body language!

When we began our journey together, we explored many ways of engaging our senses - becoming more self-aware.  As we shift our focus toward moving with our horses it is necessary to focus those senses on our own body.  What’s going on in your body and mind and how is that reflected in your body language?

It’s a sad fact that most horse people are riddled with aches and pains, or old injuries that cause chronic discomfort.  We’re tough though so we push on through.  Unfortunately, the tendency is to take our focus away from our body as much as possible.  It’s not very comfortable in there so we’ll just try not to notice. 

Add to the mix that we lead fairly sedentary lives compared with our ancestors who were in motion an average of eight hours a day, engaged in the business of survival.  Humans were designed to move in a wide variety of ways – climbing, hanging, jumping, crawling, walking, running, rolling – we’re extremely versatile and mobile. 

Check out this video from the 1930’s.  This is a great illustration of what the human body is naturally capable of.

These days most of us spend large chunks of our days sitting down.  Survival depends on earning money, not on planting, harvesting, gathering and building.

This combination of leading fairly sedentary, primarily intellectually oriented lives, takes us out of touch with our bodies and our emotions.  We lose track of what we feel (other than the constant reminders of the places that ache or cause us pain).  We lose track of the messages we send via our body language because we are no longer aware of the intimate connection between our thoughts, our feelings and our bodily expression of them.

Thankfully, our horses are forgiving and perceptive.  They can read body language beyond perfect posture, balance and graceful movement!  Thank goodness!  There are ways to tap into other aspects of body language, in a similar way to becoming aware of which of our senses we make most use of.  This week we’ll focus on building a framework for a sensory experience of body language.

Welcome to week 1 video:

This week I decided to try something new!  The Monday morning welcome will happen live on Facebook at 7:30 am.  I'll record the video and post it to YouTube and then here when it's done.  Since this session is about body language it will be fun to be able to interact with those who can be there and demonstrate some concepts live! 

Course Content for Week 1:

Body language and body awareness



Links to PDF Documents for week 1:

PDF:  Body Language and the Senses

PDF:  Explorations

Audio Transcript:

video demonstrations:

In this video you'll see Kastani demonstrate what it looks like when a horse responds accurately to my body language and intention.  Check out the explorations to find some homework when you watch this video.

I'm re-posting the video progression of me working with Merlin.  You'll find homework for this video in the explorations document as well.