3 Secrets For Better Communication With Your Horse

Want to learn my 3 secrets for better communication with your horse? Who doesn’t?!?

If you’re anything like…anybody… who only speaks one language, you’ve probably caught yourself thinking:

“What if they can’t understand me (LIKE AT ALL.) What on Earth do I do then?”

It’s so normal. In fact, just before landing in South Korea (vacation from home in the U.S.), that “what if they can’t understand me” factor was one of my biggest hang-ups and fears. It almost convinced me to cancel all our “adventure plans” before we started. Almost.

My message for you today isn’t complicated, (like to learn Korean), but that’s kinda the point: Even if you cannot speak the language, YOU CAN learn what I call a “Communication Code Book”.

Even if you cannot speak the language you can learn what I call a "communication code book"

We all have a preferred language or translation to a common phrase. Our horses are no different and have their own set of rules on how to communicate with others.

In this post, I’ll tell you how to overcome the “what if they (my horse) can’t understand me” factor by taking full advantage of the three secrets that make up this handy horse Communication Code Book.

This process is magical, and the results are delicious. Until now I’ve only shared this with my inner circle clients. But it’s time to let you in on the secret.

Today I’d like to offer up 3 simple steps to help you talk to your horse, that will change your conversation makin’ life.

YOUR WAY WITH WORDS

It’s a huge sigh of relief when people speak our language. When we don’t have to WORK to understand what they’re saying. In South Korea, we appreciated examples, gestures and body language we could relate to.

It offered clear organization in communicating the main point.

It was in a way we could actually use and easy to follow.

When we understand, we pay attention. And that’s when meaningful connections are made.

WHEN THE HORSE UNDERSTANDS, THEY PAY ATTENTION. AND THAT’S WHEN MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS ARE MADE.

Your horse needs your translation.

A translation into a language they actually can and naturally will understand.

Secret #1 for your Communication Code Book

Whether you realize it or not, your horse will tell you exactly what the dilemma is. They’ll tell you how to train them in essence. When you listen- and show your horse you understand what they are saying…

Magic happens! We create a bond of trust. Horses trust those who understand them and those they can understand back.  

If you listen, think and react accordingly (in line with their natural behavior) you’ll more often than not see the desired result.

Learn to know what frightens, annoys, bores a horse. Be aware of what will cause anger, frustration or disregard us all together.

You can “teach” a horse to be scared of anything. On the opposite of that, you can listen, observe and help guide them toward a new way of seeing something (as not scary-or less scary.)

Secret #2 for your Communication Code Book

What’s your body saying?

Just like horses, we use our entire body in specific ways to say something. This includes the tension in your toes, to the expression you have on your face and the position of your hips and shoulders.

Horses work off pressures…pressures applied or taken away by the position of a (human) body part (or many) in relation to the horse’s body. You’ve likely heard the description; praise for a job well done can be a release of pressure.

Or in other words, pressure can be simply a change in body position in relation to the horse’s body.

Your body can be inviting and open or closed and blocking. It can be passive and non-threatening or strong and threatening. You can say I’m frustrated, in a hurry or agitated all through your body language. And your horse is really good at listening to these messages.  

Remember that simple things are simply simple in a horses world, and it’s the humans who make them complicated.

Secret #3 for your Communication Code Book

Don’t hijack the conversation.

From the horse’s perspective in a herd, the communication lines are always open, with each member reporting what they see, hear, sense, smell. It’s a constant phone tree of sensory updates. Each horse affirms to the other it’s ok to rest, or to eat, or to be alert ready to run.

If you as a human hop on that communication hotline you’ll pick up on all the juicy goodness. Remember horses send out the info and receive it too. Each individual horse responds to that info and the response is VALIDATED by the response received by the other herd members.   

When we tell our horses to act in a certain way, over and over (asserting an action) we undermine their ability to communicate back by dominating (hijacking) the whole conversation.

From my experience, when I block off the communication line from my horse to me, meaning I have mentally stopped listening, trust and understanding dramatically drop off.

Allow your horse to communicate freely. Respond accordingly, but remember to do this in a way the horse will be able to understand (see secret #1 & 2).

When you respond, you are validating or denying what they are communicating.

Example: When the horse says, “I’m scared-that thing is super scary, I think I should spook and bolt.”

You can say, “Yes! You are right that is super scary, you should absolutely spook and bolt.”

OR…

You can say, “Oh no, that’s nothing. Sigh. It’s so relaxing passing this boring thing. I think we should walk and drop our head. And breathe.”

See my friend? It’s all in the horsey communication hotline 🙂

YOUR SECRET CODE BOOK

It’s really easy to set back and say, “what if they can’t understand me?” But you know what? That’s a lamo excuse, and you’re too amazing for excuses. Even good ones.

When it comes to communicating with your horse, I’ve given you an arsenal of quick-action mindset shift, confidence-builders, and even some how-tos to get you started.

Either way, next time you find yourself wondering if your horses really understand you, or if you really understand them, come back and read this post. I’ve got the answer for you: GO BACK TO THE COMMUNICATION CODE BOOK every horse follows.

WHAT’D YOU THINK?

If you liked this post, please share it via Facebook, Instagram, or your social media channel of choice. The more readers, the merrier!

Also, in the comments, I’d love to know:

  • Why is overcoming the “what if they can’t understand me?” factor a struggle for YOU?
  • What’s your favorite example of one message with two totally different takes/meanings? (saying the same thing…just another language)

Until next time,

Erica

P.S. If you liked this post & want to help me spread the word by using the links below to share it with your friends, I would greatly appreciate it!

If you missed the post prior to this…here it is! I dive into the 4 C’s to a connected relationship with your horse.