Earn the Right
For horses leadership is not about ego or pride. It’s about survival. The lead mare is the lead mare because she is the most able to ensure the safety and survival of the whole herd. If we want to step into a leadership role with our horses we have to earn the right. “Because I’m human and want to be boss” doesn’t cut if for a horse.
One of the ways I’ve earned the right to be a leader in the horse world is by learning to speak their language. Horse’s communicate through body language and we are speaking to them with it all the time, whether we mean to or not. If someone who really wanted to have a relationship with you but didn’t speak english took the time to start to learn english wouldn’t that earn your respect? I wouldn't even care if they spoke my language well. Just the effort they put into learning would cause me to be much more receptive and open.
I’m very grateful that I chose to study Monty Roberts methods when I was getting ready to start my young horse Apollo. Throughout the Introductory Course and Instructors Course I attended at Monty’s learning center we were constantly working with different horses. The focus was on our ability to communicate with the horse’s language of Equus, not on our ability to train them using specific cues or games. While at first this may appear more challenging what it did was force us to be accountable in our ability to understand and communicate with the horses.
For many years now I have spoken fluent “Equus” and it is so empowering! Not only can I communicate effectively with horses, I can easily decipher the information they are sharing with me. This combined with my understanding of horse psychology and interspecies communication has allowed me to help hundreds of horses and humans.
I understand going on a sabbatical to study horses may not be an option for you. It doesn’t have to be. Something as simple as spending an hour each week observing a herd of horses will get you started. Watch how they communicate and interact with one another. Notice when one horse does one thing with his body how the other reacts. You’ll begin to see an ongoing conversation unfolding before your eyes. You’ll begin to earn the right.