Helping riders develop a deeper, more trusting relationship with themselves and horses is the mission of Armina Bridgeman, a Conscious Horse Conscious Rider Certified Facilitator and Equine Assisted Learning Certified Facilitator based in Canada.
Here, she shares the five most common myths that even the most experienced equestrians believe about their horses.
1. Horses aren’t aware of our emotional state:
Horses are reading our energy even before we step into the paddock. Horses can mirror and respond to human behaviour. Many studies have indicated that horses react to human heart rates, and can hear a human heartbeat within 2 metres. Most of the time, when we are approaching an animal, our heart beat naturally speeds up (whether that’s due to excitement, nervousness, etc.). A horse’s instinct is to fight or flight; they are receiving information from our body and deciding what they need to do to survive. With this knowledge we can find the energy that is required to learn with the horse and take away the need to use force and control. Ultimately, we are the stimulus for the horse’s reaction, every time we engage with the horse.
2. They are just dumb animals.
All living beings have a consciousness and a level of awareness that is required for them to survive. Horses have been hunted well before they were used in sport and entertainment. Horses have in fact been teaching humans for centuries how to behave around them. Horses worldwide are now being used for hands-on educational purposes to learn life skills and leadership skills with Equine Assisted Learning. Some of the more unique lessons we are learning from horses include, how to communicate effectively and what traits are required to be a trusted and respected leader. Horses do not judge and will never lie to us which makes learning from them so easy.
3. Time is important
How often do we judge ourselves for not spending enough time with our horses? Truth is horses live in the present moment and time does not exist in their world. They are not counting the minutes you are with them or the hours you are gone from them. What they do enjoy is the energy that is present when your mind is focused on what you are doing in the moment with them. Time will disappear and cease to exist if you choose to be energetically present with them.
4. Words are Important
Horses speak with vocalized sounds such as neighing and snorts. Although these are important sounds to know about horses, there is another form of communication and it is our first language, known universally. It is the language of energy. Science has proven that everything is energy, including the words we speak. Horses are first listening to the energy you are speaking rather than the words you have spoken. Horses can also speak to us if we ask them a question, we can receive information back from them energetically, we can actually hear what our horses are asking for by sensing the energy they are telling us.
5. You own them.
Actually, it is the other way around, we are all owned by our animals in our lives. We are the ones that go to work every day to pay the bills. This is a concept we as horse riders need to consider when engaging in a deeper relationship with our horse.