Thank you for your question! It is a big one!

“Connection” seems to be one of the big words/focuses of the last few years. It really came into focus when it was so significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. You know how they say sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone? Connection was just that.

Widespread social distancing and lockdowns led to a marked decrease in physical human-to-human interactions. This shift resulted in increased feelings of loneliness and social isolation, contributing to a rise in mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. The pandemic forced a rapid transition to digital communication, affecting everything from work environments to education and personal relationships. While these virtual interactions provided a means to stay connected, they often fell short of replicating the richness of in-person contact. The true value real connection brings to our lives is crucial for emotional support, improving mental and physical health, fostering a sense of belonging, and promoting personal growth. It is key in enhancing our overall well-being and quality of life.

So how do we apply this awareness, discover, and build connection with our horses? When you find it, you will know and never look back.

“Connection” with a horse is a unique blend of a harmonious, understanding, and respectful relationship. The bond between a horse and its handler or rider is physical and psychological. It’s built on the pillars of trust, communication, mutual respect and consistency. Establishing and maintaining this connection, whether in training sessions or generally, involves a deep understanding of several key aspects.

Understanding horse behaviour is fundamental. Recognizing your horse’s body language, expressions, vocalizations, and overall demeanour is crucial, especially since horses are prey animals. They respond to their environment with a mindset geared toward safety and comfort. If we find consistent ways to be their gateway to that place of safety and comfort day to day and during work/training, they begin to see great value in us as leaders and protectors. There is nothing they won’t participate in or try for us once you have this connection and relationship. They are truly remarkable! Knowing that your horse participates by choice rather than force changes everything.

Awareness of ‘self’ is crucial, and humans are inherently terrible at it! Things like the energy we bring on any specific day, focus, feelings, and mental state all significantly affect our horses. They will often mirror back what they are getting from you – so if things aren’t going well, the first place to look is inward!

Maintaining connection with a horse is a continuous process that demands awareness and nurturing. It transcends mere performance training and delves into building a relationship founded on mutual respect and understanding. Suppose you invest the effort in fostering a deep connection and advancing your performance or recreational training. In that case, you and your horse will enjoy a significantly more rewarding and fulfilling experience together.

They have an incredible amount to teach us. When you are ready to learn, I assure you that the lessons from these magnificent beings are applicable and immensely beneficial to other aspects of your life and relationships.

I have not discussed actual methods of connection here in the post because it really is such a big topic. So we have decided that we will dedicate a “connection” section in our Newsletter each month to cover some of the methods that I use.