When horses are respectful to each other, they will bend their barrels away from each other. (google “horses mutually grooming” for an array of photos) In the previous post we learned how to place our body in left and right bend, just as a horse. When working around the horse’s head area, show respect by slightly bending your “barrel” away from the horse.
Horses not only read our core energy, they also read the position of our hips and shoulders. We can push, block or draw with our hips and shoulders as well. Try the following exercise. Stand up straight with good posture, keeping shoulders aligned squarely over hips. This is a neutral, non-threatening position and can be used to block an unwanted movement. Now shift your weight over onto your left leg and allow your left hip to move outward to the side. This will put a slight right bend in your body and your right hip will be “open” in a drawing, inviting position. Now switch and place more weight onto your right leg allowing your right hip to move outward to the side. This puts your body in a slight left bend and with a drawing, inviting left hip. Keep your shoulders aligned over your hips. Do not allow your shoulders to lean to the side.
The moment a horse can see you, he is reading your body language. Whether approaching a horse outside in a field or coming to his stall, the approach is the same. Use the “rainbow approach”. Walk on an arc to the horse’s shoulder. This is a non-threatening, horse-friendly manner of speaking.