“Fear less, hope more
Eat less, chew more
Whine less, breathe more
Talk less, say more
Love more, and all good things will be yours.”
Horses communicate to us through their body language. This is where the “more” or “less” becomes our focus. Studying the horse and understanding what a head held high means, versus a head held low or level. Is the horse’s body standing still and resting a hoof, or can’t the horse stand still? What about the ears? Are the ears pinned back, actively moving forward and backward, or are they relaxed and attentive to me? What about the horse’s tail? Is it tucked and tight, or loose?
Being observant, aware, and noticing will help you understand the four primary needs or “motivations” of a horse. They are safety first, comfort, play, and then food. If a horse does not have confidence in loading onto a horse trailer, more than likely, he’s just not that interested in food. From “safety” comes confidence, from confidence comes curiosity, from curiosity comes sensitivity, and from sensitivity comes dignity.
Anybody can make a horse do something. However, if your goal is for your horse to experience dignity under your leadership, you will do the less and the more in a specific moment and watch your horse WANT to do what you are asking.
Now that is awesome stuff! Why? Because you have the mind, spirit, body, and emotions of the horse who now “is” a “YES!” When we connect with our YES, we move forward together in unity, harmony, AND with an unforced rhythm.
In the archives of Albert Einstein, he stated,
“Three rules that work:
#1 – out of clutter, find simplicity
#2 – from discord; find harmony
#3 – in the middle of difficulty lays opportunity.”
What does this MORE or LESS look like? When you are with a horse that is right brain (meaning they are submissive, fearful, not confident, nervous and reactive), you would MORE quickly interrupt their phrases. Working with a left brain horse (dominant, brave, confident, calm, and tolerant), you would do less by slowly interrupting their phrase and quickly completing. A phrase would be the communication between you and your horse to accomplish the goal that you have and how the horse is responding or reacting to you.
The MORE or LESS will come as you work with an introverted horse (low energy, more “whoa” than go, slow reactions, and stops often) versus and extroverted horse (high energy, more “go” than whoa, quick reactions, and runs often). Understanding and identifying your horse is the key to knowing MORE or LESS.
Your belly button is like a bright beacon light to some of these horses. Simply turning and walking away from your right brain horse can be a foundational block in your relationship with your horse. You’ve just removed MORE pressure by this simple act and given the horse breathing space to consider you a worthwhile leader.
Remember, horsemanship starts when your horse “sees” you. Also, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” - Albert Einstein
Have MORE fun and LESS cares as you enjoy horsing around.