One of my clients recently gave me several excellent horse books to read. I find traveling to be the perfect time to catch up on reading, so on my three flight trip to Vegas last Saturday I read through “Dancing with Your Dark Horse” by Chris Irwin. I will admit that I had never heard of Irwin, but he is one of the original pioneering trainers in “natural” horsemanship. This book was as much about personal growth and development as it was horse training. This is Chris's second book, and he discusses how recent events have shaped his view on life, and how the horses he works with teach him much about himself.
There were a few points really resonated with me, and here they are. First, we are always broadcasting our true emotions through our body language – how we stand, how we move our eyes, or where we postion our feet. If you don”t believe this read “What Everybody is Saying” by Joe Navarro, an FBI interrogator. Most people are not aware of the messages they are sending or the messages that other people send.
Horses, however, are excellent body language interpreters. They can tell how we feel even if we believe that we are “controlling” our anger or frustration. So we need to be very aware of this and understand that many training problems really stem from us. Horses are, in a way, a reflection or ourselves. For example, if I am getting tight and frustrated with a horse during a training session, chances are that my horse is even more tight and frustrated. So find ways to not just control your emotions but to change them, and listen to your horse as he may be telling you something about yourself.