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You may have noticed that some people just seem to have a “presence” around horses that makes them very effective both on the ground and in the saddle. While it is true that confidence and experience play a big role, a lot of these people's effectiveness has to do simply with their non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication does not just involve body language, it also encompasses the use of personal space, touch, emotional energy, and eye contact. However, body language is a big part of this form of communication and most conversations around non-verbal communication start with body language.

Horses do almost all of their communication through non-verbal means. They say a lot in how they stand, the tension in their bodies, and how they move around other horses and around us.

In today's video, we are going to look at how to start using your own body language more effectively when working with your horse. Begin by becoming aware of the signals you are putting off and whether these signals are congruent or sending mixed messages to your horse. Hit play to watch the video below and learn more. After watching, leave a comment with your thoughts!

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Comments

14 Responses

  1. Thanks for explaining and demonstrating these useful body language skills. You made it easy to follow, and I can’t wait to try it out on my mare.

  2. I’m very visual. Getting you demonstrating (twice) the way we should stand to get the horse relaxed, the position of the shoulders and the legs, great! I did something like that with my mare without knowing it was good to both of us! but I feel it, I got relaxed and the same with Brunette awesome!! know I am more confident and more aware of the importance of body language.

    Thanks, you made things easier for beginners like me

  3. I watch your videos nightly! Which means I have seen many of them more than once . I have so much to learn and use your videos as an adjunct to my weekly riding lessons. Your methods are concise and orderly, yet friendly at the same time. Not an easy thing to accomplish. Beneath your video is an offer of a Riding Lesson. Is there a charge for that? Thanks so much for all your wisdom.

    1. Hi Pat, I really appreciate your comments! Thanks so much!
      The lesson is free, there are about 5 videos in there!

  4. Your posts have been very helpful to me and I am addicted! I have a question that I haven’t seen addressed much at all, and this has become such an issue for me that I am considering a move for my horse. There is another boarder at my facility who has a very disrespectful gelding who bullies not just the other horses but people as well. When I would go into the pasture to get my horse or hang out with the herd, he would charge right at me and attack any horses that get close to me, creating a very dangerous situation. Recently he has gotten so bad that I asked to have my horse moved to another pasture. The owner of this horse refuses to acknowledge that her horse is a problem and is sort of a bully herself, and the barn owner as well as other boarders have let her have her way on things rather than confront any issues. As a result my horse is now in a small pasture alone, while her horse is still with the herd and continuing to bully the other horses and being a problem for people as well. The other horses, including mine, have been starting to pick up and mirror some of his bad behaviors. Do you have any suggestions about what I can do to improve this situation? If I spend time working with this horse to teach him to have more respect for humans at least, will it do any good or would it be better to just walk away and find a new place for my horse?

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Glad you have been enjoying the videos and thanks for your question! This is a tough issue, but I am going to say you are better off just finding a new barn. I wouldn’t recommend working with someone else’s horse and it may or may not affect his behavior with the other horses. Do they have mares and geldings together? With many horses a mixed group works fine, but if one horse still has stallion-like behaviors around mares these situations can certainly happen. It is a shame the farm manager where you are doesn’t address it, but it is probably best to just move on.
      Callie

  5. Thank you Callie,
    I was afraid that was what you were going to say, but in my heart I think I already knew the answer. The barn owner, when I talked to him about it, just told me to bring a whip with me into the pasture and beat on him when he charges me, so he definitely won’t be addressing the issue. I really appreciate the feedback. Have a great day!
    Nancy

  6. Callie,

    I just matched your video on the use of body language. I’ve seen many videos and have had many conversation on this topic but you are the first to explain the practical side of how to place your body in relationship to your feet. I find this very helpful. thank you….oh, and love your videos!

  7. I agree with Pat (above). Sooo enjoy watching your videos…you make everything look so easy yet you never forget that it isn’t easy for everyone. You are a truly fabulous teacher! Thank you for helping me learn so much…now, if only it could just stick!!!

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