An Interview with Anna about Animal Communication in Costa Rica

 

One of the many benefits of working as an Animal Communicator is lending one’s services at rescues and rehabilitation facilities. In Costa Rica, Anna partnered with Kids Saving the Rainforest to connect with some very unique souls who were offered a voice as to their wishes, perceived setbacks or limitations, and in order to bring clarity to their full rehabilitation process. Vickie Wickhorst of the Colorado Sage Learning Center interviews Anna about the once-in-a-lifetime experience upon her return.

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In Partnership with Horses as Healers

Equine Facilitated Learning or Equine Facilitated Therapy is a vast ocean of nuances and subtleties. What means something to one person might be misinterpreted or completely misunderstood by another. We can’t really assess a horse to see if they would be as a therapy horse and Anna Twinney (founder of Reach Out to Horses and life coach for over 30 years) explains why in this lecture at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. She also goes into how we can support our therapy and coaching horses to make sure that the exchange is not a one-way transaction of them only supporting us.

To purchase Anna’s DVD set: In Partnership with Horses as our coaches, healers, messengers, and teachers, go here: Take me to the DVD

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For more videos from Total Integration Tv, go to Ti-Tv.tv or, visit Dr. Vickie Wickhorst’s page at ColoradoSageLearningCenter.com for more on Quantum Healing and Health!

The Language of the Horse Demo at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo

Anna utilizes the round pen to demonstrate what it looks like to hold a conversation with two different horses in their own language, the Language of Equus. Listen closely and discover just how much can be learned about a horse in a short period of time and what kind of a conversation we can have when we are tuned in, aware, and focusing the mind on the silent and often invisible conversation at hand.

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Horses Acting Out as a Form of Communication

Venture with Anna into the world of communication and the frequent disconnect between humans and horses. Not many clinicians will put a participant in the horse’s place so the audience has the added benefit of clarity around the concepts in the way that Anna can.

Listen closely and then take a chance to question your methods and practices. Are you doing what you have always done for lack of a better option or simply because it is what you were taught one, two, or even three decades ago? How does what you do come across to the horse? Are you clear, and if you think you are, how does the horse know what you want? Get honest and vulnerable enough to ask yourself these questions and more in order to develop a relationship with your horse that you may have only ever dreamed was possible!

For more videos from Total Integration Tv, go to Ti-Tv.tv or, visit Dr. Vickie Wickhorst’s page at ColoradoSageLearningCenter.com for more on Quantum Healing and Health!

Reiki, Horses, and the Art of Listening

By Rose O’Connor

            The horse is gentle, instinctive, grounded, strong, swift, and knowing. When we work with a horse, we ask him/her to listen to our language, often through the use of our voice, our legs, and sometimes with whips or spurs. We usually have an agenda, whether it be training, teaching, or even trail riding. Yet how often do we truly stop to just listen, to hear what they have to say, to learn a language that is as old as time?

This past spring, I was fortunate enough to attend an Energy Healing for horses workshop conducted by Anna Twinney of Reach out to Horses, LLC.  I spent many years in a career with horses, and have since moved on to teach and give Reiki.  Taking this workshop would mean a chance to combine the two; a love for horses and a love for Reiki healing.  Little did I know how much I would receive, from both Anna and the horses. The experience is still resonating within me, months later, for it was there, under Anna’s guidance, that I began to learn to listen to horses on a deeper level than I knew existed.

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Anna Twinney has been instrumental in the promotion and development of the natural horsemanship movement.  While her love of horses began in childhood, her direction became evident after spending one year at Flags Up Farms in California, a ranch owned by Monty Roberts.   Anna gave up her career in England as a police officer to work full-time for the Monty Roberts International Learning Center, where she also trained under her mentor, Crawford Hall[1]. There she became the first head instructor for the MRILC.  Anna became an integral part of the development team at Monty’s, and the originator of several of his courses.[2]

For two weekends, I had the privilege of watching and listening to Anna, first at the Denver Horse Expo and then at a workshop in Littleton, Colorado, which was held at Happy Dog Ranch, a non-profit facility that offers a home to horses, alpacas, sheep, dogs, and other rescue animals.  Happy Dog provides educational, vocational, and therapeutic programs for people of all ages and backgrounds.[3] This workshop was called Energy Healing for Horses, but most of the participants were trained in Reiki.  After several full days of listening to Anna and working with her and the horses, I began to fully understand the measure of her mission in life.  Her Divine purpose is to give horses a voice. Anna is an internationally acclaimed natural horsemanship clinician and trainer, and an animal communicator. She is also an Usui/Holy Fire and Karen® Reiki Master with many years of experience giving Reiki to horses and teaching others to do the same.

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Reiki, pronounced Ray key, is a method of healing energy that reduces stress and promotes healing, both for animals and their humans.  A Reiki practitioner has been trained and attuned to the energy of Reiki, which then flows naturally through the palms of the hands. Reiki can never do harm and is very gentle, yet powerfully effective. Reiki reduces stress, alleviates pain, speeds up the natural healing process, helps heal emotional wounds and relieves anxiety, all of which can be useful for the horse. It can also help animals in transition.  Reiki is used in over 800 hospitals in America and its use is growing exponentially around the world.[4]

When offering Reiki to the horse, Anna explains, we are merely the servants of the horse, just as we are servants of Reiki. We are the conduit for the energy.  And in order to be that conduit, we must allow our ego and personality to step aside in order to give way to the horse’s voice. He or she cannot speak to us in the same way another human can, and we cannot hear him/her with just our ears. We must learn to listen with all of our senses, and feel from our hearts, because the horse’s language comes from their heart. Their language is clear and purposeful and rich. It is quite possibly more sophisticated than our own.

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Before we go outside to have our first encounter with a horse and do chakra balancing, I strengthen my light with Reiki.  I bring Reiki into my heartspace and set an intention for clear communication and pure Reiki to flow through me for the remainder of this day. Many of the other students in this class have just finished Reiki Level I and II with Anna over the previous two days, and they bring much enthusiasm to sharing this newfound gift with the horses.

But first we must learn to dance. As Anna explains, when offering Reiki to a horse, the horse is the one choreographing and leading the dance, and we must learn to follow.  The language of the horse is visual, it is energetic, and it is spoken through body language. We must learn to see as the horse sees; to be visually aware of every nuance from him and from his surroundings. We must open energetically to sense what is happening to the horse and to the space around us. And we must learn to read the horse’s body language, which can be as soft as the whisper or as loud as the shout.

Introductions      

          Our conversation with the horse begins as soon as we arrive and set our intention for working with the animals. They know we are here before we even walk out to the paddock area to put halters on. As we engage with them initially, it is appropriate to introduce ourselves to the animal we will be working with that day and give him or her a few strokes in greeting. The first horse I was to work with was already waiting at the gate.  We locked eyes and the connection was immediate.  Even though many of us have been around horses for a long time, Anna brings alive a sense, an inner knowing, that there is much more here for us to discern than we’ve ever imagined.  My horse’s name was Kiwi, a bay gelding, and my partner for the Chakra Balancing work was Tom from California.

Kiwi, Tom and I were the first to arrive at the outdoor arena. We were waiting for instruction from Anna to begin, but Kiwi had other ideas. She began to gently nudge my hands, not looking for a treat, but feeling the Reiki energy and letting me know she was ready for Reiki right now! She seemed to be saying, “What’s the holdup?”

Always ask permission

            When giving Reiki to humans, we must always ask permission. The same is true with the horse, but in this case, we must ask permission both from the owner and from the horse themselves. In this case, we already had the permission from the owner of Happy Dog Ranch, and so now it was up to us to ask Kiwi’s permission.

My partner Tom and I began, as instructed by Anna, by introducing ourselves, and asking Kiwi, by name, if he would like to receive Reiki today.  We held out our hands, palms down, and allowed Reiki to flow through. Then our immediate job was to observe what Kiwi did, both energetically, visually and through body language. If he turned or walked away that would probably be a no, but not always. The conversation is ongoing and subtle. He might need a few moments to think it over before he decides either way. If he licked and smelled our hands, or if he stepped forward or put his weight on his left leg, we could read that as an initial yes for Reiki. Yet, unlike us humans who often live in our heads, horses live in the present moment, so when he says yes, it means yes for right now, but in ten minutes, he might be saying no.  This teaches us to hone our senses and our intuition, which is guided by Reiki, and stay connected to the moment at hand.  If we aren’t sure it’s a yes or no, we can use the Sway test, a simple form of muscle testing that will allow us to speak to Kiwi’s higher Self.

The Sway Test

  1. Plant your feet firmly. Be sure you are on level ground.
  2. Imagine that you are growing roots that extend from the bottom of your feet down into the earth.
  3. Clear your mind, take a deep breath, and ask the Higher Self of the horse if they would like Reiki (or healing energy if you are not attuned to Reiki).
  4. After a moment or two, your body will distinctly move either forward or backwards. Forward is a yes; backwards is a no.
  5. If you don’t move, reconnect and try again. Usually you will get a clear answer almost immediately.

When using the sway test, your muscles will automatically react.

Chakras

Tom and I observed that Kiwi stepped forward with her left leg, smelled our hands, and gave us both a yes on the sway test.  Our next job was to check the chakras. As with humans, horses have seven major chakras that run along their spine and an eighth, the brachial chakra, runs along the horse’s scapula to the point of shoulder. Chakras are spinning wheels or vortexes of energy that “are organizing centers for the reception, assimilation, and transmission of life energies.”[5]  We are all made of energy and this energy can sometimes become blocked or stagnant in certain areas, which can cause pain or dysfunction. Chakras interact with the body’s nervous system and endocrine system.[6]  If a horse is holding something physically or emotionally in their body, it can and will affect their health, attitude, performance, and wellbeing.

Anna has guided us to check the chakras on our horse using a pendulum, which in this case is a crystal  attached to a small chain. We hold the end of the chain and place the pendulum over the horse’s chakra. When the pendulum comes into contact with the chakra, it tends to spin, because the chakra itself is spinning or swirling and the pendulum will follow the flow of energy.[7]  The pendulum responds to the electromagnetic frequency of the chakra, so if the chakra is open, the pendulum will swing freely in a clockwise direction.[8]

Anna teaches us three methods of testing the chakras with our pendulum.We can hold the pendulum directly over the horse’s chakras, if this method is available to us. The second method is to hold our own hand over each chakra, with the pendulum in the other hand.  The third method of checking the horse’s chakras is a more intuitive method but equally as effective. It involves holding the pendulum over your own hand and asking the horse’s Higher Self to show you each chakra’s movement. Tom and I tested all three methods of checking the chakras and found most of Kiwi’s chakras open, though the third eye was less open and Tom was guided to work on Kiwi’s solar plexus chakra (see diagram).

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Location of the chakras on a horse

We took turns offering Reiki to Kiwi, while the other person held him loosely. Kiwi was, as Anna pointed out later, very subtle in his responses but no pushover.  He moved forward to show Tom he wanted Reiki near his solar plexus chakra. When I placed one hand over his heart chakra at the wither and slid my other hand toward the middle of his chest, the second heart point, he stood quietly for a few minutes, then showed me by turning his head toward me that he preferred my front hand on his brachial chakra instead of his chest. Kiwi settled in for Reiki in this area, seeming as though he could stay all day, but just as I’d had this thought, he shifted his weight and moved away to let me know he was finished, at least for the moment.

Anna tells us that sometimes horses need a break. They may take hands on Reiki for a few minutes, then want to move, only to return for more.  Or sometimes at the beginning of a session it just takes the horse a few minutes to settle into the treatment. Kiwi showed us some of the registers that he was accepting Reiki; his ears were at half mast, he licked and chewed, his eyes became half closed and his breathing changed.

What IS a Reiki Register? 

Registers are movements, or actions the horse makes that tells us that we are connecting with them in a positive way.  They are the way the horse speaks to us. These registers act as responders to our treatment and let us know that the horse is enjoying the treatment.  Signs that the horse is finished or that the energy may be too intense in one area can include things like turning their head towards you, nipping at your sleeve, walking away, pinning the ears or swishing their tail, trying to kick, moving away from your touch, or even more intense reactions, if we aren’t paying attention.  If we miss the whisper we may get the shout!  We need to be mindful when working with any animal that our antenna is tuned to a different station than usual.  If we wish to work with them and understand their language, the language of love, we must be aware of the world as it appears through their eyes.

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The following list contains many of these registers that let us know that the horse is receiving, processing and accepting Reiki.

  1. Ears half mast
  2. Eyes: half closed, glazed, softening of the eyes
  3. Nostrils slightly flared but relaxed
  4. Mouth relaxed; lower lip drooping down
  5. Licking chewing, sighing, blowing through nose
  6. Head dropping forward
  7. Weight on left leg in front
  8. Skin softening
  9. More gut sounds than usual; deeper breathing
  10. One hip dropped and toe rolled over
  11. Soft tail; passing gas
  12. Gelding or stallion may drop

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Bringing our session to a close

          We finish this session with the Bladder sweep. We must remain mindful that all parts of this session are being orchestrated by the horse, so we can do the sway test to ask the horse if he wants the bladder sweep, or read his body language and visual signs. We don’t impose anything on the horse with Reiki; we ask and we listen. In this listening process, we will be switching out of our role as trainers. While we don’t want to get ourselves into trouble or allow the horse to hurt us or someone else, we are now asking the horse to speak to us. So if, for example, a horse reaches around and nips you on the elbow when you are giving Reiki on his shoulder, this is not the time to yell or smack or otherwise correct him. Reiki energy can be quite intense for a horse, and he may be telling you he doesn’t like it there, or it is too much for him. If we ask the horse to communicate with us and then correct him when he does so, we are shutting down the communication and the healing. By all means move out of the way and do not get hurt, but as Anna tells us, this is exactly why we must learn to hear the whisper, so that the horse does not have to shout to get our attention.  This subtle language is an art that Anna has mastered over many years of listening, and it is truly a fascinating journey.

The bladder sweep begins at the third eye chakra, keeping both the hands together, lightly sweeping over the top of the horse’s poll all along his spine to his rump and down his back leg to his fetlock. The bladder sweep runs along the bladder meridian and acts as a way of connecting the energy of the horse’s body at the end of the session, as well as smoothing the aura. (a picture of the bladder sweep would be nice here).

          Just like the rest of our session is up to the horse, the time to end the session is up to him/her also. As we work with the animal, we continue to check in with the sway test periodically to ask if they want more Reiki or if they are finished with Reiki healing at this time.  We never want to assume that we know more than the horse. He/she is the ultimate judge of what is best for them in terms of Reiki energy. We ask, we watch, we listen.

Anna explains that once we start to give a horse Reiki, we better be prepared to continue giving it, no matter how long the session may last. It may be ten minutes or it may be two hours, yet once we’ve entered into this Reiki agreement with a horse, we are bound to stay until the horse is finished.  As long as the horse is giving us registers, signs of activity that they are loving the energy there, we stay as long as they ask for it.

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Horses can teach us so much about ourselves through sharing energy healing with them. They teach us about unconditional love in its purest form. In part two of this article,  the Love Lessons and the full treatment, I will share more of the magic that unfolded in our Reiki for Horses class with Anna Twinney.

Most of this article was first published in the 2015 Summer and Fall issues of the Reiki News Magazine.”

My info:  Rose O’Connor, Usui/ Holy Fire Karuna® Reiki Master teacher, offering classes in PA, Colorado and England.  Phone: 484-318-9380, email: rose@rockymountainreiki.com,  website: www.rockymountainreiki.com

[1] Twinney, Anna; “Reach out to horses”; http://www.reachouttohorses.com/background.html#crawford; accessed 4/14/15

[2] Twinney, Anna; “Reach out to horses”; http://www.reachouttohorses.com/background.html#anna; accessed 4/14/15

[3] Happy Dog Ranch Foundation, Inc.; http://www.happydogranch.org; accessed 4/6/15

[4]  http://www.centerforreikiresearch.org; accessed 6/16/15

[5]Judith, Anodea. Wheels of Life, 2014.

[6] Pope, Timothy. http://www.healingfromtheheart.co.uk/69701.html, accessed 6/21/15

[7] Quest, Penelope. Self Healing with Reiki, 2003, pp.46

[8] Dale, Cyndi. Advanced Chakra Healing, 2005, pp. 186

An Endangered Species Returns Home on Earth Day- Meet Django, the Costa Rican Jaguarundi

“I had the most amazing week, culminating with the best 2 second experience ever.

I was driving on the 2-lane highway when I saw a wild cat, a jaguarundi, lying in the middle of the road.  I stopped traffic both ways while our vet and a biologist brought him to the side of the road, palpating him to see if anything was broken.

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Unable to obtain a box, we put him, unconscious, on a cardboard stretcher, and our vet rode in the backseat with him while I drove to the closest vet clinic.  As we arrived, I hit a pothole, the jaguarundi came to, jumping wildly into the trunk.

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It took 2 vets to contain him and get him out.

It was apparent that he had been hit by a car so he was driven 1 ½ hours for exams and xrays.

Such a miracle, no broken bones!

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He needed to recuperate from the accident and eat before we could release him.

For 5 days we couldn’t get him to eat anything.

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Inspiration struck, maybe if we fed him live animals he would eat. Jaguarundis are in danger of extinction so we had to try it.

We moved him into a large enclosure where he felt safer because he had a place to hide under this crate.

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Finally, on Earth Day, we knew he was strong enough to go back to the wild without becoming prey.

We took him back to the location where we found him, making sure he was way off the highway.

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When releasing him we didn’t know what would happen.  He was an amazing sight, he moved so fast he was a blur! Those were the most amazing 2 seconds of my life!  He was wild and free again, as nature intended!”

Jennifer Rice PhD
President of Kids Saving The Rainforest
www.kidssavingtherainforest.org

Animal Communication to the Jaguarundi Rescue!

Anna was called upon to do an animal communciation session with him early on to help assess the damage and to support his journey.  The following is from her communication with Jennifer:

“Hoping your boy is doing a little better today, Jennifer.

Immediately I felt the need to activate Reiki; energy healing and have this run the whole time throughout my connection.  It seems he needs the energy the most in order to be supportive of his whole situation.  Man-induced and surprised are sensations that are forthcoming.  Extreme discomfort and extreme distrust rule.  He isn’t connecting the same as all of your others with great details, intention, forthcoming, willingness and understanding of the situation.  Instead, he feels very leery of what is possible and guarded, even mistrusting of all.    All of your others understood the possibilities through animal communication and were definitely strong in their connections.

He once roamed, I believe, and obviously no longer does.  In and out of this conversation, not holding any strength.  His connection is weak and his ability to connect is reflected evenly so.  I realize he is on the small size, frightened, concerned, in discomfort.  He shows himself at the rescue and although in good hands, he’s unable to surrender.

There are no clear answers.  Weak is what comes forward.  A lack of life, listless.  Confused, concerned, worries.  Scared, frightened, mistrusting.  Low energy, low life force.  The main piece that comes through is extreme discomfort which is man-induced.

With energy running it is questionable how this little fellow is doing.  He doesn’t show any enclosure, or running around.  He doesn’t show that he is picking up.  Instead, there is no clarity around his situation.  However, it all feels to be internal and not external.  A bit of a mystery.   Not sure he is expecting to make it through.  I do not feel a blockage, nor external damage.  More like an internal situation that he may not even be able to explain.  Feels like he has lost all appetite and realizes he needs this for survival.  Feels like pain, discomfort and no ability to process food.  He doesn’t show bleeding or any fluids leaking from his body.  He shoes confusion.  It’s happening to him…his mind remains clear, his body is reacting.

I’m letting him know he remains in good hands.  That veterinary care is there and all are doing all they can to help him through.  Sending copious amounts of energy and will include my private group into the mix for additional healing powers.

Please let me know how he does.

Hugs from here…wish I could be of more help.”

Jennifer:

“You are spot on!  Everything you said is accurate.   HE ATE!!  I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO RELIEVED IN MY LIFE.”

For more on Kids Saving the Rainforest:

Kids Saving The Rainforest
www.kidssavingtherainforest.org
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Blog:  http://kstr.wordpress.com/

To Donate:  http://www.kidssavingtherainforest.org/

 

For more on Animal Communication or to schedule a session with Anna, go here:

http://www.reachouttohorses.com/animalcomm.html

Reaching Out to Horses in the Round Pen

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Once more, our lovely friends at The Horse’s Hoof have featured Anna in their online publication.  We are so pleased to be partnering with them to reach more and more people who are interested in Natural, Holistic Horsemanship!

Reach Out to Horses by Anna Twinney

Horses have walked this Earth for more than 54 million years.  While some do not consider them among the brightest of the animal kingdom, most are unaware that through their lengthy tenure on this planet they have created an effective non-verbal language that some have coined “the language of Equus.”  This is a language that goes well beyond the unspoken.  Through careful observation, humans have been able to interpret and adopt this method of communication.

Originating from the horses’ body language, behavior, interaction and herd hierarchy, humans can now speak with them through our own body language, gestures and even our intentions.  This language, like any, requires patience and practice.  It can be taught to anyone but fluency only comes from time spent observing and communicating with the native speakers.

Not only can horses read the body language of every member of their species they can read humans just as easily.  They can, almost immediately, see your agenda and how you are feeling.  They will highlight your strengths and weaknesses.  In effect, they know who you are and what that means to them in a very short period of time.  You can lie to yourself but you can’t lie to a horse.  Therefore, it’s important that you begin every interaction with a clear mind, leaving “all your baggage” at the gate.

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One place to start the conversation with your horse is the round pen.  Using the round pen as your classroom can be very helpful in creating a trust-based relationship.  This type of conversation is the foundation to all interaction, every ground session, ridden work and ultimately your success.  A 50-foot round pen is suggested as it allows free motion for horses of most sizes.  It’s also important to make sure you have appropriate footing, which is essential to maintaining health and fitness.

This is an example of a typical session in the round pen.  It’s important to note that this is an overview and is not intended to be a formula or a “quick fix” to solve behavioral issues and requires dedication and commitment to learn and apply.  Remember that communication takes place whenever you are together.  Each gesture and motion you make says something to your 4-legged partner.

Familiarization:  Horses need the chance to explore the round pen at liberty.  They naturally check out their perimeters, take time to settle and to explore the vicinity through their senses.  Each horse is an individual and as such will react in different ways to different circumstances.  This 15-20 minute period is an ideal time to observe their character and learn to read thier personality.

Orientation:  This is the official introduction and there are many important steps in this portion which include:

  • The introduction to the four directions (N, E, S, W) of the round pen
  • Introduction of body language
  • The opportunity for handler to read horse and horse to read handler
  • The time for the adrenaline of horse and handler to subside
  • Creation of a comfort zone in the center of the round pen
  • Creation of a safe distance between horse and handler
  • Manipulation of speed and direction by the handler to gain leadership

Communication:  In a natural herd environment, hierarchy is determined through many factors, one being the manipulation of speed and direction.  As mentioned in the orientation process, the handler adopts this practice in the round pen environment.  The connection between horse and handler takes place before or during the orientation, with a herd of 2 being formed.  Once the herd has been formed and the orientation has been completed, the handler asks the horse to leave by driving them away using body language.  This is the time to make character assessments, to complete a health check, and to begin forming the partnership with the horse.

A higher-ranking horse will use his body language to communicate or punish another by sending them out of the herd.  This gives a strong message as banishment is a grave risk to their survival.  Through the position that the handler takes of driving the horse forward, he will retreat.  This is a form of advance and retreat, also known as pressure release, and has been used by horsemen for centuries.  The handler then adopts equine body language by squaring his shoulders, placing his eyes on the horse’s eyes, and advancing forward in an assertive manner.  The combination of proximity, speed, movements, and eye contact can mean a number of different things.

As prey animals, horses naturally run for ¼ to 3/8ths of a mile before they stop to assess what made them flee.  This distance is roughly translated to 7-8 revolutions in the round pen.  The fleeing that is induced should not be through fear, but rather a request for forward motion.  The handler takes possession of any area the horse stands in at any given moment, hence gaining leadership.  A speed slightly beyond their natural gait is best and will often be in the form of a canter.

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When it feels like the right time to change direction, the horse is asked to change direction towards the round pen wall through the handler’s body positioning.  The same process of asking the horse to leave is repeated in this direction.  Unlike humans, horses only transfer about 20-50% of all information from the left to the right side of the brain and, as such, they consider this to be new ground that they are exploring.

Once the horse has explored both directions he is then asked to return to familiar ground, pressure is reduced but an active involvement is maintained.  An assertive walk forward is continued, while allowing the horse to reduce his speed and maintain focus and attention.  The handler’s body language becomes a little softer as his intention changes.  This procedure is also helpful because the horse will often reveal his history during this time.

The horse will begin to communicate his desire to return to the herd of two.  He will relay very clears signs, such as reducing the size of his circle, relaxing his jaw and neck, and many other gestures that require some study for the handler to recognize.  These are all desired responses that need acknowledgement through a release of pressure resembling a drop of the eyes, a relaxing of shoulders, slowing of the walk, or a hesitating in the line throwing.  This is what makes it a conversation, rather than a demand or simply talking at the horse.  Each try by the horse should be acknowledged in this manner.   Overall, the handler is looking for a complete feeling of unity and a commitment from the horse prior to inviting them back to the herd.  This will come with experience and the whole of the “Reach Out” process generally should take no longer than 15-20 minutes.

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Reach Out to Horses:  A suitable moment is identified to invite the horse to become part of the team again.  The invitation takes the form of a sweeping motion in front of the horse and is similar to the natural gesture of displaying one’s flank, while eating.  The passive nature of the maneuver asks the horse to slow down and step closer.  He will choose to stay close to the wall, come part of the way or all the way to the handler.   If the communication is done correctly but the horse does not return to the handler this may possibly point to a problem, issue, or habit the horse developed before the session.  Ultimately, the greatest compliment is that the horse comes up to the handler and reaches out towards him with his nose.

Close Connection:  An invitation to the horse is given to come into the heart space where he receives lots of reward and reassurance – creating a close connection.  A rub on the forehead will reinforce his positive behavior.  The ultimate reward for a horse is the release of pressure, which translates to walking away.  Horses naturally move in arcs and angles so, when the time is right, the handler walks away in a clockwise direction to perform a figure 8.  The qualities of a leader are displayed to bring the horse back to the center of the round pen, which becomes a familiar comfort zone.

 

Reaching out to your horse is the foundation of all communication.  It can take on many forms and will allow you to learn to read and communicate with your horse, while building a trust-based relationship.  It is the beginning to all success and will aid in improving existing relationships, embarking on new partnerships, and assessing character and health.  From here, you can lead into starting young horses, problem solving, improving ground manners, teaching to lead & load, eliminate kicking, biting, and rearing, just to name a few.  Creating this trust-based relationship with your horse can be a magical experience and the moment you feel that true partnership is a moment you will never forget.

Better by change not by chance_Moment