How it works
For the sake of his own survival a horse has to be able to trust the judgement of the herd hierarchy. These hierarchy horses are the herd members that remain present, both in mind and body, while the rest of the herd may be grazing or just hanging out and having snooze in the sunshine. They are not standing on guard, but they are on look out, using their senses to perceive all that is happening around the herd.
If something startles a herd member he can trust that a hierarchy member has already seen it and worked out if it dangerous or not, if they don't react with flight the startled horse will go back to grazing peacefully again.
For your horse to trust you he has to know you have got his back so to speak.
If you are distracted and not fully in the moment, your horse will either become frustrated with you and try doing his own thing, or if he is not feeling confident and is looking for reassurance, then he is likely to to take matters into his own hands by taking flight and moving away.
" He knows when you don't know "
If you are not fully present and there for him, he knows. The universal language that all sentient beings understand is energy !
Every living creature generates a constantly changing energy field around them. This energy field is affected by our thoughts and emotions and is in constant flux with the changing body chemicals we produce in response to our actions and reactions.
So you see you can't lie to your horse, he is constantly aware of your state of mind, he is reading your energy field, emotions equal energy.
By developing your own sense of self-awareness, knowing who your are when you are with your horse, will provide him with the security and peace of mind that he needs to trust you and to be able to relax in your company. Positive learning cannot take place when the horse is showing with heightened tension, that he is about to go over the threshold of fight or flight.
Aims and principles
Aims - To develop trust and understanding by using self awareness to remain in the present moment, constantly observing our horses body language and helping to reassure him that we have noticed his concerns and will act accordingly to keep him safe.
Principles - To reduce stress, never to become angry and use force, to avoid conflict, stop and back off when necessary, never hurrying and allowing time for your horse to process his learning at his own pace.