Click image or HERE for a 1:43 min video from 2019 of beginning space and boundary conversations around movement.
"Space and Boundaries" are essential between horses and humans.
Horses care about clear and consistent designation of 'space and boundaries' with their 'herd'.
When you are with your horse, you are a 'herd of two.'
This is the first play session with Rhett in 3 weeks.
We can usually fully engage in intimate space and boundary conversations without either of us finding offense even when we haven't played in awhile.
Our liberty session, built upon autonomy, choice and voice, started with offers of forward movements that had been reinforced previously.
Working really hard through our FUNctional movements, while concentrating on the suggestions of shaping space and requests for more distance between us, Rhett found some offense to an upward energy request along with requesting space.
He wasn't really warmed up physically and/or mentally. I believe the request for the space, along with energy, also contributed to this behavior at 1:07 timestamp (click here)
It wasn't specifically the energy request but the moment of the request. My timing was a bit off and I asked for it just as his weaker left hind was getting ready to support the weight of the body.
Being on too small a circle caused an undo amount of torque to his chronic SI/pelvis strain and his feedback for me was a kick out and the thought of 'hey, that's uncomfortable!"
I could feel the air as it whizzed past my head, the kick was close. He could have gotten me if he felt that point needed to be clarified.
This conversation of creating and shaping space between us using traditional 'tools', like a whip to bring awareness to a body part or movement, was fairly new communication between us.
I love that we both continued our original conversation after the feedback with no regard, no disdain, no defensiveness and no hard feelings.
That previous conversation was clear, clarified, punctuated and over for us both.
Horses live in the moment. He offered the feedback, I acknowledged it and we moved on. We both have full autonomy and choice to leave the play if we feel the need.
And because we have the choice to say no....YES becomes the offer and answer !!
Do you have clear 'space and boundaries' in your relationship with your horse or in your life?
I am so grateful to all the horses and students that cross my path, they are my best teachers.
We empower each other to find the space and boundaries needed for all our conversations.