Click image to watch short video of autonomy, choice and voice at liberty with Rhett.
Autonomy. Choice. Voice.
Everyone has their own definition of autonomy.
'Without force' is the meaning of the 'autonomy' I enjoy with my horses and what I teach.
Autonomy, for me, doesn't mean 'they can do whatever
they want when they want'. Space and boundaries, especially for safety, is always #1 priority.
The 'choice' for my horses to be able to answer 'yes or no' to my question/request or suggestion is second in importance.
Their 'yes or no choice' answer is what I base my next request upon.
The more my horses are allowed to say 'no', the more they offer 'yes'!!
The choice for me to be able to also say yes or no to my horses answer is also important. I must base my next question/request without emotional attachement to their answer.
Their 'voice' is essential to growing the trust
bank account between us. The feedback they show us as behaviors to our requests or suggestion, is their opinion and voice of the communication being offered for the question.
This invaluable feedback is why we need to learn to be present with, listen to and translate what the horse/learner is saying to the best of our abilities. Learn each others patterns and support a change.
Horse to human teacher, human to horse learner.
We can not train what is not present, the mind !
You can not train the mind if there is tension !
If there is tension in body and mind, you have created force and an unconfident learner !
Force-based training, and this can include many styles of natural horsemanship, does not give the option or choice of saying no to any request.
Any voice or opinion is that isn't what the human wants, isn't accepted from the horse and generally, punished.
For me, it's impossible to offer my horses anything but autonomy, choice and voice. If I create good questions, and accept their mind and body answers and responses, our relationship strengthens and our partnership grows.
Allow me to help you create the relationship of your dreams.
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