Horses have incredible hearing, with the ability to hear the heartbeat of a human from four feet away. In the wild, horses will synchronize their heartbeats to the other horses in the herd in order to sense danger more quickly, and recent studies have shown that they use those tactics in domesticated life as well. When our horses interact with us, they tend to synchronize to our heartbeats as well, meaning they can sense slight adjustments in our mood. This means when we as riders get nervous about something, we inadvertently translate our fears and anxieties onto our horses.
Like people, horses have different personality types. Each horsenality requires a different approach and communication style.
If you can learn to adapt your approach and communication style to a 1200 pound horse, imagine what you can do in your personal and professional life!
The reason horses fit so well in our lives is because they are very social creatures. They need to interact with others in order to fulfill needs like safety, affection, and play. To better understand your horse, you can learn how horses communicate with each other, why they live in groups, and what their daily life is like in the wild.
For example, baby horses have to immediately interpret other horses’ body language for their own survival. If mom says run, they need to run – now. Growing foals also go through a crash-course in learning about cause and effect. They learn that certain actions lead to nips and bites. They learn how to dish out those nips and bites for rude behavior, too. It’s this expert ability to quickly learn the consequences of an action – and how to influence others – that makes horses so trainable.