After reading my last post about tricks versus a horse that is engaged and communicating with you, a friend shared the following video with me.
Wow. I was blown away and completely riveted to the screen. I suggest grabbing your favorite beverage before settling down for this video. It’s an hour and one minute long, but worth every single minute. What Dr. Deb Bennett talks about is the elusive, softness that we are looking for in our horse. She puts it into terms that make it something I can visualize.
She talks about the horse’s “Birdie”. The birdie is essentially the horse’s attention/desire. So in order to have the horse be 100% okay with being with us we need to get that birdie to “fly” along with us on our rides and during our play sessions.
“When the rider drags the horse away from his desires (his birdie) the rider creates turmoil within and crookedness without.” ~Dr. Deb Bennett
This was such a powerful image for me. She said that when we drag our horse away from his birdie, whether that is his hay feeder, his stall, his buddies or his pasture and then push him beyond where his thread can stretch (the thread that connects him to his birdie) we are in essence causing him to feel like we are trying to kill him. This reminds me of the movie, “The Golden Compass”. The people in that movie all have their daemons, or spirit animal, that goes everywhere with them. If they are separated from that animal they will die. Pure and simple. When the human dies, so does the daemon.
The horse must not feel that we are trying to separate him from his birdie.
“Get your horse 100% okay on the inside before you ask anything else of him, this is the path to mastery.” ~Dr. Deb Bennett
Click on the link below to go to the video. This is Day 3: Part Two… (they’ve changed this to a membership only video. It’s $25 a year to join the USEF. This video alone is worth the charge!!)