Skip navigation

The Project:

Horses from many walks of life, communication through body language, tools used only for safety, never to train.

_I0A3026

The Goal:

To discover how far Equestrian Art can be developed solely using body language.

Before Riding…

This week I thought I would talk you through a brief photo essay of some of the things Ari and I are doing to get ready for riding._I0A3115

The past few weeks we have developed Ari’s comfort in being leaned on. He knows how to brace his feet and find his balance accommodating me shifting around him and putting my full weight up against his.

_I0A2792

We have spent many hours going places together with Ari leading the way. This is important because once I am sitting on his back I will always be following his lead.

_I0A4212

We practice having my arms go up in the air so I am taller than normal, this is a minor change in comparison to sitting up on Ari’s back, but we have to start with small steps toward the end goal.

_I0A4085

As you can see Ari is not sure he approves of me being taller so close to him, so I do it only for a moment and then retreat to being a normal height.

_I0A4105

When Ari has made the most change toward better feeling that I think is possible for the moment, I offer him my hand, he touches in, and that is our agreement to change the conversation to something easier.

_I0A4451

Having me down low was a challenge for Ari at the beginning of our relationship. Now he finds it much preferred in comparison to the other option, me being taller than usual.

_I0A4325

Hugging Ari is a funny task that is important before riding because he has never experienced being squeezed by human limbs before.

_I0A4191

There will be times riding when I need to catch my balance and grab ahold of him for a moment with my legs or my arms.

_I0A4374

We need to make sure this is comfortable for him in relaxed situations before I ever try to do it in any situation with higher energy.

_I0A4592

Our next task to get comfortable with is jumping.

_I0A4591

After I sit on Ari, I will have to jump off of him at some point.

_I0A4565

As you can see, Ari is less than pleased with the jumping, so we keep it far enough away from him to be tolerable for now.

_I0A4557

With a little support from Ocassio and I over time, Ari will adapt and learn that jumping is amusing and not bothersome at all.

_I0A4509

Our final task this week is about buckets, and my ability to stand on them, as I will need to do to climb on for a ride.

_I0A4540

At this point in time, I practice far away from Ari.

_I0A4575

And often I practice when I am downhill from him so I am not too tall at first.

_I0A4586

As you can see, at this point in time, Ari likes the part best when he sees me stepping off the bucket to become a normal height again.

All of these tasks are approached with the best feel and timing I can manage. Ari is free to express how he feels about each action I take and the duration of harmony we share between actions. Ari’s feedback to me is my continuing education so I am perpetually learning to do this better.

The tasks are fun, but the way we feel together while we do them is so much more important.

I have posted a video on Patreon so you can see our practice of these things in action. If you are curious about this and ongoing stages of the process, I greatly appreciate your patronage joining the group and I will continue to share update videos every week.

https://www.patreon.com/tamingwild

Here is to horses teaching us well! Here is to us humans learning to listen better every day to become the best partners possible through all the fun tasks we might think up.

Hooves and Heartbeats,

Elsa

TamingWild.com

5 Comments

  1. Couldn’t find video of “before riding exercises”?? Patrice

  2. I was wondering, How do you do their hoof trimming? Or do you at all? Can other people do things with them or are you the only one handling them now?

    • Sofia, I do all my own hoof trimming and my goal is to do it well so that the horse then is so comfortable with the idea they are happy to share that activity with other people also. I am currently the only one handling the Stallions, but I will make sure to include my mother and daughter and some other key people here before I leave for my teaching tour in September. I believe it will be a smooth transition from my work to working with other humans.


Leave a Reply to Patrice Thiessen Cancel reply

%d bloggers like this: