I am not against formulas and lessons in the training of horses and people. I am only against them when they are the only way you go about communicating and training horses.
Following formulas blindly, without question and without adjustment, can cause a person to lose their natural leadership ability, which then causes the horse to focus on having to pay attention to the rules rather than focusing on the connection.
I think that it is best for a person to hang around horses and horse trainers to develop a rhythm and a way of being around horses when things are right. For years, as one of the many ways I have gained my knowledge of horse training, I watched horses being trained by other people. It’s a lot of fun and I can’t think of a faster way to learn how to train a horse and develop your skill in the training of horses than by watching horses in nature, and by watching trainers that horses like. The way to really develop your skills is to be in the real world of horses, and to gain knowledge through hanging around and supporting horses and trainers. Don’t try to fix problems you are having with your horse. Be fine with your horse the way he is or get a horse that has no problems.
First, one must spend a lot of time with horses when things are right and then make a pact with yourself never to put yourself in the situation that will cause a problem. If you walk into a problem, stop what you are doing and get back to a true connection with your horse. Learn to lead being a student of your horse.
For a person to learn easily it is important to recall and analyze the child mind. In this way one will not see the flaws of formulas and why they do not work but rather see their benefit and use them appropriately, meaning, to use them in a way that the horse has a willingness to enjoy the training process. This is why I wrote my book Naked Liberty from a child’s perspective so the reader could return to their native intelligence.
Children are nurtured from hanging around horses with their friends at the barn site, pastures or anywhere horses are. I spent all day at the barn site being with, watching and playing around horses as a child, whether I got to ride or not. This need for a horse’s companionship has a strong effect in bringing about the best side of a horse and your natural ability for making a connection with a horse and solving problems and using formulas effectively. Children can while away the hours in pure bliss with horses. Horses know this and it causes them to want to relate with them positively. From this activity, children learn how to connect with a horse in friendship, gain respect, and trust naturally.
As we get older, we lose our interest to hang around horses in this manner. We skip being around horses as our focus and get to the part where the horse needs to fulfill our interest to ride them and serve us. We tend to skip the natural process in how to create a true connection with a horse. As adults, we feel we can find our connecting with horses in books and formulas. Following formulas, rules, and lessons is not good for us when it is our only resource for relating with our horse. It can create a static mind and horses that become resistant because formulas have inflexible rules that are applied to every situation in the same manner, which creates no ability to be flexible, loving, patient and creative.
A person tends to turn into a one trick pony, wearing one hat for all conditions in a robotic and unthinking manner driven only by what they want for the horse. They do not usually know how to handle unpredictable behavior or fill the nurturing needs of horses or how to keep a horse in line. This kind of behavior has no magnetic energy to invite the horse to feel a need to connect.
Rigid formulas serve an important purpose in the beginning to bring clarity to all the important elements in the training of horses, however, formulas have a tendency to take away a horses natural desire to connect with us as well as to take away our spontaneous genius, natural knowledge and common sense like a child that connects well with a horse.
Working with horses is not about formulas, it is about fluidity. To be fluid and know how to handle your horse to bring out his desire and willingness to dance - this is the art of horsemanship. People who have a natural connection with horses are the most fluid in how to win horses’ respect and friendship. They are able to motivate the performance by inspiring the horse rather than keeping pressure on a horse until the horse gives in.
The true art of horsemanship is to develop dancing leadership. Adjusting the mood and connection and building desire and clear communication is all that is needed.