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Is a horsewhisperer a magician? Print E-mail
Written by Franziska Gottschall   

No they don´t whisper and there is no magic is used. It is a science, the science of communication with horses. If everyone dealing with horses was familiar with this science, all horses and the people involved would be benefit.

Monty Roberts is probably the most well known horsewhisperer. Repelled by the traditional brutal submission of horses with the only goal to break the horse´s will, he studied the body language of horses all his life. He was looking for a more humane way to communicate with these sensitive animals.

Horses communicate silently, they talk with bodylanguage. Their extensive vocabulary consist mainly of gestures and movements. Every turn of the head, each ear position has a meaning. Observe a herd of horses and it is a lot like reading in a foreign dictionary. Once you have learned this foreign language you will understand how a horse thinks and feels. And you will be able to tell what is important. You hold the key to the horse´s soul in your hand.

Because the human being is a predator but horses are flight animals all instincts tell the flight animal horse to flee from us. It is our first and most important task to convince the horse that we are not dangerous and don´t want to hurt them. Only like this we will be able to create a partnership based on trust and confidence. The key question for the horse as a shy herbivore at risk is: “Can I trust you?” This is a vitally important question.

To build this trust-based relationship first I need to ask my horse if it has some interest in forming a friendship with me. I use the horse´s natural instinct that it wants to be protected by causing contrasts. First I act like a hostile predator then as the boss of the herd. Using my firm eye to eye contact following the horse and my hand open like a paw I first force the horse to flee.

But as the horse is also an energy saver very soon it wants to go back to the boss of the herd. And that is me in this case. The horse shows me all that through various body gestures: he licks and chews, slows down and lowers it´s head. Every gesture has it´s own special meaning. Now I stop chasing the horse and show him my shoulder which I make really round. I relax my whole body, my breath slows down, my hands are closed. With all these gestures and with my whole body position I show the horse trust and safety. The horse needs all that to follow me as it is a shy flight and herd animal. Because it wants to leave the stress behind him. For the horse this is a clear message: “In such a calm and peaceful place I can also relax and feel safe. Therefore let´s go!

With my help on your side on my farm in San Isidro de Cóbano you´ll learn the first exciting steps on the thrilling way of the horsewhispering. Everybody can learn this interesting communication system of the horses, adults as well as children. With talks, creative games and a lot of fun you will experience how the fascinating creature “Horse” really thinks and feels. And you will be able to use this knowledge in your riding so that it becomes a wonderful experience between you and the horse. Completely without witchcraft, just because of you.

Franziska Gottschall

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