Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The eye of a horse

What is Trigger telling me?
I´ve been fascinated by the eyes of horses I meet for as long as I remember. Some say that you shouldn’t look a horse in the eye. I don´t agree. That´s the first thing I do when I am standing close to the horse. It tells me so much about them.
I try to not challenge the horse in any way, I don´t stare. I respect horses and their personal space. When I approach a horse I do it with a “soft” body language and I make a serpentine, approaching the horse from the side with my eyes on the withers. Only predators approach in a direct line. When I am standing next to the horse I likewise make my eyes soft and meet the horse´s eye. It tells me what the horse think of my presence, does he enjoy the company or would he rather be left alone? It also tells me a lot about the horse´s state of mind and physical health. Is he nervous? Content?  Relaxed? Does he feel safe? Is he curious? Playful? Aggressive? Happy? Something else a horse eyes tells me is what state of mind I am in. A wise man once said that you can see your soul in the eye of a horse.
Before mounting a horse I look him in the eye to see if he´s with me or if we need to do something else before we can go for a ride (more groundwork, leading exercises, take a second to relax or ride another day.) I don´t mount a horse with scared or “sticky” eyes. That´s about respecting the horse.
Lately I tried to capture some beautiful horse eyes with my camera. What do you see in these eyes?

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I´d love to hear what you think about todays post. Did you relate to the topic?