Establishing boundaries with your horse and allowing him/her to draw their own boundaries is an essential key to safety and true partnership.
” The first thing you need to learn is that the person who is angry at you for setting boundaries is the one with the problem.”
– Drs. Cloud and Townsend from the book Boundaries
If you are like me, it can feel uncomfortable to set boundaries and say “no” sometimes.
I find it is much easier to set my boundaries with my horses….people not so easy.
Why is that?
Horses live by setting boundaries with each other, and testing the boundaries of their herd mates.
So that means horses are more aware of saying “no” and understand boundaries are a way of their life. (Compared to people.)
A horse will respect you for being the calm, strong, balanced and unemotional leader when you are with them. They want to find the leader, trust the leaders skills in protecting them and honor their leader. So a horse is naturally looking for boundaries when they are with you.
We (as humans) put emotions behind setting a boundary, such as:
the person won’t love me, or he will leave me, or I will hurt their feelings.
All are emotional responses we put on setting a boundary.
GREAT NEWS!!! A horse does not emotionally think about boundaries!
They respond authentically and in the moment when you draw a boundary.
So you don’t have to have any worries, thoughts or emotions behind setting a boundary with your horse. Just be clear, calm and consistent. That is the way of the true leader.
Today examine and become aware of boundaries.
1. Watch the video below (it is 18 minutes long).
2. Practice the “Mutual Awareness Exercise” from the video with your horse. Remember the exercise isn’t meant to be hard; it is meant to help you raise your awareness of how you set boundaries for yourself with horses (and people too). Then to also be aware of the boundaries they set.
This is not a disciplinary exercise (meaning there is no wrong for a few minutes) Just be aware, start to connect and feel.
Jenny & Kristin