Did you know that “catching” your horse is training?
How you work with them while going to get them is important relationship training on connection.
I would recommend my favorite exercise is mutual awareness. This is allowing you to honor your horse and create an energetic pull. You must first let go of all “agenda” or idea when we approach our horse, this is the first energetic mistake we can make.
We want to hold the intention in our heart of being with our horse in the moment, and adapting energetically from moment to moment with ease. This exercise is to honor our horse energetically.
You will begin by approaching your horse from a distance where they are comfortable with you at. Sometimes the farther away you can start the less pressure you have put onto your horse. Remember we can NEVER take pressure back if we apply to much pressure!! It is better to use less pressure than to much (just a side note to everyone).
You are going to only focus on feeling from your heart the pressure or energetic pressure applied from your horse to you. A horse has a large field of energy to successful feel danger for survival. So, keep that in mind as you approach your horse, they know you are there and approaching and can feel your energy from 200 yards away.
As you approach your horse, notice if you feel in your gut or heart/chest any sensation of pressure such as hitting a force field or pushing against a bubble. That is your horse high sensitive energy field and we want to honor how we move into their field. You will approach with a walk as if you were walking up to a friend.
Nice and relaxed, easy going, nice pace. Breathe deep before you begin your approach to get centered in your body (if you know the body scan or body meter exercise this is a perfect start) and then close your eyes feeling through your heart and begin your approach.
You are watching for any movement your horse feels you, such as tipping an ear at you, turning to look at you, putting an eye on you, all of those are indicators your horse feels your energy pushing against them. When you feel it in your body or physically see the signs you will stop, rock all the way back shifting onto your back leg and bending your knees, pulling in from your belly button and rounding your shoulders and back to pull all energy away from your horse.
Breathe out big and slowly as you draw all your energy off. Hold and wait until you feel an invitation to continue forward. (Waiting is the key and some people want to rush. I think of when I see and feel the invitation or pressure soften I wait an extra count of three and then proceed forward.)
A side note is never approach your horse from the direct front or back, try to stay to the side or a diagonal to the horse. Any pressure from behind, aimed at the hip will energetically push your horse forward and in front such as at nose will push them to stop or turn.
(This is the moving with energy exercise) So each time you see the acknowledgement that your horse feels you, stop, rock back and breathe out. Hold this as long as you need to, wait to feel the soften or attention taken off of you.
I have stood in complete connection with a horse from 50 yards away for 20 minutes, so patience is the key as your intention and agenda in NOT to catch your horse, but to honor and ask your horse to connect to touch. As you approach, you can talk to your horse as well. Ask them if they are willing and will connect with you in the moment.
(DO NOT USE THE WORD CATCH as it will shift your energy and body) Continue the approach, honor, rock back, breathe and wait. Once you are closer to your horse you can extend a hand (perhaps with a treat) and wait for them to move to take the invitation do not push it on them.
I would take a lead rope around my shoulder but no halter if possible or drop halter when get closer. This lets your horses guard down about being caught as well. Hope this helps and great luck to you. Try this exercise over and over with no catching at all, just honoring and your horse and your relationship will soar again in a new way.
My favorite analogy for this exercise is to think of introducing a new horse into a group. A horse will be looking at a new horse as it enters the gate to already have a read on their body language and energy. That energy and body language dictates how the other horses will respond off the bat. Think of that as you enter the gate next time to enter.