Read Kharon's story at the end of the article.
How do we come to TRUST our horses and each other?
Well ... we start by listening ... this listening forms an understanding ... a way to read the “whys” behind how we are wired to feel or react to each other, both in horses and ourselves.
We can mould to use just enough energy to express our points of view without going into confusion, fear or dominance ... by us listening.
This listening establishes our needs and those needs of our horses to be heard ... we call this our boundaries.
In turn we must be consistent ... reliable, a place of safety and fun. We must not doubt in ourselves and expect connection. We must not be confused and expect clarity. We can learn to be all these things with Trust.
We can face vulnerability, step out of the comfort zone ... but only when we have mastered the upper stages when they are strong.
We hope to never ask for a "no!!" for this means we’ve stepped over the boundary ... inadvertently sometimes we do, our Horses do too.
So what of the broken Trust ... well ... we must begin from the beginning, like a Snakes and Ladders game, when we’ve lost the Trust ... we have to begin to build all again.
We should strive to be honest, we have to be truthful in ourselves and speak out if we are in fear or confusion ... for our horses can see lies faster than we can make them.
Horses will ask for help ... that is the time to ask them for their help too. In this shared vulnerability we now listen to each other’s hurt, confusion, and fear of doing wrong. We forgive! They forgive!
How many times do we see a horse trying in fear to give us what they think we want. This is the time to ask our horses how WE need to help them to teach US the way to explain our needs back to THEM.
They are the the best teachers of the language “HORSE”.
Instead of getting louder and faster ... we slow right down, change something ... go back to what we both know and understand. A common ground of reassuring safety.
Are we always prepared to stop ... our ... intended direction for that of the horses need?
Are we prepared to stand up for our horses and say "stop, that’s not for him or me"?
Trust ... is built in tiny steps, we hold integrity, vulnerability, heart, empathy and understanding whilst striving to be consistent, fair ... not fixed in our own aims, responding totally to the emotion ... To the response of our Horses in front of us in that moment, forgetting yesterday or the aim of tomorrow ... what is it happening right now?
Do we trust each other? Do we trust in our own instinct to know what our horses speak?
Can we build trust with the care Trust deserves and needs?
Can we repair the times Trust fails?
Sometimes Trust comes after a storm of misunderstanding, when we finally give up trying to fight for control. For Trust is a two-way, giving thing ... if the balance is skewed no trust will come.
About the Author
It is with gratitude and admiration that I introduce our guest writer, Kharon Nakielny. Kharon grew up in Herefordshire in the U.K. and has led "a life of horses" for over 40 years from the age of 11. This included a family-run stud farm in her teen years, backing horses, and rehabilitating wild rescue horses using gentle ways to create the bond through trust. Kharon was then accepted as a stud manger student for two years at some of the biggest stud farms in Newmarket. Her career was jolted to a halt when her mother was diagnosed as terminally ill.. Whilst being a sole carer, Kharon developed a carriage driving wedding business, again using the gentle way of connection. After her mother's death she married and bought a farm raising sheep. Still wanting to share all her ways to connect with horses, Kharon started teaching children how to bond with their ponies. Through word of mouth, she became a resource for children with stress and low self esteem for tuition. Under Kharon's tutelage, the children and their ponies blossomed. Wanting to take this gentleness of interacting and training horses to a wider audience, three years ago Kharon founded and actively moderates a Facebook Group dedicated to creating a greater understanding of how we bond to our horses. This group, called Human Horse Bond, now has more than 6000 members. But Kharon is not done yet! Her ultimate aim is to create a centre - an academy of holistic experiences and teachings which grounds us firmly to our bond with horses.
From a very early age I have been able to tune in to what horses and ponies were thinking and what they were likely to do next.