There is one tool that any person must have in order to be successful with horses. It is a more important
tool than any other tool you have. You can’t buy this tool at the feed store or order it online. It is a tool
that will make all other marketing tools more useful. And without it all other tools are useless. That
measure is self-confidence. It’s kind of fearless in the face of an animal that can easily hurt you at best and
kill you at worst.
By nature, a horse does not actually communicate its desires with verbal commands. Occasionally they let
you know what they are going to do when whistling or getting close, but most often they talk to each
other in body language. I want to point out that when you step into their world, your body language will
do for you. You have to learn what they are saying and be able to anticipate what they are going to do.
The freer you speak their language, the easier and safer your horse’s experience will be.
A horse is a prey animal. It survives by picking up the smallest signals around it. It is also a great reader
of unseen things. They have a sixth sense of sorts, filtering information between the lines, as well as
directly. When you risk getting into their space, they take more than just what you do. They can feel what
you feel. They have a sponge like the ability to absorb what you feel particularly anxious. It is very
important to remember that when you feel nervous or anxious, so is your horse. This means your horse
needs to be prepared to run because there is danger around him.
Unfortunately, they do not realize that a person lacking confidence is often at risk. So when you are going
to interact with your horse or any horse for that purpose, you need to be really aware of the feelings you
are causing them. You need a calm self-confidence, a sense of relaxed energy that will allow them to keep
calm in your presence. And, over time, you will develop this quiet self-confidence.
What do I mean by tacit trust? Well-silent confidence comes from the feeling that you know for sure that
everything around you is fine and that you are in control of the situation. It speaks to the true state of
mind of a leader. Here’s what a horse is looking for, a real guide. If you want to have a natural leadership
role with your horse, that is basic, silent self-confidence. When you see people screaming and screaming,
the horses look at them abusing doing what they want, they respond with fear or anger. Fear and anger do
not lead to good leadership qualities. Horses understand that you cannot control them out of control.
You need to be able to control yourself in order to control your horse. The horse knows this, and you
should learn it before you go any further. Concentrate on the realization that the horse fears as a sign of
weakness or danger. Weak people do not ride horses, weak people are pushed by horses. When a horse
feels fear, he can also become nervous and ready to flee for safety. When a horse does not respond to
what you want it to do, and it makes you angry, you must take a mental break. Horses lead not out of
anger. Horses lead one way and only – silent self-confidence.
Trust is not something you can just get. It is learned, developed and growing. It takes time to gain the
confidence you need to be a true leader in all situations.
The whole idea of natural horseback riding has grown tremendously in recent years. It helped break some
archaic and outdated workouts and I am grateful for that. Like every new idea, it has been sold and
milked for every penny it can produce. In order to sell faster, people have stuck with the label “natural
sports”, from books to gear. I am not a natural woman. I’m just a woman who strives to maintain a very
balanced and productive relationship with my horse. In fact, if I wanted to be a natural female, I don’t
think I’d ever put my head in the saddle. My horses would be left running freely in the open fields and I
would never consider them the training, fencing, trailers and demonstrations I so often do. Everything
most people do and their horses are unnatural. If it’s called natural, it’s not like that.
What I can learn more I will do. And when I can teach someone else to help them establish a deeper
relationship with my horse, I will.
I hope you learn something at the end of this book and move on with the realization that a horse is not just
a beast. They are very intelligent, very perceptive, very good creatures that I think everyone can call their
The relationships you have with your horse, much like the relationships you share with people in your
life. For any relationship to succeed, it must be a working relationship. It must grow continuously and
naturally grow stronger. It must also be a balanced relationship. The beginning of a balanced relationship
with your horse is to understand that a horse is a horse, not a human. It is an experience that makes both
Humans have this inner need to humanize animals and other “things” that are living in our lives. We
believe that animals think and react like humans do through uttering words. I have heard many people talk
about their horses as if the horse were just another person. I want you to understand that a horse speaks a
different language, has different emotions and is very inhuman.
I think the world could be a better place if people were a little bit like horses and a little less like humans.
And that’s the key here, more like a horse than making a horse more like a human.
The biggest mistake most people make with their horses is to “love them too much”. Loving a horse is not
difficult. In fact, it is very easy to engage in a very deep emotional attachment. I want you to love your
horses. I want you to love your horse so much that you make unselfish decisions about their evolution.
Stealing a horse for the sake of love is only beneficial to the owner’s own need to feel for the beloved
horse. However, horses in this sense do not “love” people, nor do people love one another. Yes, they can
be very attached to their fellows. They become bound in a way that resembles human love. But it’s not the
same. When you truly love your horse, you will realize that you have to make every effort to produce a
well-mannered and obedient animal.
You probably won’t have your own horse all your life. Everything changes so fast in our lives. People
lose their jobs, need to move, get a new job, have children, become physically incapable of caring for
their horses. Many things can happen that will require you to find a new home for your horse. A well-
behaved, humble and obedient horse will continue to live long and well.
It is horses that are spoiled for love and create many unwanted behaviors that will reduce their chances of
finding a good home. And even worse, when your beloved friend may end up selling stock shipped to
Canada or Mexico to end their lives in a cruel and unimaginable way.
The sad but fair reality of the economic downturn of recent years has been that there are too many horses
left in a state of homelessness. Many people who loved their horses had to make the final decision about
the welfare of their animals and give them to others so that they could be properly cared for. There are so
many horses and not enough quality places to live in them now. Many horses have fallen into the hands of
horse dealers or their lifestyle has been less excellent. Only a good horse, useful to man, will find a place
in this world to live a pleasant and quality life. Horses that have problems are usually the first ones to be
sent to outings.
So, if you really love your horse, you will be a strong commander. Marrying a horse in a way that will
bring up a balanced animal will give it a place in the human world for years to come. I ask you to give up
your needs and consider the long term needs of your horses. A kidnapped horse will do nothing more for
you, except for many problems or even more serious injuries.
I want you to understand what I mean by spoiling. Everything you do with horses must have a few simple
boundaries. You have to keep space around you. You can imagine a bubble of sorts – it spreads about 1 or
2 feet around you – this place is yours and the horse does not have to enter it. (In the next section, we’ll
look at the behavior of the lead mare to learn more about why it’s so important)
You can hold your horse because I feel that touching a horse all over his body is a great way to soften it.
You can offer your horse meals at times if done in moderation and at the right time. People tend to think
that as the horse comes down to see them on the fence, they have somehow made a special connection
with their horse. A horse will always come running to the fence if he is given a treat for the show. They
come to see a treat not for you.
I want to show you that a horse can run away from your true connection, not because it treats you like
that. You have to remember that everything you do should be done in moderation, which will end up in
Balance is not something you just need in the saddle. Balance must exist in all aspects. Imagine a scale if
you see the opposite of prey, neglect and abuse on the left. This end of the spectrum is easier to imagine
in your head. On the left is an abusive owner who tries to beat his pet and neglects to even care for his
basic food, shelter and water needs. Now look to the right side of the spectrum and you will see the
opposite of the polar side. You see an owner who lets the horse dominate and dictate to him what will
happen. On this side, the owner occasionally shows up with sweet treats to please the animal. Soon, the
horse grabbed the pockets of its owners and dragged around the lead rope, or worse, judging by disrespect
or being out of control. You have to be somewhere right in the middle of that scale. You need to maintain
a balanced and equitable attitude towards your horse, with quiet confidence.
A horse is a simple animal. You can show your horse “love” by eating properly and with as much clean
drinking water as they can drink. You can show affection by feeding him cereals twice a day, supplying
hay well and grazing. You can show them love when their kiosk is clean and their body clean with proper
care. You can show love to them if you take care of the vet and are free from pests. You can show them
love by caressing under their chin or anywhere they can’t normally reach. It is a place where horses are
happy, cared for and cared for. This kind of love will benefit your horse for many years and bring up a
lovely animal to work with and play with.
The key is to find a balance where both parties are happy and content with the partnership. If the horse is
not happy, you are too far left. If you are not happy, you have gone too far to the right. If you stay in the
middle, everyone will be happy.
We have to buy binding from a human, not from a horse’s beliefs. I told you earlier to think more like a
horse. They don’t care if you spend a lot of money on new charms and bridles. They don’t care that you
took out a loan to have a better horse trailer than your neighbor. A real bond that will tie you tightly to
your horse costs nothing but time. Somehow people are trying to make up for the time spent by spending
money on aid. You cannot buy your own way to rule. You need to put in the effort and time needed to
make the connection, and you can only establish the connection with confidence.
There are two types of social roles in the horse world: leader and follower. If you look at your field, you
will see that there is only one true leader behind them, with the remaining filter. The number 2 horse will
go after the number 1 but will also follow the number 3. The number 3 follows the numbers 1 and 2, but
leads the number 4. There are no two horses ranked 2. This is one line of files leading all the way down to
the lowest member of society. They all bow to number 1 and number 1 does not obey anyone. Your job is
to learn number 1 and find out how it keeps quiet.
Confidence is something that flows from within and continues into our physical being. It is a sense of
collected self-awareness. You feel powerful, so you are. Maybe you’re lucky and you’re a naturally
confident person, then your task will be easier. Make sure your confidence is not really arrogance.
Arrogance is really a lack of true confidence. This is due to feeling inadequate and trying to
overcompensate with snoring. Horses can easily name this bluff. Arrogance and horses will hurt or ruin
The horse will look for a confident leader. You have to stand with confidence, move with confidence,
breathe with confidence. You have to personify your self-confidence. I want you to stand tall and move
like a mountain around horses. You accumulate all that powerful energy in your mind and move through
them instead of waving around. If they are on your way, you are forcing them to get out of your way.
The time will become clear to you when you apply this simple state of mind that the horse will respond
naturally to you and move as you do. You need to be very clear and focused on what you want them to
do, and then use only enough energy to make it come true.
There will be times when you may come across a horse that has more confidence than you. In such cases,
you will need to make a reasonable estimate of how you will proceed. Training an animal more than you
can be dangerous.
Ask yourself, is this horse really more confident or scared? Are his actions based on dominance or fear?
You have to learn this horse and see if you can learn anything from it. Remember that horses are our
teachers and they mimic their way where they are. Investigate his or her self-confidence and then do just
that, imitate their behavior, but always be safe.
I want you to really develop this confidence in horses. Be aware of what you are planning on the horse.
Before you go through the gate, know what you are feeling. Be attentive to this tacit trust.
You can spend thousands of dollars attending a horse training workshop or clinic to learn how to train
horses. You can go out and spend hundreds of dollars on new tutorials or even thousands of dollars on a
new round pen to train. All of this will be a waste of money if you do not have the confidence to drive a
horse. You can’t fake it. You can’t buy it. You have to develop it. It’s free, except for the time you spend
creating. It is not valid.
There are many horse owners who are afraid of having a relationship with their horses. Fear is the main
mistake people make with horses. If you are even a little nervous about the horse, you will end up in the
slave seat. You will not get results in training. You will have a very flat and unhappy relationship if you
justify it with fear.
For those who are even the least afraid of their horse, I want to offer to go out and buy a whip. You will
never even need to use it. It’s more of a tool to make you feel safe and confident. Get out of the rut if you
want. Carry it in your hand when dealing with the horse. I’m not asking you to use it, I’m asking you to
carry it. Sometimes knowing that you have it will give you the confidence you need to have a successful
conversation with your horse. If a horse respects a dead stick weighing just an ounce because it can
slightly annoy its tip, imagine the greater respect you might have with a horse. Carry the hammer in your
hand until you feel safe leaving it behind your back. This is just a help to make you realize that horses are
not as big and bad as some people think.
You will soon realize how powerful and humble you can be. You will also find that this new confidence
will be used for the rest of your life. You will walk a little more straight and be bolder in what you do.
You will learn to better understand the feelings you are projecting. Trust will attract horses just like
Remember, trust is not bullying. Think about it when you went to school and there was bullying. Usually,
the bully simply blew himself up and behaved aggressively towards others for fear. A horse can tell when
it is being bullied and it will not have long-term self-confidence. You can bully a horse at times, but for
the time being, bullying will work for you.
I saw a lot of bullies from the horse and none of them were horse. They were all people trying to show
force. That’s it, show. The horse knows the difference between bullying and self-confidence. Bullying
comes from inner fear, trust comes from inner strength. The horse follows the forces, he will flee with
fear. And remember, if he can’t escape fear, he can take precautionary measures as a last resort. Horse
bullying is a good way to get hurt or killed.
I don’t want you to be afraid of your horse. Sometimes it’s easy to be scared of an animal that has so
much power and so much power. Its size alone can easily make it dangerous, but for the most part the
horse is an obedient and timid creature.
He is also humble and wants to be a part of the human world. If it weren’t for him, he would just jump
over the fence we built to restrain him, or he would break through the barn door and launch himself. He
does not use his powers in the same way as a man. He will face a life-threatening situation, but for the
most part he is obedient and timid.
This does not mean that the guarantee is that your horse will never help himself physically. He can and is
likely to have, but it will be more subtle than it will kill you. Horses often “test” you to see if you pay
attention. The subtle invasions of your guide can make you depressed, so know what the horse always
Try to replace fear with respect. Respect the fact that it is big and treat it with care. Do not irritate or
annoy the horse. Don’t provoke him to prove a point to other people. In fact, leave all your wishes to the
people to impress your horse skills. Focus on you and him and the relationships you really want to share.
Use common sense. Don’t stand behind a horse and tempt him to prove he won’t. One day you might fail
and try it with the wrong horse. Show respect, not fear. Starting a “safe” record will naturally increase
your self-confidence and replace the fears you once had.
This article is an excerpt from the book “Evolution of Human Equine Relationships by H.E.R.D” by
author Tamara Svencer