When I watch my horses play in the pasture, it is not the biggest or the strongest that wins the dominance games, although she is arguably the fastest. Cole’ wins dominance games because she is the most confident. She doesn’t believe in the equine who is more dominant than she is and thus they don’t exist.
Mint, who always winds up on the bottom of the pecking order is her exact opposite. He would really like to be dominate if someone would let him. Almost every move has a hesitance in it, even when he vies for dominance with a new horse. It looks something like this: I am big! I really am. Come on, I really am. I would like to be. I wish I was.
Some horses will engage him and prove dominance, others, I had a mare who was so underfed she didn’t care what he did, just ignore his antics and he talks himself out of it without much help. He goes through the same steps with humans. One day he will come on strong, but if he is ignored or sent away he becomes submissive in less than a minute.
Many of my girls come out lacking confidence. Whether the lack of confidence comes from the fact that horses are big, or this is all new, or they are afraid of making a mistake, or training at home or at school, or a natural part of their personality, it really doesn’t matter. As long as they remain unconfident around horses they are a target for Mint and will be ignored by Countess and Cole’. The moment they find confidence Mint backs off and the girls start to listen.
I can only address so many underlying issues. Time will help them get used to the size and the newness will wear off. They will eventually learn to make mistakes and learn from them. I may be able to provide a safe enough place to build confidence, but all of that takes time. Time in which a girl gets frustrated and may talk herself completely out of horses, making her feel like a failure and reinforcing her lack of confidence.
I struggled with what to do before they became confident. I can be safe and positive, but it wasn’t until I watched this video I knew what else to do. I have tried it with every unconfident girl I have had since, and it works. Two minutes before or during a lesson and the horses respond entirely differently to the girl.
It is not magic, it is body chemistry.
Watch the video, tell me what you think.