Kjrsos Area of Study: Communication

Everything is communication.  Training, riding is all just communication. Everything, everything is communication and depends upon our skills in communication. This is why this part of the program is so extensive an Area of Study subdivided into individual Fields of Study.  From the most basic which is understanding Basis Equine Body Language to the more advanced classes in learning how much they can understand from us in ways that are difficult to imagine or truly understand.

Your success predicated upon your ability to communicate.  For you to understand what you are communicating. For us to understand what the horse understands that we are trying to communicate.

Course Studies

 

Kjrsos Discipline: Essentials of Communication

More than knowledge on how to ride, communication, is the foremost skill that every horseman needs.  It is sad that throughout the world, when a rider comes to an instructor no mention is made about learning to communicate.  Other than perhaps here is how you make him lift his feet so you can clean his feet.  That isn't communication that is you making him do something.  So much of our relationship with horses is about control.  Making them do what we want when we want them to do it.

Communication with our Horses Happens at Different Levels, in different ways.  It is more diverse and more rich than simply looking to see if the horse's ears are forward and back. 

To start with, communication implies there is more than one involved.  The one that is communicating and the one who is being communicated to.

Communication indicates a conversation.  A two-way conversation.  Something happening between the two involved even if we don't always understand that it is happening.

When we begin to look to communicate let alone try to understand what the horse is trying to tell us, we have set ourselves a difficult task. Miscommunication among humans is endemic. Miscommunication between two diverse species is somewhat more problematic.  Magnified by the problem that all of our communication to some extent is based upon assumptions.  We can't understand the communication if we don't understand the horses. If we misconstrue intent, if we misconstrue their perception, we misconstrue the communication.

So the essentials of communication has to balance between just learning about the horse in general so we begin to understand where they are coming from, their intent, how they think, how they react, and the basics of body language.  What our bodies are saying to one another.  If the intent of your communication does not jive with what your body language is saying, the message is garbled and does nothing but confuse the horse.

"While too often animals read our intent which is buried within our body language, position, action and gestures when that is mired or mixed with action that muddies the communication it completely throws out the connection and the communication between us and our dogs or any animal including humans." From Raising an Intelligent Dog

This discipline tries to balance between the effort to begin to understand our horses and basic physical body language of both horse and rider.

Highly Recommended

Supporting Class Living in Time

 

It is here that we take the Essentials of Communication and go the next step. Looking for a conversation.  Looking to find the voice of the horse.  Trying to understand the horse and how he thinks and in that understanding find ways to communicate to him that work because they are about him.

The challenge as always is to give the horse space and opportunity to answer, and to have the awareness to see, hear what they are saying.

Something as simple as stepping forward versus stepping back can be filled with information, communication and can at the same time present us with a lesson on new ways to engage the horse and have their willing participation.

This is about us, learning more about them, enabling us to open up the lines of communication and reaching out and creating a new type of relationship. They are so different from us, in so many ways.  The difficulty as always is not so much the horse, but us.  Because when we don't understand the horse, how he thinks and we try to train based on how we think, it is a wonder that our horses do as well as they do.

Finding the guidance and voice of the horse.

 

The more we understand the horse the more that changes the relationship that we have with them.  We must look carefully, analyze, wonder what is here.  And in the wondering, discover what is here that maybe we missed before.

These tools can be powerful.  Any powerful tool needs to be treated with respect.  Used in the training method referred to as clicker training which encompass the concepts of positive and negative reinforcement.  The basic concepts go far beyond just a click and a treat, and are at some level a part of any relationship.  Which is why it is so important that you understand these concepts and how they impact upon your training and your relationship.

The concept is not difficult to understand but how to do it is.  This challenges almost all training methods that we use for our horses and challenges us in new ways. What does your training system say to the horse?

 

Everything we do here at Kjrsos is about helping the horse have a voice. An ongoing process that never stops.  Knowing that it is not enough for us to hear but they have to be able to speak as well.

It matters not what we think we need to be, to be a leader when we are with a horse.  What matters is our understanding how they decide if you are or not. And that is something that too many miss.

A series of articles that speak to the interacting and training of the horse and how important it is to spend as much time as possible learning to work with our horses in such a way that they spend as little of their lives as possible with the halter on.  The more we can learn to work with the halter off, the more that teaches us about our interactions with our horses.  It gives them more of a voice, helps in the development of their consciousness when they are given a choice.  If we need the halter, we need to explore how else can we change, what else can we find. How much farther we have to go.

Time to ask yourself what is your perspective on those who live here with you on this earth.  Then ask yourself how that influences how they interact with you.

 

Why would you doubt that in a universe where everything is energy, that a language, a way to communicate would be through the concept of energy itself. A more advanced course.

Prerequisites: Communication Essentials & Tools of a New Relationship

To learn more on basic body language check out Understanding our Horses under Essentials of Communication.