Foreword by Christine Dawson, Managing Director and Lead Trainer - Quest for Success Ltd
It was a while before I realised. As the understanding washed over me in a warm and inviting wave, I felt a profound and welcome change which meant I could really move forward, finally. This was the moment in time when I embraced the power of thought and jump-started something unexpected and truly amazing. What was it that reached out and embraced me all those years ago, what astonishing truth did I learn?
I realised that the horse is an extremely empathic being and that they feel everything we think. Imagine that. A whole channel of communication, previously hidden from my awareness and now shining so clearly in my consciousness. This was a taste of something new to get really curious about, and I did.
Making sense of it all...
The psychology of human behaviour is both fascinating and complex and the horse, equally as mystical, has the job of trying to make sense of our relationship with them, an unenviable task. My learning illustrated that the intricacies of the tangled streams of information that pass from rider to horse can be smoothed out and given clarity and meaning.
The secret of understanding the psychological connections we forge every moment of our existence lies in the psychology of response. Consider, now, that within every second of our life, we receive a dazzling quantity of information from the world we perceive around us. The external becomes internal by influencing our five senses; our sight, our hearing, our feeling, our taste and our sense of smell. A relentless barrage of sounds, pictures, feelings, smells and tastes, all of which we need to collate into some sort of manageable form that we can understand and that our neurology can deal with.
Avoiding information overload, we delete, distort and generalise over 99% of the perceived world, making the manageable data that remains into an internal representation of our own model of the world. This in itself is an incredible learning as it clearly demonstrates that our perception of reality isn’t necessarily reality itself; we have deleted, distorted and generalised so much of it. Picture yourself recalling an event and telling someone about it, and they tell you in response that’s not how they experienced the same event at all. We all represent our world internally in a very different way. Of course, we don’t complete this intricate process consciously, it’s the role of the unconscious part of our mind to evaluate our surroundings and maintain our vision of our model of the world.
Relating our own psychology to that of the horse sounds like new thinking, and it is. Our unconscious mind sifts through the information available to us and sifts out the elements that it can make sense of. We then get an internal representation of the world. This initiates a chain reaction unlike any other and it is one that the horse is indelibly linked in to.
Our internal representation drives our emotional state; it dictates the way we feel. Our emotional state then has a direct and profound effect on our physiology which drives our behaviour. When we ride, how do we communicate with the horse, yes, through our physiology, our hands, legs and seat. Suddenly, snapping into sharp focus, the realisation that our bodily contact with the horse carries so much more than physical communication, it carries our emotional response too. Is it any wonder that the horse sometimes receives very mixed and confusing messages that we didn’t mean to send? Your body may be giving a clear instruction to move forward, whilst your psychological message is….‘No, I’m nervous, there is something to be feared.’ What exactly should the horse do with such tangled messages? How should they respond? Is it any wonder that poor communication is often mis-interpreted as bad behaviour or poor riding?
A new way of thinking... a route to learning!
New frames of thinking about something you have known so well throughout your life can often be confusing, and confusion leads to learning. Using this vantage point and demonstrating a willingness to experiment means that we can invite greater confusion into our lives and actively create fabulous new learning. Wait a moment. If our psychology of response actuates at an unconscious level, how can we take control of it? The fabulous news is that you can, by learning the theory and practice of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). NLP thinking allows us to take control of the information processing which ticks away in our internal computer. Controlling our internal representation allows us to get a handle on our emotional state and the inherent impact on our physiology and subsequent behaviour. Communication comes under control and the horse’s confusion is calmed and deep, trusting relationships forged.
NLP represents a rich tapestry of new learning which offers a resonant picture of how human and horse can develop a mutual and highly beneficial understanding, based on a powerful sixth sense. It’s a study of what works and a methodology for eliciting and replicating excellence. For both rider and horse, the ability to have an unshakable mutual understanding is the foundation of the successful partnership. It’s how winners are made and how true love is forged. Above all, taking control of and responsibility for your thinking and your life’s goals is something that both you and your horse deserve.
An appointment with success!
Western Training Online has absorbed the wealth of knowledge which creates NLP thinking and has developed this amazing approach to success in the Western Discipline. Competitors, Coaches, Trainers, Judges and leisure riders alike will benefit enormously from working with them and making astonishing transformations for themselves. They are fully certified Practitioners of NLP, with a respected and highly regarded accreditation awarded by the American Board of NLP, one of the best in the world. An appointment with Western Training Online is an appointment with success.