During the world`s toughest and longest horse race, I had a revealing experience of unity with horses that changed the way I train horses today.
Do you want to become one with your horse? And be able to ride your horse effortlessly with hind-leg engagement and natural self-carriage, without having to micromanage the horse to do so. I do too!
But it’s not always been like this. From when I started riding at the age of 9 until a few years back, the main focus was to control horses rather than to connect with them.
Countless riding lessons, courses, years of working with them plus a trainer and riding instructor degree, taught me a lot of technical stuff but not how to make my idea the horses idea. I had to find that elsewhere.
The quest brought me to Mongolia and the world’s longest and toughest horse race. It was a transforming 1000 km adventure.
During the Mongol Derby, I had a revealing experience of unity with horses.
It was the Mongolian horses who trained me as opposed to me training them. Sure-footed and wild, bolting, bucking, stubborn, or spooking; the essential part of getting through was to partner with them.
At the finish line, I was a different person than when I signed up. From that moment on, I knew that connecting with a semi-wild animal is possible.
When I got back to our farm in Norway, I discovered that my perception of horses and horse training had changed.
As a result, I began to do things differently and not by the book.
I found myself connecting with horses instead of schooling them; with less focus on obedience and more focus on partnership and choices in the training.
Since then, I have helped many horse owners connect with their horses. Even taken part in international film-productions, such as Horse Powers from the Land of the Vikings and Listening to the Horse.
It’s amazing to experience how much horses give back and willingly cooperate when we are present, use our body language, and allow them to have a choice.
When given the chance, horses are capable of controlling themselves and form strong bonds with their owners. They are also capable of using their bodies in a functional way, with hind-leg engagement, coming from self.
This is because the mind of the horse affects how they use their body. When their minds are happy and relaxed, their bodies goes into a functional shape with natural self-carriage and hind leg engagement. This makes regular riding a whole lot easier for us and much healthier for the horse.
When your horse is relaxed, forward and wants to be where he or she is, leading without lead-rope and riding without bridle becomes easy!