What is Intuitive Horsemanship?
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Intuitive means tuning in, becoming attuned and listening to the way we feel about a situation, person, thought or thing. Intuition is based on what one feels to be true even without conscious reasoning. It is instinctive, not scientific, logical or about reason and because it cannot be measured by scientific research it is somewhat of an anomaly for most and perceived as an esoteric concept rather than the truth of a situation.
Horses on the other hand are all about instinct and intuition. Because they are masters of sensory awareness and sensory processing (this is proven scientific research) they don’t question how they feel about a situation because they are designed to listen and trust their instincts and intuition - how they feel. This it is what determines life or death.
How they feel gives them the opportunity to properly assess a situation, person or thing and determine whether it is safe or comfortable enough for them to engage on an emotional (relationship), mental (thinking) or physical level. When we are not clear, congruent and honest (authentic) about who we are and what we want when in the presence of horses, they are quick to let us know by avoiding us or showing us through behavior how uncomfortable they feel around us.
This is where Caroline’s teachings can assist in developing the human so they can connect and communicate with their horse in an authentic, intuitive, clear and congruent way.
Caroline’s ground work foundation is based on developing authentic power within –intentionally, emotionally, and energetically. This honesty, paired with being clear, congruent, and consistent (showing up the same), is what builds trust and respect and gives us leadership with our horses. Once we congruently embody our intention (focus and purpose), we are ready to ride fluidly and in harmony with our horses. Fluidity is about flow and being in harmony with movement. Understanding how to use our internal powerhouse of energies is where we begin engaging our bodies and in a way that speaks horse – the language of non-verbal communication – the language of equus.
Working With Energy
Much of the way we think about ourselves is gained through distorted information we accumulate from our culture and our mundane lives. Sadly, these misconceptions regarding our essential nature have caused many to develop poor habits that deny them an opportunity to experience true spiritual awakening.
To better understand self, one must become familiar with the multiple dimensions of our being and the intelligent energy that works through these dimensions of spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical self. This understanding will lead to embodiment, realizing the divine self within, and then manifesting it in our physical form. The enlightened self is able to make use of this power for healing, personal growth, and experiencing a better connection with the creative source.
This path of self-discovery begins with accepting and engaging the multi-dimensional self and the energy that moves through it. The physical body is made of the same matrix of energy that surrounds and composes all matter. We are part of a quantum field that is present everywhere with the potential to manifest as a material substance or the energy around it. All physical matter is simply a more dense concentration of this energy field. Because all matter including ourselves is connected, we are able to affect, and to be affected by, one another and the whole of the universe.
The individual consciousness is able to engage the essential energy of all creation for a wealth of personal power. This empowerment allows us to create the life that we desire and the ability to be more responsible for our own health. The power that is being referred to is called Chakra energy. This energy, power, can be found within our Chakra System.
Chakra is a Sanskrit term meaning circle or wheel.
The term “chakra” means wheel or circle in the Classical Sanskrit language.
Originating in Ancient India, there are many philosophical and energetic concepts that describe the human chakra system. For thousands of years, the idea of the chakras has been an integral part of many spiritual, energetic, religious, and personal disciplines.
Theories of this energetic system relate to the timeless concept that the mind and body are actually a single integrated unit. This is known as “namarupa,” sometimes referred to as the “body-mind.”
Please visit Chakra Conscious for more information about Chakra power, integration, and healing.
Connecting with Your Horse
Tao of Horsemanship's™ Method of training horses and humans focuses on creating a space where connection, communication, and partnership form – in mind, body, and soul. Our approach is one that seeks mindfulness – a way of being with horses that asks us to be conscious of our intent and actions, and always present. It is when we are present, in the now, that all possibilities arise – that all “ten thousand things” become possible.
We employ the philosophies, training techniques, and riding elements of classical dressage. Balance, harmony, suppleness, and rhythm, combined with clear, mindful, and consistent communication (through aids) becomes the dialogue between horse and rider. These methods, and goals, of classical horsemanship are timeless and
applicable to any horse, breed, age, and rider’s choice of discipline. Much of what is currently termed Natural Horsemanship actually represents a modern rediscovery of some of classical dressage, specifically Xenophon’s classical principles of horsemanship (first recorded writings of Greek writer, and horseman, Xenophon in the fourth century BC).
The key concepts of the Tao of Horsemanship™ Method lie in the development of communication, confidence, balance, and harmony between horse and rider. The development of communication is foremost, as it establishes a mutual understanding and cooperation between both. This cooperation allows both rider and horse to work confidently together in balance which, in turn, promotes harmony. We focus on finesse, not force, and the results are achieved more smoothly and easily than most riders could possibly imagine.
Our method of training horses and humans focuses on a mindful approach to creating oneness, partnership, and harmony between you and your horse. This means that we consider the whole horse; mind, body, and spirit, with emphasis on the horse’s spirit. A horse’s spirit is indicative of their nature and that is what we want to preserve, and nurture, when training. While our Tao of Horsemanship™ Method focuses on understanding and working with the horse’s nature, it also places emphasis on developing awareness and embodiment principles within us. When the two are combined we have a master plan that allows endless possibilities for emotional connection, unity, and partnership to flourish.
Emotional connection is the equivalent to Relationship Building and HeartMath. It is about establishing trust, acceptance, willing partnership, and synchronized movement from our horses. It is in movement that horses express themselves, clearly, with ease and in harmony. It is a language that presents the most opportunity to bond, share, and influence. It is also a time when we are most challenged with knowing “where we need to be for our horse, when we are needed, and why it’s important we are there in the first place.”
Our approach to establishing great connections and deepening partnerships involves paying attention to body language, our horse’s nature, and their freedom of expression and choice. Unlike many conventional Natural Horsemanship methods, we do not begin with technique, nor do we use halters and lead ropes (not in the beginning). Rather, we work naturally and easily with our horses at liberty, allowing them freedom to choose, express, and move. When they are freely moving, we will begin teaching you the three core principles to mastering both yourself and your relationship with your horse.
If you’d like to learn more about the Tao of Horsemanship™ Method and how it can help you to enhance the relationship with your horse – Relationship Building, and your training – Ground Work to Riding, please contact us at infoRH@riderhorsemanship.com; or, you can read more about our Total Immersion Training and Study from Home options by clicking on these links.
Riding as One- in mind, body, and soul
Next comes the riding! What we’ve all been waiting for. Your horse is prepared for engaging with you emotionally, mentally and physically while riding. Caroline’s riding program allows the rider to maintain the level of connection and communication created through her ground work.
Caroline’s riding exercises are founded on Classical Horsemanship and Classical Dressage concepts, principles and techniques. Her method follows the classical approach because when done correctly it is the best foundation for developing your horse mentally and physically. She then merges both worlds with her personal approach to training, offering you the level of “oneness” in your foundation work. She will teach you all about her riding as one, from her famous Pre-flight to getting on and riding safely to collected canters, flying changes and the piaffe.
Purpose of Liberty & Ground Work
Caroline’s Tao of Horsemanship Educational Training DVD Series teaches you her amazing relationship with horses and how to effortlessly train and ride as one. Her teaching method prepares both horse and rider for a foundation built upon the strength of the bond, depth of the connection, and ease of communication.
Caroline begins training at liberty, creating the space for both horse and handler to share in bonding rituals and practices. These practices are the building blocks that lay the foundation for true unity – relationship, acceptance of your partnership, and trust in your leadership. Acquiring this level of relationship creates the mindset necessary for easier training and best results.
Once your horse offers their mind, body, and heart at liberty, and at will, Caroline shows you how to take the relationship to the next level – through online ground work practices such as leading, sending, partner walking, and lunging. This is where you will refine your skills through specific ground work practices including her intuitive and contemporary lunging method. These exercises not only further develop the mind and heart connection between you and your horse, they develop your horse’s balance, cadence, and, most importantly, your horse’s hind-end strength and elasticity. When done properly, this ensures a lifetime of longevity and soundness in your horse, allowing them to perform well into their teens, even early twenties.
Caroline is teaches the biomechanics of movement. Biomechanics is the study of the body in movement – all of its functioning parts and the whole. It is most important to riding because we have two unique, yet similar biomechanical systems: that of the horse and that of the rider. Each with their own way of functioning. Our goal is to bring the two bodies of movement together, as one, in synchrony and harmony.
While Caroline’s liberty work develops the foundation of balance, self-carriage, and collection, her lunging method refines the movement – developing much elasticity through the lengthening, stretching, and strength of the muscles. Through the liberty and lunging methods, collected movements are achieved. There is nothing like riding a collected canter – when your horse scoops you up into movement and the movement is together, connected, and fluid. The liberty and lunging methods not only develop the horse’s balance, collection, cadence, and fluid movement; but, together they develop the rider’s feel, timing, fluidity, and seat. This is achieved through the education and embodiment of mind-body energy which includes the development and use of our Chakra System.
You will then learn how to ride your horse’s rhythm through my free lunge and balanced lunging exercises. While you are developing your horse’s balance, self-carriage and collection during my lunging methods, you are being prepared to ride fluidly and in harmony with your horse’s movement. Learning how to embody rhythm is part of what makes a great rider and when you and your horse connect this way it makes for a great ride too!