Today I found myself in a new situation with my good friend George, my teacher par excellence. The weather has turned cold and rainy and he had his rug on for the first time this season and I had also changed the routine on how I feed them. So this morning I wanted to come him into the stable area with his rug on, stand for me while I take the rug off and put it over a stable wall to aerate. This was a new idea of mine, him being helpful to me coming into the stable complex to take off his rug rather than me taking off the rug in the paddock. He stood outside the stable complex and refused to come with me.
So I talked to him explaining him what I wanted him to do. Admittedly I had some other tasks in my mind that I wanted to accomplish before I go back into the house. So I realised pretty quick that I just "talked as in making a noise and put some urgency in it". George is really good in reading my mind and by that time it has entered into my mind that he is not cooperating. I felt a slight annoyance as I felt myself not wanting to find the time and presence to convey a clear picture coupled with a good emotion to George. And he "dug his heels in" and I felt him leaning back almost like you are not getting me to go with you.
Things like this are often not visible to the naked eye. However, they can be felt. I also felt that he is confused because my message was not clear (remember he is very good at picking up first and foremost my inner states). Pushing a confused horse through something makes you loosing your leadership for the horse as they are not perceiving you as the "safe and trusted space" that a leader clearly has.
Today I honoured myself in how I felt (slightly in a hurry to get things done, not really patient enough to find the present moment, not taking the time to send a clear picture coupled with a good emotion to the horse), so I thought about how I can help George (and myself) to overcome that slight confusion that prevents the moving on and I simply took a rope, put it around his head and lead him into the stable complex. Taking off his rug was a non event and the rest just unfolded in a beautiful way. George and myself, we both felt honored and heard.