I had a bit of a wakeup call the other day. My mom was watching me work the horses, and helping me through some difficulties. Let’s just say they were both being, well, ornery. Getting loose, running from me, just plain not cooperating. I was frustrated, and I was letting them know with my voice. And my mom brought me down a peg.
She pointed out though that losing my temper, and speaking harshly to them did not help matters. She said they seemed more on edge. Of course they were. Horses are so sensitive that they can pick up on our emotions, so why wouldn’t our tone of voice affect them? Sometimes I have to be reminded that they’re aren’t stationary pieces of equipment, they are animals with thoughts and emotions of their own. They feel hyper sometimes, and mischievous. It may come across as them being “bad,” but really they are usually just trying to have some fun. They may need some guidance and correction, but they don’t need to be spoken to harshly. The other day my tone just got them more worked up.
Since then, I have been playing close attention to how I speak to them and what I say. They have been so much better. They are so much more at ease – and well behaved! Sometimes small changes can have big results with such sensitive animals.