Overcoming our instincts

I read a post recently by Rudy Horsemanship that talked about how we ask our horses to overcome their instincts every time we interact with them. And yet, people often find it incredibly challenging to overcome their own instincts. What instincts could those be?

Think about when your horse spooks on the trail and your first instinct is to learn forward and pull back. Or when you ask for the lope and tense every muscle in your body. Or when working a new horse on the ground and your body language conveys aggression instead of softness. Those instincts.

Sure, they’re instincts for a reason – they seek to protect us from real or perceived threats. But in order to become softer, more responsive, more honest horsemen and women, we must figure out a way to short-circuit these instincts and force our bodies into agreeing with our logical brains.

Certainly easier said than done! It’s all achieved through hours in the saddle, reflecting on our rides, and being in tune with our own bodies and our horse’s body. We are all on a constant pursuit of training ourselves (and our horses) to achieve greater things together, working in ways our instincts may suggest otherwise, than we could alone.

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