“Don’t show your fear – the horse will pick up on it!”

You have heard this advice, right? We all have. Today, I would like to change the advice – into the exact opposite!

Show your fear. Speak your insecurities. Talk about your anxiety. Say if you are nervous. Why?

Because the horse knows anyway – the horse always knows. Horses are so highly tuned to the frequency of our emotions. That frequency is something you emit through your nervous system unconsciously, it is something you cant hide or turn off.

What we often try and do is to hide our emotions. “Don’t show your fear.”  When you are trying to hide what you are feeling, your whole being changes. You start pretending to be someone who you are not. This is a sign of unreliability – it could almost be called a lie. You are lying to the horse in front of you. And the horse knows, they can spot a pretentious liar a mile away. They are a prey animal after all, their lives depend on being able to spot danger and read situations before the danger develops.

You can relate this back into your own life too, maybe you remember a time when you met a person with no good intentions? Maybe a salesman trying to trick you into buying a product you do not need or a scammer trying to get you to part with your credit card details. You may remember thinking, “I do not feel good about this person.” Horses have a similar ability and they go by it. When they get that feeling, they act on it.

See, humans are conditioned to be polite, but horses do not have this need. If a horse gets a bad feeling about you, they walk away. They do not stay with uncomfortable people out of politeness.

Next time you meet a horse, and especially if they walk away from you or show you they do not want to interact with you, I would like you to try something. Speak your emotions out loud to your horse. You can do this over a fence or from a distance. Remember, the horse is like a vault, it won’t share your stories, your secrets are safe with them. Tell them about your troubles at work, your fears about the future, anxiety about public speaking, or your fear of riding in gallop. Whatever it may be, speak your concerns. Don’t try and hide them or push them aside. There is also no need to try and change them, just voice them, acknowledge their existence, let them be heard.

Your horse will feel at ease when she feels that you are not hiding any emotions, but instead you come to the horses presence as an open being, with fears, feelings and frustrations. You may notice the horse displaying signs of release ( for example licking and chewing, yawning, deep breaths) as you speak, these are your emotions opening and releasing. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like laughing, laugh. Never suppress your emotions when you are with your horse – acknowledge them, share them and feel them!






Pia Saari is the founder and owner of Country Quest Portugal. Throughout her life she has gathered extensive experience with horses in many different ways. She has worked with horses professionally in riding schools, livery yards and racing stables. She has worked in horse rescue and helped numerous horses recover from severe physical and mental negligence. She has studied equine ethology and psychology, learning theory and many other subjects relating to horses. Country Quest Portugal has a mission and a vision to make the world a better place for horses - sharing knowledge by an online course is a very important part of this mission. The course is priced low to make it accessible for everyone who wants to learn how to better care for their horses.