As a person continues to work with and learn from horses and people, patterns should start to arise. These patterns appear throughout the process of learning when one dedicates time specifically to the further understanding both of oneself and of others. One such pattern has to do with the three ways of communicating change in an effective manner.
Energy: When working to create a change, a person must continuously read the other’s actions and thoughts in order to adjust appropriately through soft or firm actions. There are times when you might have to be big, loud, firm and very active to get someone else in a learning frame of mind. Other times, however, you may already have their attention, so you are soft, quiet, and slow to allow time for others to think and react. The key is to be able to recognize whether the horse/person is in a mental state conducive to learning or is completely checked out so that you can balance your energy appropriately.
Time: Patience is the name of the game, whether it is one 5 hour session or 10 years worth of sessions. Sometimes to get the best improvement in others we need to allow them to make a change on their own terms, allowing them to explore all other possible ways before coming to the desired outcome on their own. This takes great patience and control over your own needs and “results now” mindset. Know that the slower you go with consistency, allowing others to make mistakes without punishment, the more sound others are going to be both physically and mentally.
Strategy: Furthering one’s knowledge and thinking continually helps one to react appropriately in moments when action is necessary. Run continuous experiments from one horse/person to the next. Try to get your desired results from others in an appropriate manner through realistic expectations. Offer a series of objectives, trying to figure out what fits others in a way they are challenged but not overwhelmed. Do not push others to the point that they get the fight, flight, checked-out, or shut-down response, and try to keep them in a state of being reassured, engaged, relaxed, and open minded. Strategy is a continuous learning process. Always look for small changes that can be made to make it easier on others in the future.
The key is to keep others in a learning frame of mind while pushing their comfort zones with a little pressure. This will get the desired refined outcome by combining smaller objectives in harmony.