SWR Blog: A Commonly Disregarded Principle
I can touch you, but you can’t touch me”
In my studies over the years with a variety of clinicians whom I admire–like Dennis Reis, I have found that they teach a full set of basic principles that apply, without fail, to all humans and to all horses everywhere.
The principle is “I can touch you, but you can’t touch me”.
Our equine partners naturally attempt to dominate us with their bodies, particularly with their shoulders. I quite often see horse owners who are simply unaware of the manner in which their horses are bursting their “human safety bubble”. The principle stated above is simple. Your horse should never be allowed to violate your safety bubble, unless invited. And even then, they’ll only be allowed after proper training to safely back them off of you immediately, if needed.
Maintain a good/safe distance between you and your horse at all times, unless it is your intent to do otherwise. Learn to read your horse (see the “Are You Listening blog”) and know when they’re most likely to try and burst your bubble.
“What? My horse would never invade my space!”
I see. Well good luck to ya. Horses are living, breathing, decision-making creatures that will–under circumstances like fright or predatorial danger–do whatever it takes to leave the area to survive. And hopefully, you won’t be in the way!
It’s a simple safety principle that works! Be kind to your equine partner today…and every day!
Dr. Karl Cloninger
Director of Products & Programs