How to lie down with your horse in a natural way
Who doesn’t dream of being able to lie down by their horse? Or even better: that your horse would lie down with you?
To clarify, I’m not talking about “training” horses to do so. Of course, that can be very cool and I have also done it with some horses. However, I only do it when it’s already possible to lie down together “naturally”.
This ability to lie down together naturally, that’s what I’m talking about. This happens when the horse lies down spontaneously, enjoys his rest, and he’s okay with you joining him. Or the other way around: you lie down, fully present in the moment, and the horse feels the need to lie down as well, together with you.
If you dream of doing this with your horse, there are 3 things that are very important to let it happen
1. A natural connection
By a natural connection, I mean a connection that is based on how horses build connections with each other. You build that up by spending a lot of time together, by developing clear communication and by creating a strong bond of trust. Liberty Training helps with that.
Horses (wild or domesticated) will only lie down if they feel safe and protected by their group. If they lie down and an unfamiliar animal or other horse appears that they don’t feel safe with, they will get up.
They will do the same if they don’t feel safe with you. Maybe they will stay lying down if you stay at a distance, but as soon as you come into their personal space they will get up.
2. Being fully present
By this, I mean that you are fully present in the moment. Out of your head, into your body, in contact with the present moment. Your body is soft, your mind is calm, your senses connect you with the environment. You are in your Silent Space.
Then there is no tension, no mental pressure, no expectation. Horses love that. It gives them a safe feeling.
The Here & Now Technique can help you find your Silent Space. When horses are lying down and resting, they are also in their Silent Space. You meet your horse there.
Or the horse will meet you; you lie down first and the horse will follow you. This is also possible.
3. Correct body language
Communication is of course very important. It starts with being fully present. This already indicates that everything is okay, that the situation is safe. But in addition, your body will also have to give the right signals physically. If you move your arms unexpectedly, the horse may think that you want it to get up. Very sensitive horses can get up if you raise your body too much or take steps that are a bit too big, for example.
So the best thing to do is to be very passive. Because what does a horse do before he lies down? He looks at the ground, brings his head and neck down, sinks a bit through his knees, scrapes with his hooves. You can imitate that: lower your chin, look down, bend your knees a bit, scrape your feet gently over the ground, breathe out. And then sit or lie down quietly. Do not make any movement in which the horse might think that you are asking for movement. And meanwhile, stay in your Silent Space.
Pay attention to your safety
No matter how calm and serene the lying together may feel, horses can suddenly start to roll or stand up. So make sure you don’t get kicked or end up under your horse. You don’t want to get squashed by 500 kg… So keep observing your horse. If you know how to apply the Here & Now Technique and can therefore stay in your Silent Space, you will be calm and alert at the same time.
Are you in doubt? Don’t lean against your horse but sit/lie down at a distance. Especially sitting in front of your horse’s head can be dangerous, because when a horse gets up, he first stretches his forelegs forwards, then he sits down, then stands upright. So always keep an eye on your own safety.
Do you want to be able to do this too, lying together in a natural way?
Do you want to have a strong relationship of trust with your horse and learn how to find your Silent Space, so that it becomes possible to lie together with your horse in a natural way? This is possible with the online Horsefulness Liberty Training Program.
Here some pictures of students with their horse: