This is how we don’t continue making the same mistakes over and over with our horses!
Let’s have a deeper look here. First, observe… here is the definition of observation; a remark, statement, or comment based on something one has seen, heard, or noticed. So the first step is being able to see without interpretation what either already happened or is happening now. An observation cannot reach into the future, that is a projection.
Let’s use this photo for example; a clean observation would only be the things we could all agree that we see, such as:
- There is a white horse, the white horse has black, longer hair on it’s neck, the white horse has a person on top, the white horse is wearing a blue rope on it’s face, the horse’s front legs are spread farther apart that the horse’s hind legs
- There is a person, the person has blue pants on, the person has a green shirt on, the person on the horse also has a black shirt on, the person is on top of the horse, the person is holding a white rope, the person’s leg is on the side of the horse
There are many things we could say as projections such as: the horse is walking or the person is grabbing the rope and in motion we could share those as observations, however this is a sill photo and we can only say what we actually see now.
The ability to observe, separate from interpreting, is what allows us to see what is actually happening because we are present, not thinking into the future or remembering the past.
Let’s move on to Compare: See how many observations you can share about the photo on the left, then observe the same things in the photo on the right. For example, the horse on the right side of each photo has his head toward the horse next to it in the photo on the left, and in the photo on the right, the same horse has his head away.
Take the time to write down as many observations as possible so you can compare them. This is a worthwhile exercise for eye training and helping your brain be literal.
Our brains are problem solvers. They are designed to draw conclusions and they search our memory banks to find a place, in the past ,where what we are seeing now, can fit into what we already know. This ability to observe without interpreting can shed new light on things that are happening with our horses. This is how we avoid labeling horses or adding excuses like, “he just doesn’t want to work.”
Now on to remembering. One great way to remember is to make real observations. Look at all things around to help with your comparison. For example: in the photos above note where the decorative tree is in the foreground. If you notice things like markers in the environment or on your horse’s body, you’ll be better at seeing what there is to see. Look at the angles, not only of the horses’ heads but also the line of the reins and the positions of the horse’s ears, look at footfalls, notice where is each horse carrying their weight.
Using your clear observations and markers can help you remember what you see and track your horse in motion – clearly!
“UNBRIDLED” The Heart of Graceful Horsemanship – Author – MaryAnn Brewer