A horse is a 1,200 lb Lie Detector
Horses are prey animals and rely on their heightened senses for survival. They react to, and mirror, the emotions without words. Horses respond negatively to negative emotions. They respond positively to positive emotions, and they have no ulterior motives.
A horse will react or respond to a person’s behaviour in much the same way that another person will. A horse responds honestly to what you are doing in the present, rather than what you did in the past or what you might do in the future. Once you understand the things in a relationship for which you are responsible, you can make changes in yourself to improve the relationship with the horse and then apply those same changes to more complex human interactions.
“The horse is a mirror. It goes deep into the body. When I see your horse I see you too. It shows me everything you are, everything about the horse.” ~Ray Hunt, Horseman
This is the dynamic that sets horses apart from other animals and why horses are used in Equine Assisted Learning therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. A horse will not give love and acceptance until the owner learns to build a relationship that fosters love and acceptance, the same way they must do in human relationships.
Know someone with “All the Gear and No Idea”? That person might try to fool their peers by putting on a facade but a horse will see straight though them!