Maisie Wake

Equine Therapist


Thoughts on perspective-taking....

Posted on 21 February, 2016 at 9:45


"The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise."  - Shannon L. Alder

Each of us carries a background of unique to us experiences. Each of us has different sensing abilities, and each of us is affected by external factors in different ways.


Because this is true of all beings, it is a great equaliser to bring into our mindset when we are with our horses, or any animal or human for that matter. Through empathy we can build a level of understanding and shared feelings. Of course to empathise with another being is a beautiful and powerful thing, giving both parties a feeling of connectedness. It is however, useful to keep in mind that you still have very different perspectives. What you cannot comprehend may be something that your horse takes for granted, and vice versa.


In working with and riding these majestic animals, we must remember our differences as well as our similarities. How differently do we see the world? Have you ever wondered how your horse hears, sees, smells, tastes, and feels the world around him? I believe these are vital questions to seek out the answers to. If you have a competitive streak and want to win with your horse, my advice would be to learn how your equine partner sees the world first. Based on your findings, you might make some subtle changes, or big changes, in order to achieve the very best.

I recommend spending some time researching these things and building a picture of what the world is more likely to look like to your horse. Then, once you have an idea of these basic facts, you can begin to look closer at what the world might look like to your horse in particular.

It is becoming much more common in human education for different learning styles to be catered for, as it is so much easier to for the learner to reach success if the material is put in a way which is more compatible with his/her own systems for understanding information. For example, I struggle to read information on a screen if it is black writing on a white background. As I write the first draft of this blog, it is on a sky-blue background which I find much more pleasant on the eye. 

The same can be said for equines with differing learning styles. Through taking your time and observing how your horse reacts to, responds, and interacts with things, can give important clues as to their own learning style. 


If you do some detective work and begin to gain an insight into who your horse really is and how he views his world, this could make a huge difference to the results the pair of you achieve. 


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