House of education: Equanimity horse training

Steinar strives for empowerment and the spirit of horses.

On Friday Steinar Sigurbjornsson gave a lecture in the House of Education about Equianimity in horses.

Steinar started his lecture with explaining that his passion lies in rehabilitation. He strives to empower the spirit and movement of horses through positive enforcement. The goal is to empower the (posture of the) horse and therefore we need a higher consciousness of who the horse is: not a linear creature but a dimensional being.

Therefore we need to be in the moment and look at the state of mind of your equine partner. A lot of horses are not so confident or don’t use their body optimally. We can help the horse with its perception of situations or how it reacts to external stimuli by giving it more self-awareness. Through positive reinforcement Steinar shows us how to empower horses to be proud through posture, self-confidence and to be brilliant in their movements.

Horses, like humans, often go into safe mode when confronted with anxiety or stressful situations. We can return their confidence in their own body by inviting them to through exercises to rediscover the possibilities of their body. A horse that looks stiff is often compensating for lack of core stability. Exercises like Powerpose, Pantherwalk and Target are a playful way to unlock the horse’s body capacity to let it rediscover proprioception, core strength and joy.

But autonomy is also very important: the horse makes the decision that they want to do these movements. Lots of horses are taught helplessness because they don’t have purpose in their daily life and lack self-determination. We have to show them that they can make choices and, more importantly, that they are allowed to make mistakes. Then a horse will take ownership of its movements.
Steinar’s ideal is a cool and calm horse that is still aware of what happens around it but that reacts without anxiety but instead with equanimity.  We don’t have to tell them how to move but we only have to value how awesome they are. Especially when they find their voice and want to show off.