Is it Possible to Talk to horses?
When I was little I worshipped a movie hero who could talk to horses and other animals. I desperately wanted to do the same. I wanted to be Dr. Dolittle. I would sit for hours with little scraps of bread in my open palm, held open on the ground, trying to entice some local squirrel or chipmonk to come and eat out of my hand. Once or twice one actually did grab the bread from my fingers. While not a resounding success, I felt that I was on my way to skipping in Dr. Dolittle’s footsteps. (I also tried to entice all of our neighborhood’s cats, but never brought along any catfood, and they were wiser than to let a child near them.) As I grew older my life grew busier, we moved to a more urban setting, and I forgot about my career plans to become an animal communicator. I fell far from my dream. As a young adult I didn’t even have a dog.
Then a miracle happened – my family moved to a ranch. I now run a business that involves horses. I love working with, training, and just hanging out with horses. It has given me the time, and indeed, required me to look at horses. I am finding that, with just a little encouragement, many horses do their part to bridge the grand canyon-size gap in horse-human communication. We speak our words to them, which they most likely do not understand. Most horses don’t seem to notice their own name. But as we speak we move our hands around, we speak softly or loudly, fast or slowly, we lean in our out, maybe we raise our eyebrows or tense the muscles around the corners of our mouths. Our bodies give off a thousand little clues about our mood and our intentions. I think horses pay attention to all of these other “communications” that happen while we talk away. For their part, horses try to communicate back. They lean in or out, and they look at us or away. Their ears flick toward us, fix on us, point outward, or pin back against their necks. Sometimes horses hold their head up away from us, but other times they drop their heads far down to the level of our legs. All of these changes might be their own communications back toward us. We just need to listen with more than our ears.