Seeking a Deeper Partnership?

Focus on the Feel of the Connection

Our Horses are Calling us to Reach a Little Deeper

Have you ever wondered why something in your connection with your horse doesn't seem to improve? Or a particular challenge keeps coming up, despite your best efforts? Do you find yourself losing inspiration or at times even wonder if you will "ever get it"?

Funny how a particular horse comes along to help us reach a deeper place in them (and us), even if it takes a while for us to find it.


After struggling for a long time with Chase, I got pretty convinced he wasn't so interested in a connected partnership with me. I was wrong though. He was just showing the way to something more:

"That's not it Karen... go deeper"

But how? I searched and searched for what I was missing.

“No, it's not YOU... it's your presentation"

Ok, what do I need to change?
It took a long time for me to get Chase's real point: 

"I'm right here, ready to connect, if only you were there on the other end!" 

What I missed.

Of course I was there reaching for that connection, but I missed the key to it all: I was not offering the feel I wanted from my end and I hadn't understood how to consciously establish Connection Flow

Being a "better leader" isn't limited to finessing and reducing our use of pressure. It's in a horse's nature to understand pressure, but it's equally in their nature to seek connection. Why not get good at that and lead from there?

Lead the connection.

When we invite connection in a way that inspires our horse to reciprocate, we don't need to "be the boss" or a born leader, because when we engage with their mind, the horse is instinctively ready to follow our feel (without the conventional use of pressure first to release).

Fred Estaire didn’t pressure Ginger Rogers to shape herself and move her feet. He likely didn’t focus on a mistake either. Can you imagine! He blended and guided the flow within a two-way feel they both understood and trusted.

It just makes everything easier – and more beautiful. And more fun.

Know what matters to your horse.

When we bring qualities to the partnership that have instinctive value to our horse, it means more. Feel is the direct line to the horse. We reach the mind, the heart, spirit. We get to know what each other is made of and what we can rely on in each other. And we have each other's back.

How you are anywhere is how you are everywhere.

When an active, good feeling Connection Flow is our priority and our practice, it becomes our horse's expectation. Expectations are at the core of our horse's responses when challenges inevitably arise.

When that good Connection Flow is familiar, we reach for and find each other in that connection – because we know from experience it will feel better – and sort things out from there. Overcoming challenges this way builds mutual trust, even when a change must happen immediately.

It is an opportunity to shift the focus away from the grey of correcting what just went wrong or waiting for something that isn’t right yet, while missing the place in between – this moment, right now, where our horse is.

Be with your horse's timing. Find Flow.

TFquotesStevenKotler1As a student put it: "You have shown me Wonderland". It's really the horses who are showing us, in their invitation to reach a little deeper and discover another way to lead, to be in control, and a different kind of unshakeable confidence in each other. A confidence not dependent on courage or bravery but from knowing what our horse is made of and our horse knowing the same about us. And from being blown away by what our horse will do for us, when it really matters.

It's an invitation to be more of who we are in our horsemanship (and life) as we enjoy the "more" in our horse we sometimes have trouble reaching or discovering at all. Once felt, as so many have said, there's no turning back. 

But don’t you have to be half-horse to do this?

Every horse is different, every person is different and every situation is different. So, if everything is different, all the time, you might well be wondering how it’s possible to find your way, unless you’re “born with it”.

Fortunately, everything in nature has principles. Developing good Connection Flow for closer communication and ease of connection is no exception. And where there are principles, there are clear practices - within which we can be uniquely creative.

What if I can't find it in me, or in my horse? What if I lack experience?

You have feel and you have intuition, as sure as gravity holds your feet to the ground. It's a law of nature. It just is so - get ready :)

I've ridden for years - won’t I confuse my horse?

Conventionally, the horse learns from our carefully timed release of pressure. He learns the pattern and responds to lighter pressure. Sometimes the horse is also rewarded with food. We work with release in a number of forms without the need for pressure first to release. It works differently so it doesn’t go against what the horse knows. You get to keep the conditioned responses you like and re-work the ones your horse may have learned, which do not serve your purposes now.

I've tried everything - why would this be any different?

When a horse has learned something in a past environment or training style or we just made a mistake or didn't realize something, seeking to resolve the problem with the same strategy that created it often doesn't work or results do not last. This is because the old response tends to be triggered (sometimes even before you've actively made the request) and the horse is simply not able to be receptive because he or she is on auto-pilot, running the old "tape" and unable to focus on now. 

For a real and lasting solution, we need to offer a different feel that inspires and builds a completely new response, without triggering the old behavior. It's a fascinating way to work that results in deep releases as old mind and body patterns are by-passed and re-shaped.

The path unfolds.


If you seek a closer way of communicating and an ease of connection you can rely on, even when things get tricky, what you will find here is the roadmap and support you need to understand the principles and practices of working with connection in your own handling and riding.

There is always more on this epic path with horses.

It's my mission to help horse/rider partnerships find their way together, as I remain a forever student myself.