After working with behaviourally challenging and trauma horses for all these years, experience in this area has taught me that science cannot explain everything surrounding horses.
Therefore "Essence" is not something you can see, or will hear your average horse trainer talking about.....but after lifestyle, diet, tack and saddle assessments, I have found it to be a very real and vital component of gaining success and trust with horses.
So what exactly is a horses "essence" and how can being able to read it help you become a better horse person?Well it's doesn't have much to do with the horse's outer shell as that part of a horse mostly only allows us to read their physical needs and traits.......so therefore exercises and schooling etc...won't help to address a depressed, worried or stressed horse as ESSENCE is the part of a horse that is concerned with you not only looking but "feeling" for the horse's presence of his mind and his outlook......of you and everything around him.
It is learning to read the horse's spirit that we are talking about with "Essence" which can sometimes be buried deep down within the horse, and the real skill is to be able to gently coax that out of him or her through trust and understanding between horse and human.
This is a skill that was taught to me over many years by the troubled horses that I have worked with, and this can be learned by anyone who has the heart to want a deeper relationship with their horse.
I describe it as when you look past the physical and see how the horse is really "feeling" and "thinking" and then what to do with that info once the horse has opened up to you.
The skill involved to access this part of a horse doesn't require you to be a red hot skilled rider either, or a talented trainer etc....it only requires that you have the skill to quietly still your whole being in order to listen as to really connect with the horse, and put no demands on him or her while s/he opens up to allow you to feel all she or he is feeling.
It's also very important that you don't dump any of your emotional baggage, which we all have, on that horse too. Keep that part to yourself as your job is to heal the horse rather than it to be the other way around, although I will say that helping horses has it's own healing benefits as a added bonus anyway.