You CAN become a Horse Whisperer!
(With one simple step)
First you must understand that "horse whispering" is simply speaking the horse's language. It's not hard, complicated or anything you cannot accomplish. It does become easier with practice when the techniques become more of a habit or instinct but you can start the process the very next time you bring your horse out to ride.
So you wonder, what is this great secret? Well, I'll give you a hint? It's something anyone can do but many pass up the opportunity to influence their horse to their benefit each time they ride because they either don't want to take the time and trouble or it's a service provided for them or they've been convinced by their trainer that they're not capable of doing it for themselves. Are you getting a clearer picture of what I might be talking about? You guessed it. Grooming!
Sounds too easy right? If it's so important why does my trainer discourage me from doing it? There are several reasons. Sometimes a trainer is just too lazy to go through the process of teaching their student. (It's far easier to have the grooms have the horse ready and waiting in the crossties, that way they don't have to worry about the student's lesson starting on time) Also, most training programs charge extra for grooming so they don't want to be out the revenue. (If you groom your own horse, they don't make the extra money) Then there's those trainers that feel a paid worker does a more thorough job of grooming and that they don't want to have to nag a student about leaving a saddle mark on the horse, etc. (of all the reasons, I can understand this one the most) but I'm convinced that the biggest reason a trainer doesn't have the student groom for themselves is because they don't know how good it is for your relationship with your mount. They simply don't understand the significance of grooming a horse so let me explain.
It has to do with "herd mentality" (horse whispering). To begin with you probably know that the head mare (alpha mare) actually controls the herd and the social interactions amongst them all. It has been discovered that one way she accomplishes this is by grooming. That's right. When a horse grooms another horse it places them in dominance over the other similar to other species such as monkeys etc. Are you starting to get the picture?
When you kindly groom your horse it's as if you are saying to it; "I am in control, I will take care of you, your well being is important to me". See it's not that horses have to be in control. They just want to be safe and if you cannot take control, they will take it for themselves to be secure. Can you begin to see the implications of this concept in reference to your riding?
If you start the contact with your horse from the ground, (which is something even a beginner can master), then the experience of you being in charge transfers over to your riding and your horse will become a more willing partner.
Don't be fooled into believing you cannot groom for yourself. Ask your trainer if he or she will formulate a program to teach you to do this and be willing to pay them for their time. Many riding schools have classes where they teach only that and believe me, it costs good money. You're not doing the Trainer or school any favors expecting them to do this teaching for nothing.
So I challenge you to try this. Get some experience behind you and make a commitment to groom and tack up your horse personally. Of course many of us loose control of our schedules from time to time and it's great if someone at the barn is designated to do this for you on those occasions but remember each time you do practice this easy and enjoyable regiment you will be richly rewarded. You will connect better to your horse, be more aware of him and his body and he will look to you with more confidence in your role of being in charge. How can you say "no" to that?