Understanding non-verbal communication taught by a horse

Patricia J. Conoway


Author -  Equestrian   

Finalist, New Mexico - Arizona Book Awards,

Finalist, Best Book Awards

Finalist, Zia Book Awards

Dealing with any sentient being that can’t speak can be a frustrating and unfulfilling experience.  For the average speaking human, it may become so difficult that they quit trying even though the other party, be it a human victim of autism, Down’s Syndrome, or Alzheimer’s, or a dog, cat, or horse may be trying in their own way to communicate with you the only way they can, through body language.


When someone you love or care about loses their ability to speak, or perhaps never could speak, you can’t just give up, or walk away.


It was a lucky accident that I happened to become the owner of a frightened and abused horse as my mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s progressed, because I was forced to learn how to communicate with my horse if I didn’t want to put her down (at the tender age of 6!).  It was also lucky for me that through friends I found a professional nearby who could help me and my troubled horse become friends and partners instead of adversaries. 


It is my hope that my experience learning this alternative method of communication i.e., body language, which requires being present, aware and most important, eager and interested in what the other party has to “say” will help others in similar situations. 


Also, an interesting by-product of this alternate means of communication is that it heightens one’s awareness within every dialogue, even with people who can speak; their facial expressions, tone and body language either support or refute what they are saying.



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