Clarity in Questions

When my students ask me for help or advice, I often challenge them to simplify their question. Many times the question can be lost within a story and superfluous details.

It makes me think about how we ask our horse for things- if our mind doesn’t know the exact question we want to ask, and how it connects to the details that relate to it, how can our horse know what we want?

Many times our attention drifts in and out as well. For many of us, we struggle to stay connected to the moment, and when we do pop in, our mind doesn’t have a clear goal. For the horse, this can be extremely frustrating and confusing because there is nothing to follow that makes sense to them.

While a horse doesn’t speak English, clarifying our way of talking can help our ride. Before we speak, it’s a great practice to think:

What is we’re trying to say?
What details are necessary and relevant to support this point?
What details are distracting, confusing or not supportive to this topic that I can leave out?
How does this unite into the conversation as a whole?

Then as we go into our ride, we can think the same things but with the language of our bodies- our seat, legs and hands convey the message-

What are we trying to say to the horse?
What aids are necessary to make this point? And how much?
What details can we leave out that are distracting, confusing or not relevant to the overall conversation?

With this practice, we can guide better, and have more fluid, successful conversations with our horses.

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