As the years have rolled by, it seems that people dealing with the energy issues taking lessons has increased as had the need
to work through those issues. As a result, I have developed the following program in order to reward those who are able to
stay in balance regularly AND reward those who are making the journey toward personal balance.
HISTORY This activity is unlike any other a person has tried because you are partnering with another living being.
Students find that they have to learn how to use their body differently in order to properly communicate with/control the
horse. As they begin to learn this, they find the horse mirrors their emotions, both positive and negative.
The human, children especially, comes loaded with emotion - both positive and negative, which can get in the way of being
successful with the horse. The secret is to work from a place of energy that is calm and balanced.
I write up the stories of successful NRG REDIRECTION on Facebook. If you click on this link, NRG REDIRECT it will take
you to that album so you can get an idea of the situations students have faced and dealt with successfully. Another album to
visit is THE COWBOY WAY.
In training horses, the new horsemanship encourages rewarding for the slightest try and making sure that the horseman sets
the horse up to succeed. That is what I try to do with the students and their energy.
The horse gives immediate opportunity to work on any personal issues the rider might have. I try to give tools, both personal
and horsemanship, that will work with each individual (just like horses, one approach doesn’t fit all).
All I ask is that they TRY to do as instructed and try to manage their personal energy. The outcome with the horse may not be
what we planned, BUT if the rider tried to the best of their ability and managed their energy then I consider that THEY
SUCCEEDED BIG TIME. The rider will always get immediate feedback from their horse so they know if what they are doing
works or not.
Any student can enroll in this to earn certificates. Even if a person doesn’t enroll for the certificates, we will deal with energy
issues as they arise.
What is “horse energy” for the human? It is the ability to go to and hopefully stay in a place of energized calm that is
appropriate for being with horses. We expect the individual to be in and demonstrating horse energy as soon as they get out
of the vehicle. The vehicle is the last moment to get it under control before their energy is being counted for NRG. I do
expect HORSE ENERGY demonstrated the entire time a rider is here.
Out of balance with personal energy The purpose is to make the rider aware that they MUST control their energies in order to
learn and have a good ride. Until that happens, learning will not be as effective as it could be. The student learning to
consciously control their energy and balance and either go to or maintain the calm center is an active part of the lesson.
Balanced personal energy Many show up who have learned to control their personal energy and I think that too needs
recognition. We are so quick to point out what people do ‘wrong’ that I would like to focus on what they do right. NOTE: This
is a time to focus on the effort and energy, not empty praise.
What is HORSE ENERGY?
HORSE ENERGY is relaxed energy without emotion such as frustration, tired, I can’t and all the negative excuses we gather
along this line. When we focus on what we can’t do or don’t know it puts a huge barrier in the way of doing or learning to do. I
think of it as a ‘business energy – I have a plan and this is what we are going to do.’ I will implement my plan in leadership
energy rather than boss energy. Horses follow a leader much better than a boss.
Too much happiness or excitement and anticipation of a future event can cause a person to be at a silly stage in their mind.
When they are in that place mentally, they are not able to focus on the horse and ride nor are they able to execute clear
instructions for the horse. Redirecting their energy to HORSE ENERGY helps the person learn how to really be in the NOW
and make it a really good experience.
HORSE ENERGY is awareness of what is going on with you and around you. You develop reasonable caution (not fear) and learn
to be responsible for your own safety. The more knowledge and understanding you acquire the more comfortable you become.
HORSE ENERGY is being happy and cheerful and focused on what you are doing.
When a person is in HORSE ENERGY their energy has a feeling of kindness and empathy to it. It is not a ‘poor baby’ type of
thinking and approach but ‘I understand and feel for what is happening but we are going to do what we should be doing”.
Understanding what the other (horse in this case) may be feeling and thinking can go a long way in accomplishing goals.
Consideration of others is always an energy that promotes teamwork.
HORSE ENERGY is being courteous to all the living things, people and animals (even the bull snakes here – they have a lot to
teach you about NRG). Your voice says words that are kind and the tone is a pleasant tone.
It is keeping your physical movements at a level so the horse is comfortable with you in its space and doesn’t think of you as a
predator (which we are in their world). When you do this you are taking responsibility for your actions and you the results can
be really good. This is also known as choice, you are choosing actions that will have a positive impact on all those around you.
How you act and react is powerful. HORSE ENERGY – always used for positive purposes – gives you that power.
HORSE ENERGY is making sure you meet ALL your responsibilities from the beginning of setting up tack to the end where you
put all tack/equipment away. We call this follow through. When you remember all the pieces of this process you become
HORSE ENERGY means you remember the adult accompanying you is not ‘mom or dad’ while you are here but Miss Wendy’s
assistant coach, your very own personal coach. You are expected to treat your coach with courtesy at all times.
HORSE ENERGY means you are listening to you instructor and your horse and TRYING TO ALWAYS DO THE BEST YOU CAN
WITHOUT EXCUSES. You use the words “I’LL TRY”. You keep “I know” out of the way. It puts a big block in your head and
learning can’t come through. If we say and think, “I’ll try” it is like a hammer smashing the block and learning can definitely
come in and be used.
When you are in HORSE ENERGY you are thinking ‘like a horse’ which means you are thinking of how the horse will perceive
what is going on with you and everything else around him. Thinking like a horse can help keep you out of trouble with them. We
call this focus. This is also learning how to work in the NOW. That means right now, this moment, is where I need to
concentrate so I can be successful. If I am doing that I am SUCCEEDING.
Questions, Situations & Answers
Why is personal energy so important?
The horse ‘reads’ our energy every time we are in its space. They make their judgment about working with us based on the
energy they feel from us. They are looking for a leader, a person in control of their energy who can give clear and meaningful
direction which will keep them from harm. If we don’t project this energy then the horse can become extremely uncooperative
and sometimes dangerous.
What happens if the kid make 3 good NRG rides then have an emotional melt down?
If they slipped, BUT got themselves under control and back to what is needed quickly and stayed in that energy that is
progress. The program is built so the kids learn about consequences and also learn to keep on trying – they will achieve their
goal which is controlling their personal behavior.
We tend to do that when things become hard or don’t go our way. When we can learn that we have choice and can change our
approach to something, it gets easier and can even be fun. When we focus on the excuses they simply set up barriers making
whatever we do harder and harder.
If we get on the ‘excuse train’ pretty soon we find we can’t do too much or do it well.
But this happened at school and my child just couldn’t …………….
Sorry about that. The whole purpose of this incentive is to help the riders understand that they ALWAYS have choice as far
as their own personal energy and attitude although we buy into ‘it’s the other person’s fault, they made me …, you just don’t
You can keep dragging garbage around with you and putting that bag in between you and what you want to accomplish OR you
can set it down and walk away, leave it behind, trash it and start fresh.
My child didn’t get enough sleep …..
One of life’s lessons is to learn that we need to keep commitments and do our best even if we are a bit tired. One very
interesting thing I have noticed about all this is when the rider makes a really good effort to change to HORSE ENERGY
he/she actually becomes energized and has fun.
It’s not realistic to expect a person to be happy all the time.
I agree with that HOWEVER I do feel it is realistic to expect people I encounter will not bring a lot of unhappiness,
frustration, anger or negativity to what we are doing. There is a place of simple calm without emotion (that doesn’t mean we
are cutting off feeling – simply redirecting negative destructive energy into positive and constructive energy then acting
appropriately for the situation).
It is possible to deal with a negative reality without being negative.
PLEASE DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE TRUE PURPOSE OF THIS INCENTIVE. It is not to gain the certificate – it is to
help the child understand about choice and consequence, that control over self promotes a harmonious environment for all
those around them, when in the HORSE ENERGY they really can accomplish anything. They need to earn what they earn by
honest effort. Just like training a horse, if we excuse and short cut and do not expect, support and set them up to do their
best then we have a horse that is not useful and no fun to be around.
After we make all this effort, what do we get?
A personalized certificate. It will have your name on it, date on it and your picture. A copy will be posted on the barn wall and
in the NRG recognition album on Facebook.
Can we only get one?
They can only be earned one at a time. After you receive the first one then you can get the tracking form for number two and
so on. The same criteria applies each time.
HOW DOES THE INCENTIVE PROGRAM WORK?
It is available to any Abrazos rider. Whether or not the kids enroll, we will deal with their energy when needed. I believe it will
help them if they do the tracking and actively work toward the certificate. I believe this will help them become more aware of
choice and consequence.
AND – WHAT DO WE NEED FROM THE PARENT OR ADULT COMING WITH THE STUDENT?
The parent will be the deciding factor. Many times, the kid has convinced the adults around that they need to be waited on or
things are too confusing to deal with or the stress is too great and the effort too much.
After operating the school since 1999 and having the numerous families through over the years, I have found that the child
can usually exceed the parent’s expectations if we work to set them up to succeed. The really neat thing to see is the pride
the child has when he/she learns exactly what his/her choice brings and that they really can control that. The other piece is to
see the amazement in a parent when the child’s behavior changes to something that makes all their lives easier.
I will not ask your child to do something that they can’t do. We need to remember that won’t and inability are two very
We need you to become a coach, not a dofor. I know this is hard. It is a lot quicker just to do it for them rather than step
back, guide them and let them tackle the process. Once in a while, time is at a premium and I will even step in and do a piece
but we want that the exception, not the rule.
As a coach you will encourage the child as he/she goes through the different processes needed to have a lesson.
You will guide and direct, not do for them unless absolutely necessary. You will learn the difference between the slight
assistance as opposed to doing the entire thing. The more often the child is guided to physically perform the process
him/herself the quicker he/she will learn and remember. Even the really little ones are capable of a lot more than we think.
(And they are so cute when they succeed) Repetition threads all the pieces together for the person. If we step in and take
parts of it, then it becomes harder to put it together in the right order and to remember all of it.
The quicker they become responsible for things such as talking when around horses and looking where they are going, not at
the horse, the safer they will be.
We want them to tune in to their horse and learn to listen to what it is ‘saying’, This will help your child be more in tune with
his/her surroundings and people with whom he/she comes in contact.
There are horses that are difficult rides in the beginning. These are actually the ones that will teach the most if you can hang
in there when your child complains and it may not necessarily be the most fun. I try to alternate so that as they are starting
they have an easy ride then a more challenging one. How they handle the challenge tells us a lot about the rider. When they
come in and request a hard horse, then you know they are making personal and horsemanship progress – a good thing. See them
as a golden opportunity for the child to practice redirecting their energy.
There will be times (sometimes a lot of them) when the child is less than cooperative and even a down right embarrassment
with their behavior. It simply reminds me of the young horses I have worked with and those moments don’t last forever.
This program has evolved to help the child learn to redirect negative, sucky, uncooperative energy into - at the very least - a
neutral energy where they can do what is needed.
The best we can hope for is they learn to redirect that unpleasant energy into actual positive, happy and cooperative energy.
On the flip side, there are the kids that are able to maintain their HORSE ENERGY from the beginning and they need to be
recognized. It is possible that the program will help reinforce the idea that they are already on the right track in life. These
kids will be able to gain the horsemanship knowledge more quickly since they don’t have negative energy to deal with. They are
rewarded every time they ride because they will have the full horse experience.
In order for them to earn the recognition for their NRG they really only have to do one thing and that is arrive and stay in
HORSE ENERGY for the duration of the lesson. All they have to do is maintain good NRG, and not worry about earning
AS LONG AS THEY GENUINELY TRY, THEY SUCCEED.
HORSE ENERGY = NRG
A program to help the individual learn to
recognize and redirect inappropriate
personal energy into appropriate energy
for the occasion.