Hannah Waen, Nevada/USA

Hannah Waen, Nevada/USA

Company: Hest Creative, LLC
Name: Hannah Waen, ACC
Country: USA

75 McCabe Drive #19191
Reno, NV 89511

Phone: (775) 572-9708
Email: info@hestcreative.com
Website: www.hestcreative.com

As a lifelong horsewoman, I grew up communicating in the language of horses. That doesn’t mean speaking a verbal language but more of an energetic and physical one. Before I knew how powerful this language was to all species, I had to experience its influence firsthand in various situations with various four-legged partners. These equine linguists taught me the power of mindfulness, staying calm while engaging with someone else’s fear, and how fear is contagious unless you ground yourself in empathy and kindness.

First, like all animals, horses react to fear with their amygdala, a primitive part of our brains the size of an almond that tells us how to respond with a flight-fight-or-freeze response. However, unlike dogs, cats, or birds, when riding a thousand-pound horse or walking alongside it, their imprinted fear response can be life-threatening to you. Their fear is not only something they experience independently but something you must learn to navigate with them. Something as benign to us as a bucket we have seen countless times could be the spark of a powerful physical reaction to RUN away at top speed, kick or bite, or stand and stomp the ground, breathing like a dragon. I have seen each of these types of responses happen over something as simple as a plastic object.

In a moment of overwhelming reaction, horses like us can’t reason or be reasoned with. How you communicate directly affects your ability to work the horse down from the ledge to a level of fear that is only heightened, not all-consuming, and a much safe place to be. How you use your energy to respond in that moment matters more than any verbal cue could. This energy exchange is also true when working with humans experiencing anxiety and fear. If your fear gets triggered, their fear will heighten; if you stay calm and collected, they will realize you aren’t afraid, and instinctively, they will come back down to earth. But unlike humans, horses are so much more intuned with us than we are with other humans. Their superpowers are observation and reflection.