In the first session with a new client, I spend time establishing trust and mutual understanding between the two of us. Whether the horse has received bodywork before or not, I like to show that the communication between us goes both ways. I am not there to make the horse do or feel something, but instead to listen and respond to the signals I am shown and adjust accordingly. This allows us to order to work together in relaxation and gentleness. I find this goes a long way, in particular with horses that are experiencing discomfort. The last thing I want to add to their life is more tension and bracing.
Below are two videos to provide an example of the difference between Session 1 and Session 2 with the same horse, only about 10 days apart. I am sharing them to help illustrate the change that occurs after a successful first session in which the horse and I communicated well. In subsequent visits I am able to connect more and more effectively with the horse, allowing for deeper work and better results.