Reading books and horses.
We read books for entertainment, knowledge and relaxation. We also learn how to read horses for the same reasons. When we first learned how to read, it wasn't easy. The big words, the different paragraphs, and what in the world does it mean when we put it all together! But soon we were reading tons and tons of books, enjoying the stories and absorbing all that knowledge. Reading a horse simply takes time. But once you learn the first few "words" the feeling of accomplishment is there again! The horses "words" aren't necessarily audible, although some are sounds, but body language. And not all their words mean the same thing from horse to horse. Scenario...you and Lucky, your horse, are riding along at the trot and all of the sudden he slows to a walk. Now you didn't ask for the walk and all of the sudden there it is! First thing that goes through your mind is, what's wrong Lucky? The next thing is, hey I didn't say walk! Well, I guarantee ol Lucky told you he was getting ready to slow down before he actually did it. A slight raising of the head, his own version of a half halt, a long exhale...he told you, but you just wasn't understanding his "words". Listening to the horse is one of the key foundational blocks of my training techniques and has saved me from a horse getting Western with me on thousands of occasions.