Sensory soundness, there is nothing more profound than the vital role the senses play in translating the physical world to the emotional horse. The efficiency of which can be as binding as is it is divisive, for the thread that weaves the fabric of emotional sensitivities through the physical senses can be as smooth as fishing line or as frayed as yarn. Few things have fascinated me more than gaining a deeper understanding of not only the relationship the horse has with their environment through the senses, but the relationships the horse is capable of having, because of them.
In order to help myself gain clarity of what I was seeing and tracking in my notes over the course of many years and countless horses, I began to chart my findings. It wasn't so far along the way that I realized there was something bigger just ahead for me to find. A map began to take shape, a sensory map that not only charted the basic common physical senses but even more exciting to me, what started to emerge was a mapping system that began to reveal the intricate nature of "who" the horse was. I knew what a horse was, but I wanted to know who it was that was standing before me.
Over the last several months of continued study I began to make more and more thrilling discoveries, all of which will be in the forthcoming Sensory Soundness & Mapping Course (sign up to be alerted when Lesson One is available) and the Applied Sensory Soundness November seminar tour in Australia (a few spots are still available for the November dates). A few of these new discoveries that showcase the vital importance of sensory mapping, are shown in the side X side image comparison in the worksheet image below. Among these vital new innovations is that in reality, for every horse, there is essentially two maps.
So what does that mean exactly? Over nearly 30 years of study I was able to identify that there were six standard sensory zones representing "Ideal" sensory soundness. These have defined sensory lead change demarcations and very uniform zones of sensitivity. The sample map on the left is an example of ideal, or "elite" sensory soundness. This is what we would love to see every horse's map look like. But the truth is, this is rare in nature and very rare in our domesticated world where we have our fingerprints all over breeding programs. Physically the basic sensory system is divided into 6 standard aspect zones of sensitivity, the ideal or elite sensory sound horse's psychosensory zones have perfect or nearly perfect alignment with these. But as you can see in the sample on the right of a horse I loved dearly named Geronimo, the more common truth is that the majority of horses psychosensory zones, the actual or "functional" area of sensitivity, do not align ideally, or even closely in many cases.
The exciting thing for me and what I consider truly game changing in the equine world regardless of discipline, level or ability, is that sensory mapping is able to identify a vast array of issues large and small that impede our horses capacity to train, to perform, to be experience harmony and contentment. Sensory alignment is vital information, for it shows us not only cognitive distortions and locations around and within the horses emotional experience of the world where they outsource, where they have sensory blocks and where they need sensory bridging, it also guides us by showing us the areas of most need. Our goal of helping the horse become the best version of themselves just became far more tangible and real. Sensory mapping shows us how far out of alignment the psychological horse is with there physical environment. Shepherding us by highlighting where the horse is asking for help, giving us the opportunity to put together enrichment and training programs to bring their sensory alignment closer to ideal than it is askew.
This side by side overlay comparison is just one simple example to share with you visually the concept of mapping an alignment and what it looks like. Please note that the psychosensory zone mapping on the right is done on the overlay sheet we've developed for students and for use with real cases, so the "ideal" zone lines are faded and the darker zone lines define the actual psychosensory zones of Geronimo that I mapped. By so doing we are able to see how far askew he is and where we need to focus our efforts.
To me it's some of the most exciting information I've ever discovered in my ongoing expedition inside the mind of the horse. I can't wait to share more with in the course and the seminar events!
Don't forget to sign up over on the courses page here on the website to stay advised when the first lesson is available, which I expect will be early October as it looks at this time. My intention is to only bring you the very best of my work as I can produce, and so I will never rush it just to get it done. I want to bring forth the worlds most innovative concepts in an effort to enhance the life of the horses we all love and offer insights and educational opportunities that help lift all of us up to a higher level of horsemanship. I would like to remind you that you can now purchase a beautiful poster version of the Sensory Soundness Map and I will sign to you or for you as a gift to someone, personally. Also as we go along here you will find it helpful I'm sure as you wrap yourself around the lexicon that is the language of sensory soundness, to download the PDF Glossary of Terminology and Phrases found on the resources page.
There is a purposeful complexity to Mother Nature’s beauty, for she is a master of disguise. To unravel her mystery, she asks of us that we feel before we see, that we observe patience amid chaos, that we check our assumptions before they are conclusions, and that we demand of ourselves a higher standard of understanding. Nature doesn’t grade on a curve; she doesn’t water things down to make them easier, the process of humility is often an act of attrition. Yet she promises the exertion is worth it, and when we find we have been lifted by our efforts to meet those demands, our experience becomes those promises fulfilled.
Thank you for your time, please subscribe to this website and share with those you feel may find this work interesting. I can only take this so far, on my own.
Your Friend~ Kerry