Circular movements are familiar to horses. Circular movements are related to the horse’s sense of personal space as mentioned in the ‘bubbles’ section. Sharon Wilsie and Gretchen Vogel, in their book Horse Speak: The Equine-Human Translation Guide, tell us that fearful or panicked horses run in straight lines, while calm horses move in circles. If you watch horses move in a group, you see them walk around each other in arcs, tracing the borders of the circular bubbles that make up their personal spaces. When a horse yields her space to you by moving her head over and taking her feet with her, she is yielding her space along her arc or circle.
Moving around these circles helps us redirect our horses and communicate in a language that the horses understand innately.
Circles and Yielding: We tend to move in straight lines like the horses’ predators do. If we yield to the horse way of moving, circles, the horses will be less afraid of our movements and more likely to do what we ask.