Listening is more than just audible sounds. In this article, listening means being aware of feelings and sensations; interpreting sights and sounds; and possibly even imperceptible scents.
What are all the powers of observation and senses that you, as a human, have immediately available to you at all times when interacting with your horse? All of your senses and your horse's senses will come in to play when out on a trail ride. The more aware you are and the more sensitive that you can become to your horse's communications, the better quality relationship you will start to discover with your horse.
Suppose these is a newly fallen tree across the trail, that wasn't there the last time you and your horse rode down the trail. Your horse knows that the log wasn't there last time and hesitates in front of the log in order to evaluate this new obstacle. What is your reaction to his hesitation? Do you acknowledge his concerns and let him proceed over the log at his own pace, or do you take over, micro-manage him and swat him for not just plowing blindly ahead?
Consider his point of view, and you may be surprised with the longer term results and evolution in your horse's relationship with you. On subsequent jogs over this 'new", soon to be "old log obstacle", your horse will probably take it in stride and confidently pop over it. Conversely, if you 'pushed' him over it, he will not develop his own confidence and will, instead, accumulate habits that can be called: 'learned helplessness' and will be learning to not take responsibility for smoothly going over the obstacle.
Henry Blake, in his book, titled: "Horse Sense", shares his insights into the art of communicating with horses. He developed his theories and techniques over a period of more than thirty years by observing, testing and finding out what motivates horses.