What if you could build a relationship with your horse that goes beyond what your mind perceives as correct, acceptable, or even possible? Horses are guided in their lives by instinctual behavior. They adapt to their environment, but do not forget their core abilities. In working with our horses, we observe the animal’s behavior. We then attempt to fit it into how and what we have learned in our lives.
What our animals feel is part of their survival mechanism. They live by processing vibrations that surround them. They make many decisions from the energy they sense coming from you, mirroring and adapting to that energy.
CASE IN POINT
When going through the process of connecting, a woman became aware that her horse had been very lonely even though it was in a barn with other horses. She was able to sense and understand the resonance of how her horse felt because she felt the same. As the woman came to understand her feelings of separation in her own life, her horse began what was ultimately 10 very large stretches and releases. The horse felt this woman’s awareness of what the horse had mirrored, and their relationship began to shift from one of separation to one of mutual understanding. With recognition came the freedom to change. The owner commented to me a few weeks after the session that her mare very obviously now looked for her and wanted to be with her.
Any animal entering into a band, herd, gaggle, etc. will find its position in that grouping. In the case of horse and rider, the horse will respond to what it feels is acceptable in its human’s world.
- If you do not exhibit healthy boundaries in your life, your horse will not respect boundaries in dealing with you.
- If you have been taught you are a follower and not a leader, your horse may take over and be the dominant partner in your relationship.
- If you see yourself as a victim in the world, with your life being what it is because of outside influences, your horse will mirror being a victim to its surroundings, appearing downtrodden or fear-filled.
HOW NOT TO THINK
How many times have you heard statements like “If this or that weren’t going on in my life I would feel better”? We are inundated by messages from the media - that there is a quick fix, magic pill, or tool to FIX a PROBLEM we are having. From this, a natural progression of thought is:
- focus on a PROBLEM that needs FIXING
- See whatever is out of balance between our self and our horse as a PROBLEM they are having
- The solution lies in correcting the horse’s behavior to fit into what we have learned is acceptable
- The horse doesn’t want to cooperate
- We are bad because we can’t FIX it
RELEASE AND EXPLORE
At a recent clinic I facilitated, attendees explored old patterns and judgments. One participant, the driver of a Clydesdale/Hackney pair, had for many years driven a six-horse hitch prior to the two she now drove. The woman had an excellent understanding of feel and intention in sending information down the reins to all six horses, especially her lead pair who were 45 feet away from her. Their relationship had transcended words and they repeatedly won competitions.
Early in the relationship with the two geldings she now worked with, the first of the pair was grounded and solid; the second horse’s behavior appeared erratic and dangerous. This gelding thought differently than any horse this woman had owned before.
During the clinic, the woman stood in front of her unsettled pair of horses. As we progressed through a guided connecting process, the woman, sensing the imbalance between herself and her pair, trusted what she felt and went and stood behind her horses as if she were driving. They immediately settled! What came from the deep connection was the realization of how important balance and our position as individual parts of a whole can be.
The “misbehaving” gelding did not initially know what to do with the intensity of energy being sent by the woman. The strength to drive a six-hand hitch does not apply to driving a pair, resulting in the appearance that the gelding was unsettled. By the woman taking the time to be present, listen and feel, the second gelding knew he had been heard. The day following the clinic, I was blessed to experience the results of their new found balance and understanding. The drive we experienced was superb.
EXPAND YOUR THINKING
Each one of us possesses a place inside of us that is unique, untouched, unchanged, and waiting to be uncovered. It does not require you to buy a special tool or learn a secret technique. It does ask you to be present, take responsibility for self, and begin to expand ways of thinking.
Contrary to what we are inundated with daily, change is not attained outside of us. It is developed within. It takes:
- allowing for new possibilities
- not quitting when our old patterns and measures of safety are feeling threatened by the possibility of change
It took me 50-plus years to master fulfilling beliefs I had about myself and another year to begin to live an incredibly different life. I now cherish the relationship I came close to ending with my draft-style Haflinger, who only wanted me to know she felt like a ballerina inside, no matter what she looked like on the outside. She reflected my inner grace that I was embarrassed to play with and feel. I focused on the outside, presenting to the world what I thought of myself and having it reflected back to me by my mare.
In the simplicity of transforming your relationship with your horse, what are you going to CHOOSE?
- The quick fix?
- Belief in a perceived barrier?
- Staying bonded to old thinking?
- Resistance to responsibility of self?
- The exploration of new perspectives?
- Incorporation of your own brilliance?
- Liberation from what isn’t working?
- Freedom from self judgment?
There is no quick, easy answer. In the exploration of your own beautiful, internal self are the building blocks to the development of your personal success with your horse. Self trust paves the way to an expansive relationship with the quadrupeds who are so much a part of us.
Karen Nowak resides in Absarokee MT and is an energy facilitator for animals and humans, as well as an author, lecturer, and teacher. She is the developer of the Ride Your Dark Horse “Light” program. For further information go to http://www.freedomreinsllc.com
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