............and then there are the horses
“When he broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying ‘come!’ I looked and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand” Revelations 6:5
Experiencing a oneness with our horse, that ‘dance’ is the wish of every equestrian, no matter what their particular discipline. So many of us try to seek this partnership through the various, and often costly, training techniques which can so often be based on force; either on ourselves and our bodies, but more often than not, on the horse, and so many times we find that there is still something missing in our relationship with our horses that no training technique can address. That “something” begins with us. The emotional exchange that occurs when two people experience each others’ facial expressions and body language (known as “emotional contagion”) is a syncing of expressed emotion and has been demonstrated to have an effect on a person’s physiology. The same thing can happen when we interact with a horse. After all, a horse’s language is expressed totally through his body language and is not concealed in any way. If we wish to address a horse we are compelled to address his behavior, and consequently, our own. Today, more and more, the only way we ‘connect’ to others is through a device: a phone or a computer and so much that accompanies face-to-face interaction is being lost. The exchange and comprehension that occurs when two people experience each others’ facial expressions and body language is dying and we no longer understand each other. For horses, body language is the only way they speak to each other. They do not lie and you cannot fool them, horses have a unique way of telling us the truth about ourselves. With them we can learn to be natural leaders, strong, competent and above all non-threatening (horses lead by example NOT by force) It is the confident and dependable horse that others not only willingly choose to follow, but actually seek out. We can learn the difference between ‘tough love’ and control. Our end-gaining or goal-orientated A-B behavior is alien to them. This predator behavior narrows our range of awareness to exclude everything but the object to be seized. Horses ‘prey’ behavior is completely different, it is a continual, all-sensitive awareness of their environment and their world. Creating a more conscious connection with horses, both on the ground and in the saddle, requires an awareness of what, and how, we as humans bring into this relationship. We need to examine our behavior and our habits, as being fully present with our horses requires us to be aware of the type of energy and emotions we are bringing to the dance. If we do not consciously acknowledge these emotions and energies - such as a bad day at work, a fight with a family member or anxiety over finances and the millions of other problems that surround us in these days of modern living, frustration, irritation and then miscommunication can build up, making a true unity with our horses difficult, if not impossible. We so often do not recognize that the seemingly uncooperative horse is simply reacting to our emotional energy and our inability to be consciously aware of the moment, to be in the present time, where there is no past and no future. To do this we must learn to discipline our minds and rely on our body’s wisdom and sense of quiet presence. After all, that is where your horse is and it is in this state of being that we can find a natural flow and rhythm. The first step toward a more symbiotic union with our horses therefore begins with ourselves. It is from them that we can learn to create a space where we live totally in the moment: mindful, aware, calm, forward flowing and focused. A connection between mind and body; core strength; flowing, graceful movements; balance and, perhaps, some wisdom! And remember - anything you want to create in a horse, you first have create in yourself. This is not just about being with a horse, it is about being with yourself. and that, it turns out, may be the hardest of all. In these workshops we will discover the Alexander Technique and its application in the world of horses.
"You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension" FM Alexander