You must become more interesting and exciting than the distraction.
There are so many different ways and techniques to working with horses today. It is so wonderful to see the transformation and forward progress that has been made in how we work with our horse now, versus years ago. This is the next progression in sharing your lives with your horses. You can learn so much about yourselves from your horses, as much as we can teach them, they can teach us.
Horses can tell you what they like, what they don’t like, when too much pressure is applied, when not enough pressure is applied. Learning to listen and pay attention to those subtle messages from your horses is the beginning of creating a mutual partnership, from a place of heart centered connection.
Horses, being prey animals, are more aware of body language than other animals or humans. They must learn to read the intention behind the action for survival. My favorite story to understanding how connected the horse is to intention, is the water hole story.
A herd of wild horses is drinking at a water hole, when a mountain lion comes out of the woods to approach the water hole. All the horses look, but they then continue to drink. The mountain lion drinks and then returns back into the woods. Two weeks later, the same herd of horses were down at the water hole drinking, when a mountain lion appears in the trees and the entire herd flees.
They could sense the intention of the mountain lion was to hunt and therefore they were in danger. They could tell from the lion’s body language and intention he was feeling. Animals, especially horses, live and survive off that instinct of intuition and feel. A horse does not second guess what they feel or sense, they react.
I use body language, energy and the intention behind the emotion or thought as the basis of the Ride As One program. I would like to share with you a day of play in one of our sessions.
A Day of Play
It was a brisk spring morning when the private session began. This particular session involved Susan, a woman in her mid-forties and for this session her own personal horse. This was not Susan’s first session as we started with a horse that she had no history with first and then transitioned to her horse.
This was her first session with her own horse. We were in the outdoor arena and he had a pile of hay. As Susan started her Simultaneous Awareness exercise, her horse had almost no response. He turned and looked at her, then moved to her but blew past her and back to his hay.
About that time the neighbor decided to start a chain saw, that was competing with her intention to get his alert and total attention. The competition started up. He had his ears pricked, eyes focused with head up and on alert looking through the woods at the noise.
The exercise grew quickly into a powerful life lesson for Susan as well as one so many people can relate to experiencing and feeling.
A New Goal
Her new goal was to use her energy to pull her horses attention from his focused concern to draw him into her. As she moved and played with the pressure of her energy she had to grow her energy to get bigger and more exciting. It then became a play of energy and intention…..she had to become more interesting and more energetically stimulating than the distraction of the chain saw.
As Susan moved from side to side and in and out she pulled energy off, put energy on, got big, got excited, and brought her energy back down. All the time playing and gauging and watching the response and reaction from her horse.
She would get his attention, he would look at her and even swing to face her and then she would shift her energy down or pull her energy sideways. After about ten minutes of watching this amazing dance of energy and excitement back and forth, he turned and came to her.
She had done what her intention had been……she became more interesting than the distraction.
How many times in life are we in a situation where we felt like we are not holding the same energy and excitement as a distraction that overpowered our own self? We must remember that we can always be more interesting, exciting and energetic than any distraction if we can let go and play with JOY.