Doing Less and Being More With Your Horse

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I recently polled tribe members in my horse and soul journey facebook group, and they wanted to hear more about, and talk more about the subject of energy with our horses and being present rather than active. So here we go. Doing less and being more with your horse. What exactly do I mean? Less physical action, less coming from a place of thinking and strategizing or a behavioral perspective. More feeling, more stillness, more observing, waiting and truly listening to the horse. What are some practical examples? Getting a horse to drink, leading or riding a horse through a gate or into a new environment, or preparing to mount a horse that is showing tension. A farrier or trimmer can really use this concept when preparing to work on a horse. A coach or an individual simply interested in spending time with their herd or their horse can benefit from this concept.

Number one, always keep yourself safe. If in any situation you’re dealing with a horse that’s upset, spooked at something and is running around or charging at you or over you, not seeing you, keep yourself safe. Often for me these days, what that really means is getting out of a situation. I put myself physically in a location or in a space that’s safe, while the horse can work his stuff out. For me, it rarely means that I need to interject my energy into the horse’s space. I can usually let the horse figure things out on his own without me doing anything. I can simply get out of his way, physically and energetically, until he gets to a place where he’s thinking again. Now I would never tell you to do anything or to not do anything that felt counterproductive to you or or felt like the thing that was needed. My work is based on empowering others to really learn to trust your inner wisdom and when you’re seeking more knowledge turn to the horse and turn inward. So always trust yourself and always stay safe.

Back to the practical examples, one experience I’ve had many, many times with clients and on my own is leading the horse to the water trough. What I’m seeing a lot is people doing things like splashing around the water with their hand or talking to the Horse, saying “here, don’t you want a drink of water?”. Doing lots of different things physically to try and get the horse to drink. I’ve seen it in between therapy sessions when I’ve worked with people or organizations. I’ve seen it after a trail ride on a hot day or in between sessions during horsemanship training, so of course it makes sense to be able to offer the horse a drink, especially on these hot days. We don’t want them to get dehydrated because that can be really detrimental to their health. So here’s a practical example on how I approach this scenario. I simply walk over to the water with the horse and I get out of the way.

I pay attention to my energy. Am I putting pressure on the horse energetically without realizing it? Do I need to take a step back or turn my belly button away? The horse will let me know. Once I figure out where I need to physically be to be out of the way energetically, I wait for the horse. I then give the horse plenty of time to drink on his own. Based on the activity and the heat of the day, I assess that the horse needs to drink. That is my priority, so if there’s a clinic or a client or a training course or we’ve got to get back out on the trail with guests or any scenario that you might find yourself in where money has been exchanged for this time, I’m still going to put the horse’s needs first and I’m still gonna wait for the horse to get their on his own time. He’ll choose when to take a drink and as long as I’m out of the way energetically, the horse will drink when and as much as he or she needs. When it comes to leading or riding a horse through a gate or into a new environment,

I use the same approach. Oftentimes we bring tension to the horse because we have such a strong desire for the horse to do what it is we want them to do that we don’t allow for the horse to have her experience of this situation in a natural way. The best thing I can do in this scenario is first be clear with my intention, get real grounded for myself and centered; so that for me means turning inward and dropping in. I use some energy medicine practices or rituals to be sure I’m energetically balanced. This way, I’m not bringing tension or fear or ego to the horse. I’m simply holding space. I set my intention and I hold space. Some horses in that instance will simply walk on through with you. Some horses will need to stop and process for what feels like a really long time. Some horses will need to physically back up to get back to a place where they can think or they can process. Every situation is unique. I don’t put expectations on a horse to be the same today as yesterday. I don’t judge myself if the horse needs a little more time or is unable to comfortably go into a space on that day and I always go back and assess myself first. I assess my energy, assess what I’m bringing to that moment energetically and I’m willing to change my mind. I’m willing to change my goal. I’m willing to let the horse guide me as to what he or she needs in that moment.

If I’m preparing to mount a horse that is showing some tension, I pay attention and I ask the horse what he needs. Again, I set my intention and a drop in energetically to get centered and I’m willing to be honest with myself if I’m not centered at that moment. I don’t judge myself, I just embrace what is. So if I can’t be clear on my intention, I stay in that space until I can get there. Or if I assess that I’m not in a place in that moment to do that, then I go back and figure out what I need to do to be able to get there. And if today’s not the day, then today’s not the day. I’m human.

I have different needs on different days and I’m willing to embrace that and not judging myself, which translates to my approach with the horse. And the horse of course can feel that. So if I am able to be clear on my intention and set that intention, my next step is to drop in energetically to get centered within myself so that I can simply hold space for the horse. I take the time I need for this. Again, if I find I’m not in a space to be able to do this, I ask myself what I need so that I can get in that space and I give that to myself. Perhaps I need to address something that’s emotionally affected me at that moment. If I need to turn on some music and shift my energy, I do it. If I need to do some energy medicine exercises, I do.

Whatever it is I need, again, I don’t judge it, I just do it and when I’m able to get centered energetically and simply be holding space with an intention, that’s what I do. And then, if I’m asking the horse to do something like line up with me and stand still so that I can get on, that’s when I do that and my goal is always to do less and BE more so if I’m asking after I set the intention and, after I’ve gotten myself centered and I’m simply holding space, I ask as simply as I can with out feeling that I’m being overbearing or intrusive energetically with the horse. And then I wait. I breathe. If my mind starts racing with me, I breathe some more. If I start judging myself or judging the horse I breathe some more, I go back to dropping in to center myself and I wait some more. A lot of times it feels like a lot of waiting for us humans, but it’s just the natural flow for the horse, which I find to be just beautiful and magical. And I’ve learned from the horse every single time in every experience.

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