2 - May, 2006
(equine) Truth is the most important concept horses teach us. The definition
is: absolute truth from its inception at the thought level to its reverberation
in every fibre of our being.
Horses teach us to be here now and to
be in absolute truth. They dont tolerate the slightest deviation
from the experience of isness. I talked about Equinisty
in the last newsletter, which is the gift of finding the unexpected
and truly meaningful perspective through the clear and almost 360 degree
vision of the equine. The only way we can find our own unique and meaningful
perspective is to be absolutely truthful. If we are not we will find
someone elses answers. The physical plane operates by cause and
effect so it is very important to clearly determine the cause.
talks about body language. It doesnt matter the discipline it
is all taught around aids, which are conveyed, to the horse through
the language of the body. Anyone who has ever experienced oneness in
horsemanship realizes an illusive indefinable but nonetheless unmistakable
connection that goes beyond the body to the mind and the spirit.
Our body, mind and spirit are one with
the horse and in that moment we experience oneness with truth, our truth
and lifes truth.
Wisdom, truth, joy, freedom, abundance
and love isness
The body is so finely tuned to our every
thought it becomes increasingly apparent the more time we spend with
horses that we learn to use our body less and our mind more.
is also important to spend unstructured time with horses; time to commune
and enjoy. Interact without halter and lead rope. Put a few treats in
your pocket and take out a brush and spend some quality time strengthening
your relationship. Teach them to move their body, the front end, hind
end forward and back. Teach them some fun tricks like stepping up on
tires, walking through foam noodles or walking into a trailer to enjoy
a bucket of treats. You will be amazed at how many things your horse
will do if they are not forced but invited and rewarded. Always tell
them how proud you are and how wonderful and good they are. They understand
every word and thought. I rarely use a halter for anything and my horses
follow me anywhere; over, under and through obstacles that most people
couldnt whip or lip chain their horse to try.
Its all done a little bit at a
time with a lot of praise and positive reward. Eventually your horse
will come to view you as a wonderful experience and do whatever you
Try taking off your bridle and riding
with a halter and lead rope (I guarantee it will only improve the way
your horse responds and they wont associate riding with discomfort).
Most of what we ask is by our body position and our mind and if you
get into trouble it is much easier to stop a horse by reaching down
one rein and bending them to a stop with a halter than pulling on a
bit and having it slide through the mouth or held between the horses
If you have spent time to develop a trust on the ground, a horse will
happily look after you on their back. When I do ground work games I
use words like walk on, whoa, and back
and I reward whoa with lots of praise and treats so it becomes
a positive association. When I am on their back and say whoa
if the horse takes one more step forward I back them to the point I
said whoa. Once all these safeguards are in place you will
never need more than a halter to safely ride, and your horse, instead
of running away when you approach, will come running toward you.
FROM ONE WITH THE HERD:
(excerpt from Book 1).
I watched L.E. and began to train like
she did. Just a glance at a horse's shoulder or hind quarter would move
it, but there had to be a certain tip to the head; a concentration of
focus that was unmistakably clear. We would play a game called stick
to me. I was the benevolent leader and treat dispenser as this game
was fun and based on positive reinforcement; a human adaptation of horse
language. Treats could involve food, scratches or effusive compliments;
an opportunity for one on one with their human.
The horses loved this game and would line up to go with me, or even
approach me at an opportune time and ask for it. A crook of my finger
and eye contact with the particular horse and off we would go; usually
at a run to get out of the gate before the others, wanting to play.
I would close the gate behind us or I would have two or three horses
fighting to go over the bridge or get up on the tires, lunging at each
other so only they could be with me.
The purpose of the game was to lead
the horse happily away from the herd without any mechanical aids, (so
it was all their choice) and teach them to watch my body language and
depend on me. It always amazed me how much more quickly they would do
things for positive reward, rather than threat of punishment. They developed
a curious and happy attitude knowing that they were free to participate
or not. I was always careful not to stretch their limits to the point
where they would run back to the herd. I would give them time to think
about it, or maybe run back a short way if spooked, and then encourage
them back again. I believe this develops their capacity to reason out
situations and trust my judgment rather than just act blindly in a fearful
situation. In the end they will jump much higher out of love and trust
Magic, at a year old, had the hardest
time with these challenges, as like her mother Diva, she had an inborn
discomfort of stepping on things. I had to use a halter to coax her
on the bridge for the first time, and lots of horse treats, but after
that her confidence grew. I remember watching her one-day, after our
session, when the herd was grazing in the playground Magic showing off
her new found strength, walked across the bridge and stopped in the
middle until all the herd had noticed her. Then to upstage her, first
Picasso and then Matisse ran back and forth over it.
FROM THE HORSES: (Limited Edition,
(L.E.) speaking for the herd)
wisdom is very simple. Humans tend to equate knowledge with wisdom:
For horses wisdom and truth imply isness or an inherent
and unique aspect of the ALL(or God) that can only be experienced moment
by moment as its truth or isness changes and evolves
through our lifes journey. The important thing to remember is
that it is ours.
Our own absolute truth of who we are; the perfect embodiment of spirit
in our unique and individual physical form. When we allow free flow
of spirit by connecting to the ALL and intuitively tuning into that
immeasurable wealth of wisdom then we become our truth. Humans often
seek more to impress others than themselves and by so doing lose the
truth of who they are. We can help you with this for we are teachers
of truth and we will call you on anything less. Come and play with us.
Come without structure and we will teach you about unstructured, connect
with us and through us the all, the infinite and you will come to know
Winning Question from Newsletter 1
By Karen Worthington, Vancouver, B.C.
Magic, are you most happy when
you are working with people or when you are out on your own?
"My life is very full. I have a large
extended family: my horse mom, my horse sister, my mom Liz and many
cousins, aunts, uncles and friends. People that come to the ranch are
my friends as well and I very much enjoy their attention. I love to
be played with and brushed; I love treats and I love learning to ride.
Liz has taught me to do lots of games on the ground and I feel very
proud when I learn something new. I also love my horse family and running
with my herd. I have many friends both horse and human so it isnt
a question of when I am most happy. I am content and happy with all
aspects of my life."
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