Category Archives for "Horse’s World"

‘Live in the energy of play. I miss you laughing.’

 

Meet SJ. She has been lucky enough to spend her whole 20 year life with the lovely Lindsey. They have shared many adventures – Lindsey was the first human SJ met when she was born and she has done all her schooling with her.

Lindsey said “We used to be insanely close, and now there’s a distance that makes me sad. I miss having that super close connection with her.”

My heart soars when the first question people want me to ask ‘Is she/he happy?’. This is usually followed by questions about their physical health and how they feel about their human friend.

Often people imagine their horse has all sorts of judgments and criticisms but rest assured, this is a not part of the horses world -this is a uniquely human thing. Horses either feel safe and comfortable around you and want to be close. Or they don’t and they move away. It’s not about you per se – it’s about how they feel around you. As a prey animal they are hard-wired to constantly sense our energetic state (our ever changing, unique combination of emotional, physical and mental disposition).

SJ shared a potent reminder for Lindsey – to live in the energy of play. You see life had got increasingly serious for Lindsey – growing up will do that to you! Education, work, relationships…the stuff of being adult can take us a long way from the energy of play, which our horses enjoy so much.

SJ shared her view on life – ‘I love living – it’s fun – life is beautiful – there is so much to discover and enjoy.’ She lived in a state of ‘gentle rapture’. Something I know I could do well to emulate when I feel being an adult has got heavy going…

Thanks SJ & Lindsey for the opportunity to share from the horses heart x

“Your joy is magnetic – it draws me to you”

 

Have you ever wondered what your horse might write in an ‘ideal human partner’ description (picture online dating for horses looking for humans…)? What would they be really drawn to ie. states of being ? Words like calm, playful, accepting, grateful to be alive, kind, present and joyful come to my mind.
 
This is quite a list so how could we summarise this? How about ‘love’? We usually talk about being ‘in love’ – but I reckon love is a doing word, so we could drop the ‘in’ and make it ‘being love’. We may say we love our horses but when emotions run high we may not act lovingly towards them. Does that mean we don’t love them anymore? I feel ‘being love’ is a good value to hold ourselves accountable to.
 
The old adage ‘words are cheap’ is very true with our horses – our actions speak far louder. Sometimes kids can get horses to easily and generously do things that adults can’t…I always find that fascinating and it shows how our intentions and expectations shape what we experience far more than most people realise. Why? Humans love being right because it makes them feel safe. Therefore, if we have strong expectations we shape the outcome to make sure we are right – this can be in positive and negative ways.
 
This phenomenon is called creating ‘self-fulfilling prophecies’. We would rather be right about something unpleasant than surrender to the unknown beautiful potential possibility of the present moment. We humans can be really funny like that!

‘My fulfillment is your peace & joy. Stop & stand quietly with me – just being together is peaceful & warm.’

This is gorgeous George. He is a lucky boy because Karla’s first two questions were ‘Is he happy?’ and ‘Does he like his job?’. George, like most horses, was very aware of himself and his preferences and liked being asked to share them. George is also, like most horses, very aware of Karla’s emotional, mental and physical state moment to moment – as a prey animal he is hard wired to be – it can mean the difference between life and becoming lunch.

As humans we are often very focused on WHAT we DO – the mechanics of action. The horse’s world is more focused on HOW they FEEL. What upset George the most was when he didn’t now how to please Karla. He was always seeking relationship harmony.

When he shared his wishes it was not for more carrots and feed – it was for more smiles, laughter, play and fun for fun’s sake. His ambitions lay in connection not ribbons yet he said ‘I like to feel my powerful body’ so he was happy to be ridden. He delighted in Karla’s happiness.

Please leave a comment below how reading this made you feel. I would love to know if this touched, surprised, made you feel uncomfortable, etc. When I started communicating with horses I felt guilty/ashamed that I had been so insensitive to their way of experiencing the world. Human arrogance has blinded me to their depth.

Thanks Karla & George for the opportunity to learn more about life from the heart of horses.

“I am magnificence without arrogance. Arrogance is based on comparison. I don’t need to compare as I know who I am.”

This week I had the privilege of chatting with Senna. Senna’s human guardian was worried that he was aloof and withdrawn on the ground and spooky when ridden. Her question were ‘How can I make his life better? Our relationship better?’. Senna is a very lucky horse because his needs are a very high priority.
When I connected with him, Senna showed himself stuck down a long tunnel with a gate. He was sad and the heaviness in his heart bought tears to both our eyes. he said ‘no one sees me’ and he showed me his huge wings. The insensitive treatment he has received in the past meant he retreated to deep within himself.
Gradually he began to share more of himself and then showed himself hovering off the ground at the place he lived – he was not connected to the energy of the earth. He has recently moved grazing and had new paddock mates and hadn’t yet ‘landed’ there. As I told him this was now his forever home he settled on to the ground and shared the most beautiful vision of ‘roots’ of energy streaming out in the all directions around him like the scene in Avatar where everyone is connected to each other and the land around the sacred tree. Feeling ‘grounded’ is very important to all animals.
He then shared what is written below “I am magnificence without arrogance. Arrogance is based on comparison. I don’t need to compare as I know who I am”. Thank you Senna, it was such a honour to connect with you.

“My acute senses make my world energetically vivid. I don’t get lost in thought – I live in the ever present now.”

 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could experience one hour of life as a horse. How the world looks, feels, smells, tastes and hears through their senses and with their priorities.

From what I have read and observed a horse’s ‘feel’ sense is far more acute than ours. They seem to feel sound, emotion and intention. Without relying on a verbal language they ‘listen’ with their whole bodies.

They don’t have logic and reason or social acceptability telling them ‘it doesn’t make sense’- they react instinctively or respond habitually depending on their training. They also don’t replay a situation over and over telling their friends about it – re-igniting the ‘flight’ response hormones in their body if the situation was threatening. Lastly they don’t have an ego that prompts them to cast themselves as a hero, victim or villain depending on their mood and inherent self-worth. Sometimes I think being a horse would make life much more straight forward!

We have this capacity for ‘whole body listening’ too but in our modern, over stimulating world we learn to ‘not listen’ to all that surrounds us or we would become overwhelmed. Our nervous system evolution hasn’t keep pace with our rate of environmental change so no wonder we experience increasing rates of physical and mental dis-ease.

Being with our horses invites us to come home to ‘whole body listening’. It’s a bit like a radio channel – our body is the antennae and the information is always there for us to pick up, but we just aren’t tuned into it.

Next time you feel confused – take a few slow, deep breaths – act like a horse and ‘listen with your whole body’. Maybe your gut knows exactly what to do, your knees might have some pretty good ideas too…

Suze x

Please share with your horsey friends and I would love to hear your thoughts on how the world would feel from your horses point of view.

“I feel safe with you, so naturally I want to share my best with you.”

Today I feel drawn to the parallel’s between the role of Mum and horsewoman. This year one of my lovely kids has a teacher they are afraid of and this has affected their learning and confidence. Neuroscience has lots of studies proving the link between perceived safety and learning ability – physical and psychological survival becomes top priority not learning times tables…

Our horses are no different so I believe it’s up to us to create a learning environment where our horse survival mode (ie. flight, fight, freeze, fidget, fawn) is not triggered. As we ‘stretch’ our horses comfort zone we need to watch they don’t tip over the edge or we are teaching them to be fearful. We want to guide them back to a more balanced state quickly so learning can resume.

In addition to learning is self-expression. We all know that we are different version of ourselves around different people and that our uninhibited self shows up when we feel physically and psychologically safe or with the help of inhibition numbing like alcohol…

Dosing your horse up on scotch is not ideal so it’s up to us to create a relationship with our horses that ensures they feel safe to really show themselves. That’s when we get to experience the full power, beauty, sense of humour and affection of our beloved horses.

How do you help your horse feel safe to show more of itself?

“My herd is my family. Like you, I love & grieve.”

To horse lovers like yourselves it seems ridiculous that it has only recently been legally recognised that horses (and other animals) have feelings aka ‘sentient beings’ rather than ‘things or objects’ – NZ only changed the law in May this year.
We all want to do the best for our horses and this includes meeting their emotional and social needs. Next time your horse does something you’re not so keen on, I invite you to pause and think about it from the horses point of view. Ask yourself – what needs are not being met that makes harmony challenging right now?

Horses think ‘herd’ far more than humans – we are much more individualistic. A horse sees us as a member of their herd when we are with them and if something disrupts harmony they see a ‘herd’ problem rather than a ‘me’ problem.
It can be helpful for us think ‘herd’ when we are looking to restore harmony – it stops us from feeling victimised by our horses actions or victimise our horses with our actions.

“Lead yourself confidently, consistently & kindly. Then I am inspired to follow.”

Our horses can be very skilled at picking up whether we ‘deeply believe’ our leadership or whether we are just ‘acting’ like a leader. Their positive feedback comes in the form of attentiveness, willingness and respecting our boundaries. They tell us we are not believable through non-compliance, pushiness, bites and other boundary violations. Their desire to challenge our leadership varies depending on many things including personality, history, physical state etc.
Leadership can be a loaded word – for some it conquers up force/aggression/dominance – very much one sided with little regard for the one being led. Have you ever noticed if you ‘lead’ yourself in this way (‘bully’ might be a better word). When we don’t lead ourselves confidently, consistently & kindly the feedback we give ourselves can be much more subtle than that of our horses – anxiety, sadness, anger, frustration, nagging doubt…
Observe your thoughts, actions & emotions to see your inner-leadership. When you lead yourself well, your horse will be inspired to follow you and then the magic really begins!

“I am not what you think I am, I am what you feel me to be.”

Our mind can’t feel – that’s up to our body. During the workshop yesterday I was moved by how beautifully people talked about how horses made them ‘feel’ – there were even a few tears as we recalled what we had experienced in moments of deep connection with our horses. Even describing how we feel takes us away from feeling those feelings as we wrap clumsy words around something so beautiful and personal.
There was also realisation of how much our thoughts distract us from feeling, especially when our ego hijacks a situation and floods our minds with doubt and judgement.
Give yourself and your horse the gift of fully feeling your moments of deep connection – resist rushing to recall, narrate or describe them – these moments are priceless to both of you x

“Whether you look for good or bad in me, you will find it.”

Our horses live up to or down to our expectations. If we decide they are of fine character or otherwise we will filter what we experience with them through that expectation and reinforce those expectations.
Be sure to decide your horse is a generous, sensitive and honorable soul worthy of your generosity, sensitivity and kindness or you will never witness them embody these traits and that would be a great loss to both of you.