Chatted with the gorgeous Mav for Ella @ellamc.horsemanship. He's had a checkered history with humans, labelled dangerous and Ella stepped up when he had no where else to go. He shared how to support their journey of connectedness.
He's a master energy teacher who 'feels' the state of the humans around him with such precision. Initially this was to survive and now, with Ella, it's to connect and thrive. He has been waiting to find someone to trust with his calm, gracious spirit and now he has his person confirming "I am right where I am meant to be".
Sensitive horses can find life with humans very challenging yet they remain hopeful that they will be met with care, kindness and curiosity. I get the feeling Ella might have quite a character on her hands when he feels safe to share his true self. Thanks for the invitation to connect with him and thanks to Huia @nzmares for the recommendation. A heart-filling privilege.
Wanted to explain more about what Mav shared in the hope it can help horses and humans connect if this has been difficult in the past.
Sensitive horses struggle in a human world of goals, timeframes and power over. When I first saw his picture I was strongly drawn to him - he felt magnificent. Having connected with abused horses before, I knew I had to be patient - he would decide when to share, not me. One morning I was coming back from a forest walk with Marby and he flicked up my minds-eye two diagrams on the image.
He explained that the one on the left was how he felt when people approached him without regard for his boundaries. He shared that hands grab, poke and move quickly and he withdraws physically and emotionally to protect himself. His boundary is drawn as a clear line and when it is ignored he feels unseen and threatened.
The image on the rights shows how he feels when someone invites him to choreograph the connection - he can reach out with curiosity and explore the space between you. He described how to take on a posture and state of invitation - body turned slightly away (square on body energy and a fixed gaze can burn into a defensive horse like a laser beam), head slightly bowed, heart soft, eyes soft, jaw soft, thoughts soft and your energetic edges blurred. With this setup he gets to set the speed and rhythm of connection and he can soften his boundaries to approach - he feels seen and safe.
Our ability to recognise and respect another being's boundaries has a huge impact on our ability to connect meaningfully. When the other being has been abused, honouring boundaries is far more than social nicety - it's survival. Mav and Ella are at early stages of their relationship and he has chosen her as someone who can learn the subtleties of energetic conversation that is felt more than seen. I wish them the very best of everything