Thought & intention are not the same, but one underlies the other. Underlying thoughts, we're not always aware of or in touch with, create intention & how we react through intention. We see this best when we react without thought out of frustration or stress. In these situations, the underlying thoughts can't be hidden, they're reactionary & beyond the thought process. For example, we may work with someone we dislike or who annoys us & are always pleasant pleasant on the surface, but when stress comes into play & we're confronted with a situation that tests our patience, we can suddenly react in negative ways without the usual dampening thoughts to shield our reactions. Then we may feel guilt afterwards for not continuing to hide our true feelings. If we can begin to analyze these emotions & find the root cause, we can change our underlying thoughts & change our truth meters of intention.
I had a recent experience that I want to share, which inspired this article. While working with a new person at my non-horse related job, as a normally relaxed under pressure & balanced personality, I had a sudden & unexpected negative reaction toward this person. It was completely involuntary & I was shocked at my physical reaction to this situation, by throwing my hands up in the air out of frustration. I always try to learn from my experiences & want to understand the root causes, especially of negative interactions. This introspection led me to realize that, where normally I'm not judgemental toward others, on this particular day I allowed multiple little annoyances to accumulate. Where I thought I had let them go & dealt with them effectively, this involuntary reaction showed me this was far from the case.
Upon continued analysis, this new understanding morphed into a correlation that is very common in the horse world. When we have underlying negative Judgemental thoughts about our horses, like they are lazy, defiant & stubborn, these base thoughts will surface & expose themselves through our intention unexpectedly when we become stressed or frustrated. They are also responsible for creating additional stress, impatience & frustration.
We may react negatively or even violently toward our horses & no matter how brief these explosions are, they will create a lasting effect. Even emotional explosions that don't involve physical associations can have lasting effects on more timid & sensitive horses. We will move on & forget about what we have done if we don't take the time to analyze these behaviours in ourselves & make the necessary effort to change them. We will then label & blame our horses for our inadequacies by forcing them to adopt avoidance & diversion behaviours because we have forgotten how we have caused these behaviours.
We carry our habitual thoughts & actions into the barn with us & are often unaware of it. Horses can see our intention a mile away & this will certainly have an effect on our interactions, even before we begin. Something I have learned over time, is to let go of all judgements when it comes to horses, period. No matter what type of horse I work with, I don't see any problems or problem horses, as so many will label their horses. All I see is a horse that needs help & understanding & I also don't create any preconceived judgements about what I hear from the owner. This is why people are often shocked when I say that I don't need to know anything about their horse beforehand & I don't come with a present plan.
I don't form any ideas whatsoever & wait until I see for myself what's going on between the horse & owner. I limit my thoughts to understanding only what's happening in the present moment & dealing with what's needed by both in that moment. This creates new understanding for the person & dramatic changes in the horses with a willingness to want to communicate & resolve issues, because they can see my intention & they know I will not become frustrated, impatient or aggressive. My intention shows that I've removed all filters & I'm genuinely willing to listen & assist. Now I just have to practice being more effective in applying this to human interactions. There is a saying that when you remove a horses halter, you're left with the truth. If we remove our own halters of judgement, we're left with true intention.