Oneness with Horses Pt1

“A mind that is clutching onto something does not have space to catch something new. An open mind allows experiences to come and go freely.” – Tracy Courtney

We’ve all seen examples of people being one with their horses but how many can legitimately make this claim? How many of us have had fleeting glimpses of this for ourselves? If we want to truly understand its possibilities, we must examine the current belief systems, which requires stepping out of the social norm and commonly accepted practices. Leaving our comfort zones is the only way to objectively analyze and comprehend the possibilities. We can all begin by examining our personal history with horses and where we currently stand. Ask ourselves honestly if the goals, repetitive exercises, time commitments and beliefs we cling to have brought us any closer to this goal? Could there be something more to it than we’re presently aware of? Will it require leaving behind all that we think we know, if even just for a little while? Are will willing to take the steps necessary to search for the answers to find out for ourselves?

Our problems with horses, stem from our perceptions of living in the past through our attachment to memories that then shape our future. The phantoms of past and future are only of use to the intellect, because it gives us the sense that we are in control with horses. But as we work with our horses, we begin to realize that no matter how much we try to control them, horses always have a way of changing the way we think things should go. When we continue to try to dictate and manipulate situations with horses, they will show us the flaws in our imagined ability to control the future outcome of our decisions. Although this is often perceived as defiance and stubbornness, it’s really a gift that our horses give patiently in the hope that we will begin to listen and allow them to open the door for new perceptions and true oneness.

This mentality of dictation, force and control over horses is a widely socially accepted practice that is considered normal and correct. Our attempts to control horses according to our own beliefs and to force them to comply to endless repetitive steps of exercise is nothing short of a narcissistic relationship. We must begin to deeply explore our thoughts, beliefs and real results of the way we currently work with horses. It’s only when we begin to quiet our mind of decisions, repetition and begin to become the passive listener that we will easily get the kind of control we wanted, but in a way we didn’t know was possible.

Current methods create a separation from our horses, not a melding, like pulling a plug from the socket. We are not empathetic to the feelings and emotions expressed by our horses and often retaliate with anger and aggression because we are unable to look past our own wants and goals. We don’t include our horses in our lives, but merely show up to make them do things in a designated area and then leave, like taking a bicycle in and out of the garage. Often, our quality time is spent in local designated areas that don’t involve the exploration of new environments and experiences. This sets us up for problems down the road when our horses are expected to be accepting of new experiences quickly and quietly. If we really want to understand and create this oneness with horses, we have to examine the current facts in order to make lasting changes.

We align and connect with our horses at a much deeper level when we choose not to force and dictate, but to allow for discussion and adopting an inquisitive mindset. To be in the moment with our horses, we can’t be bound through thoughts to the future or the past. Once we begin to experience this much deeper connection with horses, it motivates us to expand our non-verbal sensory awareness and shows us that we really can plug into the socket. This connection will only last and grow if we are sincere in our decision to change old habits, surrender control and allow our horses to take the role as our teachers. This will free us from the past and allow us to be fully present in the moment.

When we stop forcing our ideas on horses, we can discover that there is so much more waiting for us that was out of our perception previously. All of our vain attempts to control horses stem from the perceptions of society, friends and peers that we looked to for guidance. Deep down, we all want to experience this deep connection with horses authentically, but we have learned to confuse our own goals with our social identity. Any strongly held belief can cloud our judgements and cause us to condemn, ridicule and attack others who oppose our opinions. All of this is a result of force, fear and control. Our lack of inquiry into these self-imposed choices of belief implies a lack of trust in ourselves and the ability to step away from the crowd. Those who sincerely trust themselves and choose not to follow the crowd are attacked because they threaten the established order.

When we impose our beliefs on horses, like any other living being, they will begin to shut down mentally, emotionally and physically because they have learned that all attempts at discussion and compromise are futile. This isolation that begins in the mind, creates a dissociation from you and a lack of trust. Dictation and control remove all spontaneity from our experiences and creates a seeming predictable environment of mechanical thoughts, emotions and actions.

The connection and flow experienced through the third language cannot be controlled and must be allowed to happen without mechanical or intellectual interference. This is an allowance of expression, trust and discussion. This connection of the third language is not conceptual and cannot be understood by the intellectual mind. It has to be experienced and felt to be understood at a new level. 

Most of the problems we experience with horses can be eliminated if we choose to trust and bring spontaneity back into our relationship with our horses. To create this connection through the third language, it is necessary to reverse our current thought processes, beliefs and actions. We must begin to realize that common methods are designed to impose the will of one individual over another, which cannot allow for harmonious relationships. We impose our thoughts, beliefs and biases onto our horses every day, like roll call in a prison and then proclaim that we know what we’re doing, that it’s right and correct. Being one with horses isn’t about shaping our horses but allowing our horses to shape us through spontaneity, inquisitiveness, relaxation, trust and laughter. This is an authentic connection of oneness.