What’s the coincidence of having 2 cage fighters at my house within two days of each other? I don’t believe in coincidences anyway – but cage fighters? I mean really … I’ve never met anyone who fought in a cage in my entire life and here there were two sitting at my kitchen table and they didn’t even know each other?
They were both incredibly good at what they did – one had even been one fight off American champion – but here’s what they’ve got to do with horses – they both knew how to find that inner state of being where time slowed down whenever they fought.
And THAT folks, is being in the present moment to a degree that not many people can experience deliberately.
Being Present takes us way beyond mere “training”
Being in the present moment is the ultimate in horsemanship. Being in the present moment takes us from merely riding a horse, to the ultimate in horsemanship. KNOWING what the horse is about to do ahead of it happening, having all the time in the world to respond, all the time in the world to explain and to help them out, all the time in the world to have the confidence that comes from keeping each other safe. And the biggest part of all of that – we’re able to just flow with knowing what to do and doing it – on auto-pilot when we’re super Present. THAT is the ultimate.
And your horse LOVES it. They feel so much more secure when you are Present. It increases their feelings of safety, which increases their well being. It increases their co-operation and their desire to be with you. Your two way communication is better. They feel heard – they ARE heard.
It is SUCH a big deal to be able to problem solve just about anything in a way that deepens our bond with our horse. That’s the gift that being Present brings us. This is so far beyond mere “training”.
In the horse world it enables a connection of two souls that transcends training.
We don’t need to be able to find the place where time stands still to be Present with our horses and to get all the benefits of being Present with them. There are many many layers of it, from a simple awareness of what is going on around you and inside of you – all the way to a euphoric spiritual experience.
And the journey itself is a glorious one.
AND it’s achievable for every horse person.
BEing in the Present moment usually comes in layers for us mere mortals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced the euphoria and thought “That’s it! I’ve got it!” and then some time later found an even deeper level of it. It sure keeps life VERY interesting and VERY enjoyable to be on a journey that brings up such incredible moments on a regular basis.
On hearing this story way back 4 years ago when I first wrote it, Narel (one of the teachers on staff here) drew my attention to my own husband – who can also experience time slowing down routinely and he does it whenever he drives a car fast. He’s an old (and very good) racing car driver.
When we got our new Suburu WRX, we went for a long drive and ended up on a narrow bush track and he scared the heck out of me by doing a handbrake turn, spinning the car around 180 degrees on this narrow, isolated bush track. That’s the kind of thing a driver can do in that place where time slows down. Ha! Don’t try that one at home folks! OMG it’s still sooo vivid in my mind – the centrifugal force of the spin pinning me against the car door and the scenery whirling around me and the sound of someone screaming ahhh… Errr that was me…
Even all these years after retirement from racing, he can still find that place easily when he drives a car to its limits and after the telling off he got for scaring the crap out of me, he’s a lot more considerate of me when he does it!
So I asked these 3 guys “How do you find the place where time stands still?”
I’ve only experienced the time slowing down thing a handful of times and even though I can be incredibly Present with my horses, with a super sensitive Feel for them, I can’t find this time slowing down thing deliberately. So I asked them one by one – “How do you do it?” They all said “It just happens” which I found a very unsatisfactory answer.
As I kept pressing all three of them one by one for the answers, it became clear that all the things that we teach in our programs here, are part of that journey to being more and more Present. The more Present we are, the more our understanding is expanded. Our Feel, our timing, knowing just the right time to ask our horse to do something – everything to do with our horsemanship takes an enormous leap forwards when we are Present.
The words these guys used were connection and feel – enjoyment was incredibly important. Cam talked about how focusing on technique takes you OUT of the right place, that you needed to go deeply into what you’re given on the day, in the moment. Well derrr… that’s what I’ve been saying for years – that technique is the enemy of connection. I even wrote a blog about it.
They talked about how listening to their inner guidance to the n’th degree kept them in that present moment, about being hyper aware and undistractable – and yet peripheral vision is sharpened and their awareness of EVERYTHING is expanded. And what a coincidence! Developing our inner guidance system and that awareness of what’s going on inside and outside of us, all the wonderful ways we have of experiencing our connection to our horse – THAT too is such a big part of what we do here.
The similarities and validation kept piling up. Cam even said he believed that believing in something was part of it, which is one of my big things too. I am always encouraging people to think about and unfold what they believe in for themselves, because when things are not going smoothly or peacefully, when the proverbial crap hits the fan, then we need to know all the way to our bones what we believe in, not just be spouting someone else’s ideas (no matter how appealing they are). It gives us an unshakeable foundation.
We’re all different and we can’t find success by copying someone else’s way of doing it
In these conversations I realized that we can find the state of being where we are so in the present moment that time starts to slow down under certain circumstances, in different ways. You’ve heard that expression “I saw my whole life flash before my eyes”? That’s someone who found that state of being through terror. My husband finds it in pure focused enjoyment in a car. Cam who used to find it fighting, now finds it with a horse – when he needs to – by flowing with whatever of his senses that he is hyper aware of in any given moment. Fergus who used to find it fighting, now finds it in a very close connection to nature and a simple way of living.
And I find it in the pure enjoyment of being connected to my horse, listening to and deeply aware of them, by listening to my inner guidance system, by following my own Feel, by recognizing and taking pleasure in my uniqueness and by noticing every heart opening experience of how magnificent both my horse and myself are in every way.
I wrote this article about the cage fighters, being Present and time slowing down, back about 4 years ago – got sidetracked and didn’t notice that I hadn’t published it. Here’s how I finished the article off back then…
And something very interesting is starting to happen in the Pearce household. My connection with everything is deepening – even as I reply to emails I can feel a connection with you who are reading this, the horses are responding differently – softer and more gentle than before – time kind of hovers slightly and often, all my senses are more alive and oh my goodness life is worth living…
Yeah that feeling is still there, but even deeper than before. Oh my goodness life is worth living like this…
Want to know more?
I’ve set thousands and thousands of people by now, on a journey to BEing more Present and their success comes from the unique way that I teach people how to go inwards to find their Feel for their horse.
Using the same techniques, I’ve taught a super bike rider how to find the place where time stands still and their peripheral vision sharpens phenomenally and I’ve taught a golfer how to find his perfect swing. (Now THAT was interesting! And with the video technology that exists these days, we can do lessons on anything, no matter where in the world you are. You can Read more about private lessons with Jenny here…
All our Training programs are based around being more and more Present, but if you’re new to us here and haven’t seen Journey to Feel, yet I think this powerful little program, cheap as chips, is a fabulous place to start.
Today’s feature photo at the top of the page is by the very talented Marie Richards in New Zealand. Portraiture with people and their animals is her giant forte. Click here for her Facebook page
All the other photos today are by Michelle Brannan from Finding Grace Photography, taken in a clinic in Perth. Her horse calendars are something special too, so keep your eye out for them! Click here for her website.