In this case it was Rapunzel, who in the moment of Bobby’s retirement, stepped up to take Bobby’s place as my riding horse. Bless her beautiful soul.
But first lets do our Brag and question sections.
I forgot to hit the record button and had to upload the recording afterwards. Given my conviction that everything happens for a reason, editing the recording afterwards meant that I could leave some of the chat in the recording which normally wouldn’t be in here – and so much of the chat was pertinent to the lesson itself. 🙂
You’ll find the written notes from my lesson further down the page. Notice the little scroll bar on the chat that will take you up to the beginning.
Steve (who rides Oliver): Unfortunately I am unlikely to tune in tomorrow for the webinar but I do have a contribution. I am learning new things all the time, which I simply love. You often say about us learning in layers which I totally agree with but we also learn the really good stuff that is important to our self from “the inside out”.
From the Straightness training course I am doing I have learned a little analogy that appeals to me as follows:- If an egg is broken form the outside it is finished (dead) but if it is broken from the inside it is life. My God is all about us being transformed from the inside out. Commonly known as heart change. Anyway, I have come to realise that as I learn things there are some things that really resonate with me and I take ownership of them in that I will not forget them and it is also effortless to remember them mainly because it is in my own language not someone else’s.
I have read heaps of books but very often only take one item away as a permanent fixture to my being.
Long introduction but this is the clincher: It stems from our analogy of the wetlands in Alaska. Particularly about the soaking up as we did so much of that with Oliver. For some reason we were led to stay with him and appreciate him and saw amazing changes and gave him ownership of his own healing.
Well last Saturday at the Study Group at Sue’s I took a look at Stewie for Sue as she had concerns about his knees and some limits in his action and what she should do for him. I just did my usual stuff feeling and doing Bowen, some TTouch etc. And as we chatted and stayed with him the transformation was happening before our eyes. His frame changed, his legs looked better and he was totally relaxed.
In the afternoon I looked at an old pony that was a rescue case. She was very restricted in her hind legs. They looked very out of whack and the farrier couldn’t lift them to trim her. I did my body work and red light therapy and again we stayed with her as we chatted. Again the transformation happened before our very eyes – it was wonderful.
So I have really come to own the importance of the “soaking up” and appreciating as well as the comfort we can give to animals and humans by basically “holding space”.
I see and believe that the analogy of the wetlands applies to all things in nature. Thanks for showing and sharing the way with me,
Jenny: The Keys to Success here are a combination of Steve being in the Present moment, listening inside himself to his inner guidance system and knowing exactly what to do to help Stewie, the actual techniques that he used which were clearly perfect in this instance and the Holding Space and soaking up while Holding Space.
For newbies, you’ll find more details about the wetlands analogy and what Holding Space is, in the extra lessons on the forum.
Another brag from Jenny: I had a fabulous lesson with a new student on Friday who has a horse who had been scaring her, swinging his butt on her, nipping at her and he’s had a lot of very expensive training that only seemed to make things worse. On Friday in one session, we watched him transform into actively figuring out what it was that made her feel good. I won’t use her name because I haven’t had the opportunity to ask her yet.
It was absolutely gorgeous. As she practiced being Present while she was with him, she used that connected place to figure out how to help him to feel good while at the same time she felt safe and she felt good too – and then this horse started to do the same for her. It was so special to feel him doing that for her as well.
Their Key to Success was in the simple communicative steps that we took to get them feeling good together in the first place, before she could even walk in the paddock.
Feeling good seems to be a theme for today hey? Why else would a horse really want to be with us? I don’t want food or treats to be the reason.
Question from Penny: Hey Jenny, hope all’s going well for you! I’m almost hearing your answer (QM) as I write this question but… how far can we go in making a suggestion – whether it be a re-ask or something slightly different – following a no from a horse without harming our connection?
Jenny: There’s no one answer to that question Penny (but you already got that. 🙂 ) Follow the feeling good feelings and use your early warning signal that something is Not Quite right to change it. Don’t ask while they’re processing or while you’re still waiting for The Chew. (Penny already knows that but I’ve included it because we have a lot of new people on this month.) I think the thing that you need to hear is that you can’t stuff it up, that you can’t make a mistake in the kind of space where you’re looking for the answer from your horse. It’s like, you allow her to tell you it’s too early to ask again just by noticing like that. Does that make sense?
Question from Susan:
How should we separate our horses when working with them to establish connection through feeling, so that it is truly one on one? Should this be for the whole day/half day? Should the separation extend to the other horse not being anywhere nearby?
Eg I feel my old gelding is a flight horse and my mare is a Caretaker. A complication is that I believe that both horses suffer separation anxiety.
Today the gelding spooked at the mower and ran across the paddock to his far corner by the old wattle which has always been his comfort zone. My mare who had been happily grazing near me then decided to take off after him bucking and pig rooting her way to the corner. I left them to it as it seemed pointless trying to establish a comfort zone around us after that display and with so much noise and distraction going on.
Will my gelding teach the mare to become a flight horse?
Please advise. Susan
Jenny: It only adds pressure to a horses fear (because that’s what separation anxiety is) to separate them, so no I wouldn’t separate them to work. I would address the separation anxiety first. Fast Track Lessons 37 and 38 will give you the tools to deal with that. I’ve seen that your Feel for your horses is coming along very nicely, so just take action on every Not Quite Right by backing off back closer to the other horse. Separation anxiety is completely changeable. 🙂
Back to Rapunzel’s lesson
I thought I had given up on my dream to ride a bridle-less piaffe in that wonderful, exhilarating feeling where two souls meet as One and dance together ( I didn’t want much… gentle Aussie sarcasm there.) I thought I was too old, too unfit, too unathletic, too overweight and didn’t have enough time to devote to reaching the dream – and apart from anything else I had just retired my soul mate horse.
Well folks, it seems that my dream is bigger than me. Because the things that have to change in order for me to reach that dream are already presenting in front of me. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of change places, this diagram explains what I mean. Yes I know I have a photo of the flying dragon out of Avatar in my dream section – that’s to give you the idea of the exhilarating feeling I’m looking for and the photo of the foal – it’s the togetherness in complete relaxation that picture gives me, not the actual laying down with a foal and the confidence and utter trust involved in that little kid laying on the horse’s back in the sunshine.
So what’s the kind of things that show us that we’re in a change place?
1. We feel it. We feel the early warning signal that something is Not Quite Right, all the way to feeling REALLY crappy – frustrated, unhappy, afraid, anxious, sad, angry, depressed (Emotional Feel people) our energy can feel as if we’re going to explode and things feel horribly chaotic (Energy Feel people), we can feel physically unwell, sore, in pain (Physical Feel people), we can feel despair (Heart Feel people), we can worry ourselves sick (Mental Feel people) – exhausted comes under all those headings and we can Feel a combination of all those things at the same time, depending on our own unique way of Feeling for ourselves and others.
Any of that sound familiar?
So what do we have to change, understand differently, do differently, notice differently in order to move smoothly through this change place?
And in your own unique connection to your horse, is this what THEY are Feeling? i.e. Is it YOURS? Or another’s?
2. The other kind of thing that can happen when we’re in a change place is that our horse tells us. They tell us in all sorts of beautiful communicative ways and if we don’t understand those, then they play up, get stuck on something, resist us, don’t do what they’re told, maybe even behave “badly”.
So then we take our horse’s behavior PERSONALLY???? It’s a CHANGE PLACE folks! Their behavior is telling us that something has to change in order to reach whatever that dream is.
If they DON’T behave like that, resist like that, or in some other way let us know that something has to change – then we would never reach our dream! And they only behave “badly” as a communication, when we (or sometimes someone else) has missed the earlier stuff.
Like us, they just want to feel all the different kinds of feeling good.
4. The other kind of thing that can happen to help us reach our horse dream, looks like it has nothing to do with horses – we can have a situation or someone challenge our beliefs, or our attitudes, or our behavior. That is making me laugh even as I write it. Because if you thought your horse playing up upsets us, this kind of challenge has the capacity to REALLY rile us up in that change place. I should really make that more personally about me – that challenging my beliefs, my attitudes or my behavior has in the past really got me riled up. (Not so much any more.) 🙂
So what does this all look like in a beautifully flowing session with Rapunzel and I as we learn to communicate together?
She has this cute way of shaking her head and saying “No, nono, no no!” when I get it wrong or could do it better. The old me (the very old me!) would have pulled on the reins and said “Don’t do that!”. When this happens now, I get that it’s her voice, her way of telling me we can do it better, do it differently.
The first time she shook her head like that it was our first ride together, she walked off a bit unbalanced and it didn’t feel right, so I put my leg on to side pass back to mounting block. I sat for a minute and felt into myself for a solution, then very subtly opened my ribs up on one side and she just glided up to the mounting block. Wow… we both felt fantastic and sat there and soaked up that feeling and made THAT our new normal together.
THAT feeling, that warm yummy feeling is what we look for in every training session together – because this is our new normal and anything less than that means that something is Not Quite Right and I have to figure that out and she is thinking for herself and figuring those kind of things out too.
If we think of this in terms of changes that have to happen in order for me to reach my dream, my connection to her, my being in the Present moment to “hear” what I needed to change, meant that this was a small, easy smooth change place.
The old me who would have pulled on the reins and told her off, might have sat in that change place feeling crappy for YEARS. In fact I DID sit in that kind of feeling crappy change place with Bobby for years back in the early days before I turned him out in disgust and told him I never wanted to see him again because he was such a bad horse. When all the time, it was MY resistance to the message, MY not listening that was causing everything.
And yet has to be a GENUINE feel good answer, it has to be the RIGHT answer, to move through that change place easily.
It was just a simple pull on the reins and a firm NO! from Rapunzel and yet it could have been a change place that went on for ages if I’d handled it differently – if I had resisted it.
In her liberty work, she has been spectacularly good in doing what I ask from the beginning. But there was just something not feeling as good to her as it could have. She was trotting lovely circles around me in a big paddock, instantly on request, stopping on the circle, backing up, coming in to me when I called and yet she wasn’t happy about it. After I got over my pleasure at her being so obedient in her liberty work, I realized there was something missing – the spark, the feel good, it wasn’t there on her side.
I thought that I just needed to make my signals more subtle and yeah that helped a bit but wasn’t the whole answer. It turns out that it has something to do with using higher energy, more flamboyance, being more open to her showing me who she really is, which means being more prepared to take a risk, more prepared to lose her and have her run off and to be prepared to bring her back without making her wrong about the running off in the first place.
The old me would have kept it small and puzzled over those pinned back ears that she used to show me she wasn’t thrilled, even though it looked great to anyone else. The old me would have chased her down and made leaving uncomfortable. The new me wants the whole beautiful, exhilarated, lightness of spirit, feel good package WHILE we’re moving through our change places.
My point is, we can make those change places easy or we can make them hard and struggle for ages – it’s listening to them in the Present moment, working out solutions and taking action that transforms a change place from what could have been a struggle to a simple communication together, with the opportunity to feel REALLY good mega more often.
Do you get how BIG this is? How EASY we can make it?
So what can we do to make these change places easy/easier?
Take our attention inside ourselves in the way that suits us best whenever we work with our horses. New people this month will get an experience of that in the Quiet Mind that we’re going to do. This awareness of what is happening inside our mind / body / spirit, as we practice it, brings us more and more into the Present moment. And in the Present moment, understanding of what is happening flows easily.
It was being in the Present moment that enabled me to understand what Rapunzel needed easily, instead of struggling with it for years like I did with Bobby.
If the understanding doesn’t flow in the moment, then we take the opportunity to Quieten our Mind regularly, so that the understanding CAN flow – and around our horses is a great opportunity for that, because the Quiet Mind of a relaxed horse helps us to quieten ours more easily. 🙂
AND last but not least, in a Quiet Mind space and if it feels good, we can just “decide” to understand what change it is that our horse needs us to make and smile and get on with our day, knowing that the understanding will come when we’re ready.
Now here’s the last piece of the change place puzzle
We can be feeling crappy about something that has nothing to do with horses at all and that gets in the way of us hearing that our horses are feeling crappy. We call this “the vacuum cleaner is going so loudly that we can’t hear the telephone ringing.”
And right now, we have some stuff going on in North Korea and the USA that has a lot of people feeling crappy without understanding that this too is just a change place that we need to understand. If we feel less than really good, or if we feel crappy, it’s because there’s something for us to know or do.
So I’m taking the opportunity of this beautiful energy of the group of us to figure out what it is that we need to know or do about this situation. And you new people who are not familiar with Holding Space, will no doubt get an experience of that this morning. And when THAT weight is off us, we’ll hear/feel our horses better. 🙂
About understanding if there is anything to know or do for us in this international situation developing between North Korea and America. Does the subject itself feel good to you? Or is there something else that’s bigger for you today?
The interesting thing in the live part of the seminar was that so many people had personal priorities that were higher than North Korea and the USA’s war posturing. Caroline came out with some acute observations about that, that you’ll see in the chat area and the Quiet Mind ended 8up working on whatever it was that was the highest priority for each individual.
As usual the discussion will take place on the forum at the link below. Sometimes the discussion is even bigger than the lesson 🙂 If you’re new and haven’t registered for the forum yet, you make up your own user name (please make it easy for me to figure out who it is – for example Sue Mc or some such) and make up your own password and I’ll approve you into this student forum next time I’m on my emails. And if you’ve forgotten your user name and password I can look it up for you if you have used a name that I can recognize you by.