I’ve had a number of people say to me over the years, “Oh dear, I don’t think I want to hear my horse, I don’t want to know what my horse thinks about me.” And I’ve realised that although they talked like they were joking, that that is a very real concern for some people, if only subconsciously.
Why indeed would we want to know what our horses think, if we had no simple way of changing that for the better for both of us?
And that’s the key of course – when we have a way of changing things for the better then it’s a LOT easier to decide that we want to know, hey?
Here is an email from a reader that will give you a different perspective on what your horse thinks of you.
Emma: I just had to email you. I am not sure what to make of what just happened. After getting your Zen Connection and written version of the audio last week via email, I read and thought and read and thought and ate chocolate and read again. (Me: I like this lady’s sense of humour!)
Yesterday I took Rosie a short distance from her paddock that she shares with another mare to have a bash at the meditation or connection with bubble exercise. (Me: There’s the place where this reader made it harder for herself, she would have found it easier to do the first lesson in the horse’s own paddock to start with.)
Emma: I got a big nothing in reply. Rosie was curious and spent more time than usual near me and investigating what I was doing but she was quite distracted by something in the distance and by the other mare calling.
After trying both techniques we moved to an arena sized yard next to the paddock with the other mare who promptly lost interest. I tried the bubble method and again got nothing so left it for the day.
Surprisingly, I wasn’t upset and didn’t go home thinking that I’d found something else I couldn’t effing well do. Just figured it wasn’t the best timing or location. (Me: Good thinking 99! You know, the smart lady sidekick on that old TV show Maxwell Smart?)
Emma: This evening I just sat in the paddock and began to re-read the Zen book thinking there was likely something that I had missed and having had a go, maybe now I would see the significance of what you had written. Again, Rosie very curious (love this about her) and stayed with me, near me and touched me quite a lot with her wiggly nose.
I went through what I was feeling at the time – a bit anxious, but I don’t know who that came from. It did occur to me that the other mare owned it, but I didn’t get a clear answer so am none the wiser.
Emma: I asked what I needed to know, got no answer and then asked what I needed to do. Two words came back. “Go away”. At the same time, Rosie walked further away.
Hmmmmmmmm. Was that a directive to me or was it that Rosie was saying what she was going to do?
(Me: I don’t take a horse out of the comfort zone of their own paddock or yard or stable before I do these first connections. Even when you are working in their own paddock or stable, you might even have to back right out of the paddock for quite a way before the horse has a comfort zone. You have to establish a comfort zone with the two of you, before you can start to expand it.
One lady I know went all the way up a long drive way and out down the road. But it paid off, because the horse then realised that she REALLY meant it when she said she wanted her horse to have no fear around her. And that is not necessarily a personal thing (although lots of my horse’s fear was of me). Fear or anxiety around humans may been established much earlier in the horse’s life.)
Emma: I stayed where I was and watched the girls eating for a while then went back to reading about the bubble routine again. As soon as I read the “ask your horse’s permission to come into it” line, I was in there. I got an excited light feeling in my gut and prickles in my nose. (Me: Wooo hooo! Well done!)
There was no physical sign from Rosie who was eating, eating, eating. (Me: Their physical sign that they have understood you or you have understood them is that they lick their lips and chew. And of course, that’s a bit more difficult to read when they are eating grass! Then you have to work off what you feel.)
I asked if there was anything I needed to know and I got “you hurt me”.
(Me: Don’t get hung up on such a high impact statement longer than it takes to decide to make a change. Easy for ME to say! Although crikey I’ve caused my horses some serious crap in the past and even occasionally now I’m sure.)
Getting hung up on it just gets in the road of changing it. Who knows, it could be anything from a fat bit on your bridle (yeah I know we were taught that the fatter the bit was, the gentler it was – but it was crap!), to a badly fitting saddle, to riding them too long when their back muscles were not strong enough yet to handle it. (There’s an article about how to fix that on the website under “Horse Health”.)
Emma: I ran through a heap of images and situations that might have told me when/how I had hurt her but haven’t yet got the right answer. Have to admit I was in a panic and felt ill at the time so plan to give it some more thought. I thanked her and said I would work it out. At this point my head was full and I had to go. I went and mixed up feeds and generally faffed about trying to work out what I had done but there was still no answer. I brought the girls into their stables and thanked Rosie again before I left.
(Me: The thing is, you don’t have to get hung up on it, because all your horse cares about is that you change it.
Yes our horses are damaged by the things that have happened in the past… (That’s why there is all that great releasing work in Zen Connection with Horses) but they are the ultimate “living in the now”beings.
And as you listen – consistently from now on – you will “get” / understand / hear what things are a problem or will hurt or did hurt or are gonna’ hurt and you will release the old hurts, change the new ones at that time – so that she doesn’t have to go there (being hurt) again.
So you can afford to say sorry, chill out and move on….because in Zen Connection with Horses you have the means to do all that.
Do you know, I think that one of people’s biggest reasons for avoiding (even subconsciously) really listening to their horse, is that their horse might tell them off or make them sad or tell them something that they don’t want to hear or something. They have no idea of the joyfulness that comes from a deep connection with our horse when we understand that connection and take action on what we get from that connection.
And you have started that journey very, very well, sunshine – good on you!!!
Emma: Have I tried too hard? (Me: Maybe, but hey this is your first conscious connection, it gets easier with a bit of practice.)
Emma: Did I do too much? (Me: It doesn’t sound like it to me, but even if you did, when you are working with this method, there is no such thing as mistakes any more – just things that work and things that don’t and things that your horse will help you to change to get them to work.)
Emma: Did I make it up? Me: everyone wonders about this one to start off with Emma. The lick and chew that I mentioned earlier is one validation, but the real proof will come from the results that you will get from here on.)
Emma: When are you coming to Gundaroo? Can we come and stay with you? I make a good coffee and there would be lots of chocolate I promise. (Me: Offer of chocolate is excellent and may tempt me to come to Gundaroo – make it organic so that I am allowed to eat it! ( I am very sensitive to the chemicals that they grow sugar in.)
There are some pointers in Emma’s email that tell me that her relationship with her horse is much, much better than the words “you hurt me” taken by themselves might suggest. Can you pick what those clues are?