There is a tendency in some schools of thought, to make listening and communicating with horses a bit “woowooo”, but nothing could be further from the truth. These are skills that great horse people have – even if their ability and the way that they communicate is so automatic that they aren’t aware of it.
If you’ve had a chance to do both the connection exercise in The First Key and the haltering exercise in The Fourth Key, then you may have started to notice how you uniquely feel for your horse. Don’t worry if you’ve only felt the first glimmers of it and don’t feel expert at that yet – getting really comfortable and knowledgeable in it, is a practice thing and oh my goodness it is worth practicing!
This Lesson is about the five different ways of feeling, so as to help you start turning those glimmers into something a bit more noticeable.
5 Different Ways of Feeling for Your Horse
There are five basic ways of feeling for our horse and each of us has our own unique combination of those ways of feeling. When we use our own unique “feel” in a very practical way, we can do anything with it.
Just focus on that for a moment folks. When we use our own unique feel in a practical way, we can do anything – we can achieve just about anything.
My problem was, because I wasn’t taught this “feel” thing, that I tried to find it by copying the great horse people that I admired. And that actually drew me AWAY from my own natural strength and talent. Copying them was a recipe for struggling and doing the whole journey much, MUCH harder than it needed to be.
This short audio is going to get you thinking about where your natural talents may lie. Don’t get hung up on defining yourself though, because you will have a mixture of feels. Sometimes the one we struggle with the most is actually an innate strength that no one taught us how to use. I have noticed since understanding this subject more, that some of my natural talent was so automatic that I didn’t even notice it.
If you have any trouble with the audio player above, then click here to listen to The Five Feels.
WRITTEN VERSION OF THE AUDIO
The Five Feels
The big deal about the five different ways of feeling for others, is about celebrating our own unique strengths and natural talents. When we focus on and come from our strengths, rather than trying to copy someone we admire – only THEN, can we use our own feel as a guide to inner peace and happiness too. When it’s our OWN, we can use it to produce excellent outcomes with our horses too. When it’s our OWN feel, we can use it as guidance to whatever we want.
So let me describe these five feels and see which ones resonate with you.
People with a strong and natural heart feel in balance, have a natural ability to see what is REALLY going on behind a problem or behaviour. They AUTOMATICALLY look for what’s going on, without blame or judgement and without making the horse or person wrong.
The gentleness and sensitivity of this way of experiencing feel and connection with a horse or human is particularly lovely to watch in action. Even dangerous horses will usually respond to these people very quickly.
Because this gentleness and sometimes extreme sensitivity to others, are not routinely celebrated in our scientifically based society, these people can be left feeling that they are “not enough”. In fact feeling not enough is a common experience when we are not celebrating our own unique feel.
I have such admiration for people with this feel, because this kind of automatic non judgment was NOT my natural talent. I fostered it gently, by focussing on my own unique feel and just deciding that I wanted to notice what was really going on behind any problem or “bad” behaviour that I came across. Deciding to notice is a very powerful thing to do. So my gentleness has been gradually increasing over time until it’s there most of the time now.
People with strong physical feel – when it’s in balance – have the ability to kinesthetically feel the harmony (or not) between themselves and the horse. They tend to be able to physically feel the horses braces and resistances with their own body. These people tend to be athletic and well coordinated when they are young, but later in life can be overwhelmed with aches and pains and discomfort and wonder where all that feeling good stuff went. By the way folks, most of that is changeable.
We’ve already talked about how we experience our connection to our horse in the Third and Fourth Keys to Happiness and you’ve had an experience of that with your “approach the horse and halter them” lesson.
People with strong physical feel, tend to feel their horse’s aches and pains in their connection – so they can use the knowledge of what they physically feel in their own body as guidance for how to help their horse.
In our programs we help people use their physical feel for its best results – being able to delicately and precisely communicate with the horse with the whole of their body, through effortlessly powerful posture. Effortlessly powerful posture…is the key to using our physical connection.
To get an idea of how energetic feel works with horses, think of the way that a school of fish move together in absolute harmony – fast or slow, whoosh… they just all turn in the same direction at the same time – it seems with one mind. Using energetic feel ultimately brings that same ability to flow together, horse and rider together as one in a beautiful harmony.
The great riding master/teachers are describing energetic feel when they talk about the circuit of energy or the circuit of power between horse and rider. Energetic feel gives you another tool to use, to flow you and your horse into the One-ness – the amazing artistry of togetherness.
Energetic feel can be difficult to describe to those who do not experience it routinely. Narel who is one of our staff here and strong in energetic feel says “Who on earth would believe it possible that our atmosphere was “full” of sound and pictures if they didn’t have a radio or television or phone to turn on? You prove the existence of those frequencies by tuning in and receiving those images and sound so that you can actually see them and hear them. Those frequencies are still there, even though we can’t see them or hear them with our ears unless the machine is turned on”.
People too, can have natural talent to pick up different frequencies like a radio and television can, they can feel energetic blockages and resistances and feel the free flow of energy when all is well, just like the flow of the fish.
Mental feel, amongst other things, is your problem solving ability. Most people with good mental feel enjoy the more intellectual problem solving approach. You will often find us taking notes at clinics and really enjoying lecture type presentations.
When we have a natural talent in mental feel but haven’t been taught to use it like the gift that it is, we can just about worry ourselves into an early grave. That’s just mental feel in overwhelm. I learned young how to shut my mind up by reading myself to sleep, otherwise I doubt that I would have slept much at all. In my healing work I have met a lot of people who had trouble sleeping from their minds running at 100 miles an hour.
Mental feel is a wonderful natural problem solving ability when we know how to use it. When we learn how to LISTEN to it, instead of trying to shut it up, the mind quietens down so easily – then the ideas and thoughts for solving a problem flow easily and usefully and often with great joyfulness.
Believe it or not… yet… the answer to every problem that we worry about, is already in our lives. Worrying becomes a thing of the past when we learn how to find that answer easily and learning to be gentle on ourselves becomes sooo… much easier when we learn to use this feel for the gift that it is.
We all experience emotions, but those of us who have a strong natural talent in emotional feel can be more easily overwhelmed by the force of our emotions, especially when we haven’t learned to use that sensitivity as the gift that it is.
Horses are excellent emotional communicators. And just one of the plus sides of having a good emotional feel (and there are many), is that I can, amongst other things, very easily these days, use that feel to help people and horses get to the place where they feel safe.
And feeling safe is fundamental to a horse’s well being.
Horses and humans both – our emotional well being is an absolutely fundamental foundation for physical well being. You will not have physical well being for either horse or human for too long – indeed you cannot have long term physical well being unless you have emotional well being.
So, have you recognised any of your innate natural talents yet? Don’t get tangled up into trying to define yourself, just notice each element of these feels as they arise in your journey.
Does this description of the feels help you recognize more of what could be going on in your own body, with your own unique experience of connection with your horse?
Recognizing and working from your STRENGTHS, rather than trying to copy someone else’s way of feeling is very satisfying to the soul and a very useful guide to inner peace and happiness.