“Horses don’t need you. Horses already know how to do everything that they need to do. With the exception of the first day, they can already, walk, trot, canter, gallop, stop, stand still, gait, go forward, back up, move their hindquarters, move their forequarters, side pass, sliding stop, piaffe, passage, round their backs, vertically flex, laterally flex, spin, etc. They were born with lightness in their bodies. So if they can do all of these things without you, what is it exactly that you are trying to ‘train’ them to do? You are both two beings trying to learn together how to communicate. You don’t know more than the horse and you never ever will. So stop trying to train and teach and begin learning together.” ~ Unknown
“For lack of a better word, I’ve taken to calling this the horse’s spirit. The older I get, the more I have come to believe that this aspect of the horse is the most important and the most overlooked.” ~Tom Dorrance
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
Ask, feel. Ask, feel. Ask, feel. ” ~ Notes from the Universe
Just a bunch of photos from today, and a sprinkling of quotes that I store as I stumble upon their pearls of wisdom in a file I simply call..”Good things to Remember.”
Well, ok. The one above, that I may title…”Danes Hold Furniture Hostage”. That was taken last Saturday, when Vita, Kim and Jordan FINALLY came to visit and boy! Has she grown! 8 monthes and 85 lbs….Thanks for blessing Kimmy and Jord’s life, Vita!
The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do. ~Author Unknown
Every now and then a horse shares with me a powerful lesson, yet another piece of the Grand Puzzle of Life….Ok! Ok! That’s EVERY horse, I know, but this is Quill’s gift to me, and handily enough, my gift back to her… Quill came to me as a ‘Fixer-upper’. She is a sporty model, being Anglo-Arab, a little to touchy on the gas with hair trigger steering responses that could get you in the ditch quick as you like. At 12, she was a bit was rusty in spots and needed some good ole TLC. So, she spent her first couple months gaining some weight, having her teeth done and just hanging out, my time still to occupied with other ‘paying’ customers, and she sat on the back shelf for a bit. Very respectful and easy in the pen, sensible, quiet and a bit shy, great ground manners, every inch a Lady. So it was with curiosity, anticipation and a fairly high level of, er……….assumption, that I brushed her off and prepared to ride. Well………. Well Well Well! She shortened in length to 2 feet, grew in height by 4 feet, sounded like a bull elk, and looked like I had just hit her with the full strength cattle prod; eyes pooped out, skin trembling, legs spread askew, hair all on end. Well, huh! I glanced down to see if I had brought out the Killer, Sabre Toothed Saddle Pad, but noooooooo, it was till on it’s shelf, this was just one of those ordinary, smelly wool pads… And so began a long process of back tracking and simply ( simply!) restarting her from ropes on her body( check), bareback ( Huge fear response, no matter how slow and approachy/retreaty I went, bolting off a constant threat..or ejecting me) , ‘sacking out’ (ok), and back to saddling( same electrified cat response). So. Well. By now, I am seriously scratching my head, as colts are WAY easier then this and this horse was supposed to have been ridden lots, and even if she was green, it ought to be ok by now…..huh, huh, huh. what to do what to do……. Well, Fate took a hold, and she was now living in the Big Herd, and decided that 5 days a week work was getting a bit old, and decided to run around for a spell (sticking her tongue out, waggling her hooves behind her ears I swear:) with no intentions whatsoever of being with me. Very INTERESTING Feedback, very interesting.So after do a splendid job of warming herself up, she finally trots over, and and tie her, brush her, tack her ( electric cat!) and get on.( ever been on and electrified cat….hahahaha!) And this my friends, is really where our tale with the moral begins. What did I do when I climbed on that Grey rocket launcher? I took that energy inside, and took that mecate rope in hand and as the cowboys have been known to say.” Give ‘er a good over an’ under” ( GASP!) and lined her out down the road. And Quill? She just threw down that head and trotted out the prettiest long trot you ever did see, blowing and sneezing, smooth and elastic. Gone the tight balled up tiny steps, crawly skin, and rounded up spine. We had a tremendous ride that first day almost a month ago, and now almost a month later, Quill is finding relaxation with me, confidence in herself and rider and although she is not where I would like yet, the change is significant. You see the interesting thing that happened was a place I think alot of folks get stuck in their journey with horses, especially those who LOVE them…:) As you my have noticed, I am all about the allow, give trust first to gain trust, respect is a two way door, etc. and It all fits in here with Quill’s story.
“Confidence can be a self fulfilling prophecy as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it and those with it may succeed because they have it rather than because of an innate ability.”
Faith and trust are synonyms of confidence.
What’s perhaps a little different is the order, and being flexible with how we approach things. Its sort of like approaching her fear from the other end, and seing it through to the beginning again. ( That’s the nice thing about not having a ‘program’, I can mess with things to my heart’s content:) You see Quill had no confidence. In Me. In herself. In a mutual relationship. She either had a bad experience/s in the past, was sore ( she had chiro and teeth done, saddle fit checked) or just figured out that if she acted scared, she did not have to engage with folks….and it did not make her feel good to be with us anyway, for her why even want to? Quill had way more Fear then Faith. So, remembering that our horses are never the ones that really chose to be involved with humans and my role in being the leader is to show her what it can feel like, and supporting her with what she needed allowing her to feel basically good about being me. So with all the slow work, all important ‘doing nothing’ , combined with the ground work, it was time to step it up. I had to be the one with Faith enough for both of us. Faith in her ability to trust and Faith in my ability to be a place of comfort, trust relaxation and connection, not to mention stay with her…:) So what happened and still is happening is I am allowing her to build confidence and trust in me by having Alot in her and myself. “Fake it til you make it” so to speak. I am the crutch she needs, and to NOT be there, to Not be focused strong and clear would leave her still lost and scared, feeling she was right and could only depend upon herself. By ALMOST over-exposing her ( and let me tell you, kids, it was a stretch for my confidence!) and really asking a lot of her, emotionally physically and mentally, and being able to be what she needed allowed a huge break thru. By having more Faith then Fear, I was able to ease her over from her place of more Fear then Faith.
In mulling all this over during the last few days, I stumbled upon a terrific saying that said exactly that ( how very odd! *) “Where there is Fear, there is no Faith” Oh BoY! mmmmm yummy! course now I get apply that quote ointment all over my life and horsemanship… And then when I was sitting here compiling my random blathering thoughts for this tale, I found all those great quotes on Confidence and the definition of confidence was a real epiphany for me as well. By the way, when Quill first got the name Quill, Inet thought it was bad…”Like a porcupine quill? Ew! but now, I can see that what it really means is ‘ a very elegant writing tool from the outer wing feather of the swan’ somehow that seems just so appropo… .
Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there. ~Author Unknown
Part of my goals for this year for myself include allowing myself to release judgment.
Judgment to me means ” what I perceive to be ‘right’ according to my opinion”. My awareness of judgment includes that of myself, what I believe others think of me and my actions, what I see in others and their actions, daily events including weather, random occurrences, un-planned changes ( well, ANY changes, really)right on up to how my life is unfolding….
I know, I know. At first this seems like a BIG thing to decide to chew off, and Let Go of, but actually, therein lies the secret. I am beginning to explore the concept of Letting Go ( ack! Surrender, Faith….et al) . I am rolling it around in my being and have done somewhat since the Old Clearmind Days…( Personal Growth exploration I did a few eons, er, years back clearmind.com if you are curious about yourself and your tickings and are either brave or stupid….:) but for some reason it is really starting to become in earnest.
For example…..having chosen to follow my dreams and pursue what I love doing as a career, and essentially had only myself to rely upon, I have found myself to become rather ATTACHED to the out come of events in my life. I have worried and fussed and stayed up late far to many nights, anguished about decisions on how to go about developing my work and living in abject fear that no one would care, apprectiate or “get” what I am passionate about. ( Note….do you see alot of jugement in those thoughts???????????) .And then one day I just got so overwhelmed with Everything, I up and decided that if everything Failed, I would just happily go back back to some grocery store job, and ride my own horses to my hearts content and never worrry about it all again and I went OH! OH! But that’s giving up!………………………………And then………….
It hit me.
Give up. Give up…. For those of you familiar with my fascination with words hidden meanings are probably rolling your eyes, but…When we say I Give up, I believe we mean without maybe knowing, that we are surrendering ourselves to….a Higher Power. We Give UP. Wow! That realization hit me bango! right between the eyes and I got it! I really, really got “it”! THAT is what Faith is. That is what Trust is. That is what Surrender is. (Please note, that while I am not a particularly religious person, I am on a quest of my higher spirituality)(( hahahaha! Am I judging myself? Or worried about You Judging????)) And a stunningly beautiful peace descended on me and I went ‘ wow! What ever happens will be ok. It just will. It always HAS worked out, so what am I worrying and fussing about, and REALLY! haven’t you noticed that things usually work out better then you could have hoped for anyway??????????? Or planned for? Or wished for? Why oh why do we think we have such a big say in what happens in our lives, that we are so powerful that we can Control everything and everyone and shape ourselves into any number of twisted shapes to try to conform, when really….our deal is just to be ourselves, do what we love, show love and be happy. Stop all that confounded control stuff…that word could happily be dismissed from life I think…..and this leads me back to my point. ….
Judgment and release from it. Ah. So how many times have we passed judgment on something/someone only to find in the end it was different then what we thought. We got more information, learn more bout it, things changed, and everything is different and….we judge again. But if we start to maybe just allow things to be as they will, they get to be as they are….! And we stop trying to be the Lords and controllers of all we see, because darn it all if I haven’t noticed that those thing we think are “Bad”? Well, now aren’t they always….ALWAYS the biggest blessings down the road? And things we try so darn hard to control seems to pop apart elsewhere? How dare I be so arrogant as to assume that I can see other peoples stories? What other people see and feel? How dare I try to pigeon-hole a horse into what every other horse has done in that situation…maybe this ones different and needs it presented just a little different and to respect everyone’s uniqueness? It seems to me that if I do judge, I put up blockages in the path of the Universe that is really conspiring for me to my my biggest benefit, and I think I know What is really juuuust around the corner?
What I aim at allowing to come through me with letting go of judgment is a greater ease and softness, a flowing with life, horses, people and myself instead of the friction of going against the flow…………..I am aiming at is trust, faith and joy. And don’t we just need to be with our animals to see and feel what no judgment and pure being-ness could be………
PS photos that I didn’t take, are courtesy of Inet Sladecek…and although she isn’t here to ask, I am certain that she withholds all judgment and knows I love her pics….:)!