Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finally, snow is on its way tomorrow and our camera is ready to expose the fuzzy fluffy ponies as they progress on their daily routine of eat, roll, stand, make faces, wander around, sleep, drink and watch the house for action.

We have been pondering where this is going, as the clear track begun a while ago has become obscured by connected but random musings. Much as the horses meander through their day, our mind does the same, sparked on occasion with a burst of energy and focus directed at this time at the preparations for Christmas.

But, a thread is there, part of the letting go/ living in the moment theme. Hyperfocus, of which we are almost incapable, gets things done with efficiency and provides time in the day for the tidy completion of each task. As our mentor has demonstrated with her exquisite example of horse management and care, along with gifted, feeling riding, hyperfocus and letting go are not mutually exclusive, and must exist together if one is to be complete.

Thus the horses exist, always with both extremes at the ready to complement and fluctuate as needed for their survival.

A rider necessarily must have the ability to tap into what the horse percieves and how it might react to its horsey needs. A true test of the trust placed in its handler is the horse's willingness to put aside its own needs in favor of those of the human. When the horse feels a threat - and horses are nothing if not feeling, emotional creatures - it must focus on its own survival and interests, the human element becoming irrevelant. With a strong bond of trust in the human, the horse looks to that human for its safety and well-being, ranging from food and shelter to correct physical and mental development.

This, to us, is the core of all correct training. In its purest from, training is but a free give and take relationship between two species who have made a committment to each other. Each is a teacher. It is incumbent on each to listen, to keep an open mind, and to communicate clearly. Horses have but one language, of body and facial expression developed through evolution to maximize their chances of collective survival. We, as analytical beings, have the ability to observe and learn this non-verbal and complex form of communication, and enter into a a world of magic, of Equus.


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