Sometimes it feels like we are speaking a completely different language... even when we think we understand each other!
A woman asked me to help her with her horse the other day. She was new to horses and so excited to be learning about her own energy and how she and her horse could have a better relationship.
"It's like we are learning each other's language," I explained. "And the key is to have patience and mutual respect."
I went on to say that we are all seeking a place of comfort together, and mutual respect is a precious gift that we have to share if the learning/relationship is to be two-way.
Funny how human/horse relationships are similar to human/human that way...
I did a short demonstration with her horse that looked really easy. I simply asked her horse to move at liberty (without a rope or halter). I asked the horse to move around me at a walk, trot and then stop. The horse was flawless, responsive, alert and soft.
"Can I do that?" the owner joyfully asked. She had not had much horse experience and went in with high hopes of easily repeating what I had done, but it ended up harder than it looked. "Patience and practice," I said from outside the round pen.
I watched this woman and her horse, two sentient beings just beginning to learn each other's language. They were joyously creating their own style with innocence and grace as they felt their way through each moment.
I could see and feel the mutual trust and joy building as they figured it out together.
But within moments, a very talented "horse trainer" came bounding into the arena and said, "I'll show you how to get that horse to behave!"
Doing It Right
If there is an expert who seems to know more than we do, how do we know what to believe?
The trainer was very clear saying that "horses are lazy animals that try to take advantage of people every chance they get."
She called the horse obstinate. "Horses are lazy," she said. "You just need to be more forceful, get after her, and don't let that horse get away with anything!" Then she instructed the woman to chase the horse like a predator would in the wild.
We both saw the same thing, but there was undeniably a major contrast in the perspective that we each had.
I Choose My Perspective
There was a time when I was first learning about the deeper levels of relationship with horses, that a great light bulb went on...
Throughout life, I had always been looking for the "right way" to do things, as if there was only one "right way" for each circumstance.
Many horse trainers, like religious leaders, business leaders, teachers even following the same curriculum, etc, had their own "right way" to do things, but yet they were very often different and even contradictory.
It could make life very confusing!
So how do we know whose "right way" to believe?
I finally figured it out, once I had the question clear in my heart.
I had to learn how to trust myself!
No one on earth could possibly have my unique perspectives, and following my heart and my truth... could only come from within me.
It felt like a relief to learn that living up to someone else's standards was a way of dis-empowering myself, and by doing that, I would never feel fully ME.
The freedom was exhilarating! How many times had I looked outside myself for answers and tried to make someone elses perspective work for me?
All the different things that I had learned from personal experience and from the various "experts", could now become like a wonderful reservoir for me to draw from when I needed it.
I have learned to feel for the golden threads of truth that weave together my own unique and 'Right Ways'.
Once I learned how to trust in myself, life became a lot easier, more loving, less complicated and way more fun!
Life is meant to be enjoyed... if yours isn't, try changing your perspective!
Barbara Alexander, Founder and Director of Epona Ridge, Teacher and Leading Innovator of Equine Experiential Learning and Coaching for Advanced Human Development.
Epona Ridge, a sanctuary retreat center for inspiration, is located in Asheville, North Carolina and offers life and career support, Reiki certification, facilitator training, individual workshops and retreats incorporating the teachings of Abraham — Hicks and the Law of Allowing. For more information see: http://www.EponaRidge.com