Reflections in Gratitude
“Trust, respect, loyalty, love, dedication, and a need to stay together, we naturally know when to slow down and when to speed up; we know when to pause when to act, when to lead, and when to follow. In this rhythm, great peace is born greater than any peace we find alone.” -Carolyn Resnick
By honoring the process of connection, I found the untapped magic of horses. I also discovered the true nature of the horse, not the horse that has “checked out” by the influence of humans, but rather the horse that is “checked-in” with everything that surrounds him in the present moment, in a calm state of peace. A state that we humans have possibly lost or are hoping to enhance.
From exercising and growing leadership, trust, respect, loyalty, love, and dedication, we find the true nature of horses. In the process, we find our own true nature. From this deeper connection and understanding of horses, our care for all living things is growing, including self-respect and love of self.
“I want to know what love is. I want you to show me” was the chant by Krishna Das that was playing in the house when I had just finished presenting a clinic on Bonding With Horses, a four-weekend program on journal writing meditation and Dancing with Horses, here at my ranch in Escondido, CA. It was so synchronistic. On that day, I was able to give people a view of the magical connection and love that they could share with a horse.
One of the things I teach people is to hunt for the Entry Point of Connection by looking for the easiest thing you can do with a horse to begin the dance, whether it be walking away when the horse walks away from you, or the other extreme of running across a field and jumping on your horse’s back while he is grazing. It is what you can accomplish with grace and ease between you and your horse shared in a deep resonance.
At my ranch, Dances with Horses, there is a horse named Red who is a teacher of how to dance with a horse at liberty to music. He is owned by Irene Metzner from Canada, my soul mate in the love of horses. Just last week in my Bonding with Horses Clinic I was explaining the Entry Point of Connection as a way to establish a magical dance. I was with Red, I found him taking charge of our Entry Point of Connection, I did not need to ask myself where that Entry Point of Connection was, Red told me.
Red and Carolyn
There are more and more days I am connecting with a horse without my mind deciding for me. Today I now only need to pause and ask the question and the next thing is that I know what to do without thinking about it. This, I believe, comes from the years of asking myself how to approach a horse to get a positive response.
On that day I felt that Red danced with me leading him. One thing I know about him is he sometimes does surprising things.
Something took over me and I started with something I had never asked Red to do and that I had not done myself with a horse for a long time. I walked up to Red listening to the music in the background, I reached out and took Red’s nose in my hand with my hand on the bridge of his nose and asked him to follow my lead for a dance in harmony. When I sped up, losing the feel of his head in my hand, he sped up to reconnect with my hand. We danced all around in circles and serpentines and straight lines as if we had been to a dance school for couples dancing the tango. Just minutes before he had come from his paddock with no connection with me for at least a week.
Finding the Entry Point of Connection is the most valuable step you can take in honoring the process of connecting with horses. It develops many skills. It causes a person to get into the habit of asking a horse to give you his attention and waiting for the horse to relax before asking the horse to follow your lead or perform. From the practice, you learn what to ask for and know what he will do, and avoid what he will not do. This way the horse does not learn to be resistant. From this practice, horses will lead you in how to lead them in magical ways. From this one practice of putting my full focus on finding that Entry Point of Connection and never reprimanding a horse for his performance in the dance is the key to finding the magic in the dance.
I also work on keeping a horse's respect through the practice of the Waterhole Rituals by training the horse about proper behavior around food and keeping a horse respecting my personal space and leadership in the way he would want me to do the same for him.
By understanding the nature of horses, I learn more about myself. I also have great respect for them and I expect them to respect me as much as I do them, it is up to me that they do. Horses have taught me about my own personal spiritual development for self-transformation. It is what has come out of my years with horses and it keeps growing. I continue to learn more about staying open to all the possibles of love. It is not about a warm and fuzzy feeling that you are afraid of losing, it is about celebrating harmony and unity as equals. This is functional love. Functional love is where life opens the door to new horizons of greater potential for the well-being of you and your horse.
May the horse be with you and stay on the lookout for new horse and human sightings.
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