“The old Lakota was wise.
he knew that man’s heart
away from nature,
he knew that lack of respect
for all living things
soon led to lack of respect
for humans too.”
-Luther Standing Bear
To find the magic we need to get into the zone of awareness like a child in a state of well-being. This is your true nature.
When you let go of what you know and let go of what you are searching for, you will then be in a state of neutral. You step away from ordinary feelings and understandings, and from the want of things that are out of your reach.
To achieve a state of neutrality and to experience a higher state of consciousness, step away from familiarity no matter how comfortable or uncomfortable it feels. Step away from concerns and emotions of the past that you would like to capture again or run from. Step away from anger and even happiness. Forget about all of those things to hear the ‘Call of the...
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...
Getting in touch with your true nature by journal writing meditation with horses can create heart and mind coherence for self-realization. You get to know yourself and horses from a deeper level.
Through the years, I have admired people who carry journals with them wherever they go. Journal writers, from friends to famous scientists, artists, and writers, seem to be people that are looking for a deeper meaning to their existence.
I enjoy reading my student’s journals; their journals are a helpful guide for me to know how to support them on their own journey for self-transformation. Journal writing with horses in a meditative state is an excellent way to get to know your true nature to understand the true nature of a horse.
The way I guide others in journal writing is to have them begin with a short meditation. It is important to be in the right state of mind so you can be fully present in the moment to be on the same wavelength with your...
The easiest way to develop your horsemanship is to take the time to learn how to get a horse to follow your lead at liberty. That way, you become the true student of the horse. Connecting with a horse at liberty gives the horse a sense of freedom to respond naturally. At liberty, you can more easily see how to grow a deeper connection with a horse. The other aspect of communicating with a horse at liberty is that the horse will trust you more. This brings out the side of the horse that wants to follow your lead.
Horses can do anything we want them to do; in fact, they really do not need to be trained to perform. The trick is learning how to ask a horse to do what he will naturally do independently. It is just a matter of communicating in a way that would invite a horse to respond.
Forcing a horse when he does not want to be controlled will develop a horse that needs to be forcibly controlled to perform. Horses can hide their true feelings when forced, and it can set them...
What all conscientious trainers have in common is their ability to bring out the best response in each horse in any given moment. This takes knowing the nature of horses and how to keep a good horse growing, starting with a good warm-up program. The primary purpose of your warm-up program is to warm up the partnership and dance that you share with your horse.
To help students with their horses I developed some principles and guidelines that are helpful to follow.
I headed down to the barn to work with our horse Red and when I called him he came running to me. He had never done this before, and at that point, I realized that it was because I had given him many treats in our last session. He had become addicted to intermittently earning treats which he saw as a fun game. When this happened I knew that I had lost my leadership with him because he had an agenda other than connecting to me.
I share this story to help people understand how to handle and fix an out-of-control, over-optimistic horse from his desire for treats. Enthusiasm can sometimes go wrong. Red had a clear agenda when he saw me coming, not because he felt the bond, but he was already headed for “Las Vegas” in his mind. And, I was his ride to get there... Jokingly, he had packed his bags and was headed for the casino looking for his reward, just like someone who is addicted to slots. Slot machines sometimes pay off, and that is what makes the game...
After watching one of the horses on my ranch spend time with a raven that was in his paddock, I noticed a connection developing between the two animals. The raven was preoccupied with looking for something in the stallion’s pen, and the stallion became curious about what the raven was doing. Watching this in nature, as well as when I have Shared Territory with my own horses or watched my students Share Territory™ with their horses, I have found that this curiosity and the “good vibrations” developing between two species are an important part of developing a deep bond.
All animals are curious about anything that preoccupies another being. If you are preoccupied reading a book or journaling, it will draw your horse to you so the horse is the one that starts the relationship. This is important when Sharing Territory with your horse.
If fishermen enjoy waiting until they catch a fish, you can enjoy the time that you share in the company of your horse. You...
Healing horses and human hearts through bonding is therapeutic for both the horse and the human. Many people would love to have a true partnership with their horse-like they have with their family dog. Some people do, but it is rare.
As a horse trainer and breeder over many years, my interest has always been to help people achieve this kind of relationship. Once you understand the culture of horses this kind of bond is achievable.
To develop a true bond with a horse requires knowledge of their herd behavior and how horses form lasting bonds. Horses are not like other domesticated animals such as dogs and cats; horses are seemingly more difficult to manage until you understand how to approach them. When dogs or cats share a deep bond with a human, they prefer their human companion over another dog or cat. A horse, on the other hand, prefers to be with other horses.
A horse has two opposite instincts; one is to lead, the other is to follow. Luckily for us,...
An old-time cowboy feeds and grooms his own horse before he feeds himself. My dad said his horse will always have food but no guarantee that he would. He knows his horse as well as he knows himself. This is a cross-species bond. It is a bond that is reliable. It does not fade. It is a relationship that does not fluctuate when it comes to trust, respect, loyalty, love, dedication, and the need to stay together.
There is no drama that will damage a true bond. If any drama occurs, it is dealt with and forgotten when true love is shared and trusted. It comes in learning how to trust yourself and give life a chance to lead you to your objective. I can tell you that the old cowboy I mentioned above was doing just that. This type of cowboy is in all of us. In fact, this exists in nature in every living being.
This cowboy knew how to slow down and speed up; he knew when to pause and when to act, when to lead and when to follow. He knew this balanced relationship like the back...
It is fair to say that removing a horse’s fear of humans by using force may not be the answer as a way to save time in the taming of a wild horse. What is missing is trust. Without trust, the horse is left with a hidden suspicion that can erupt at any time, and a person or the horse, or both could wind up with a serious injury. I have been hearing these kinds of stories for years. When horses are frightened, they will hide their fears as they succumb to pressure. They may act tame but their trustworthiness leaves a lot to be desired. They are left traumatized even though they appear bonded with humans.
It is better to develop a connection with a horse in a free open environment so the horse does not feel trapped against its will. When a horse does not feel trapped by ropes, tack, and aggressive round penning they will be more secure in the process of developing a bond. A round pen can be used, but not if a horse is fearful and does not want to be in one. All of these are great...
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