Spirituality and horses - how to use your equestrian practice for self-growth (Part 1)
[It’s going to be a long post. I am not going into specifics, feel free to message me for more technical info.] LINK TO PART 2
Horses are very spiritual creatures. They are living in the physical and the invisible, both at once, without prioritising between them. They can be of great help, whether you are an accomplished horse-rider or a simple human seeking contact with them. They are magic.
Communication with horses in general - being near them
- They are encouraging intuitive communication. Even for those who have no idea - they send mental images and feelings. Experienced equestrians know this feeling: we know when they are hungry, or when they are anguished without even looking at them. And they listen, too.
- They are really open towards human (exception: when they had very bad experiences, it can take some work for them to connect again). They are curious. Go sit in a field and meditate, they’ll come and meditate with you.
- They are extra sensitive. If your energy flow isn’t right, they’ll reflect it at you and sometimes, heal you, nuzzling you gently with a kind and profound souldeep look. - Their energy is both wild and centered. They are masters at grounding. Staying with them can help you reconnect to the Earth. Simply put you hand on a horse and breathe ; feel how effortless they live on earth and are a part of it.
- They invite us to be aware of the moment. They don’t care for the past or the future, they only worry about what’s happening right now. Even if they just had a stressful event, as soon as they feel the menace is gone they go back to grazing peacefully. They don’t dwell on things that have no impact to them anymore - and they don’t worry about what they should do or think, they just ACT when it’s time. To be truly in synch with a horse, you have to meet halfway and let go of what’s keeping you elsewhere. With them, it’s only about NOW. They love to just hang out, doing nothing together (their favorite activity), and most of the time, us puny humans need to be reminded of just that - to feel, to share, to BE, without seeking for more or craving for achieving something. Easy way to happiness. Enlightened creatures.
Story time (as an example):
Last year, a new mare arrived at the stables. I had to train her for a month. Her owner was at a loss: it had been months since she dared took her out of the pasture. She was afraid because she couldn’t control the mare. The owner was young and inexperienced, the mare wasn’t dangerous per se but they both had taken a dark path towards fear of the other.
On the first day, I sat in her field, at a distance the mare found confortable enough. She grazed, keeping an eye on me in case I would get up and bother her. I didn’t. I reached mentally for her and to my surprise, she answered.
“I don’t like Whips” she projected, with a clear mental voice full of determination.
“Okay, that’s fine, I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I don’t like Reins. And Bridles. I want to be Free.” And she projected the feeling of being trapped and desperate.
“It’s okay” I whispered out aloud and mentally at the same time. “I am here to help. We can figure it out together. I want to work with you, not against you. And I can help change your owner. But you have to let me - I can’t do it without you.”
She mentally nodded.
Two weeks later, she was metamorphosed into a kind, joyful and patient mare, ready to reconnect with her owner. She never lost her fierce attitude (she’s a princess at heart), but accepted humans could give something to her she couldn’t find alone. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the first step for both of them.
Training a horse on foot:
When you want to train a horse, you have to use your body as a means of communication. To do that, you have to be conscious of your body, centered, grounded and relaxed. You have to know how to project energy. If you don’t, you’re going to run after them a lot. If you do, you’ll be much more efficient and they will understand you clearly - first step on the path of getting them to do things. Energy work, yoga, Alexander method… every tool at your disposition can be useful on that topic. Being in one own body is an important part of spirituality - helping align your energetical body with the physical.
When I work on foot with my horse, I usually “project my consciousness” halfway between him and me. As a result, I can help him move his body in the right way with the slightest indication - sometimes, even a simple mental clue. It feels like our bodies and minds are connected. It’s only possible when I am entirely HERE and NOW with him. View it as a subtle dance with a partner that is half a ton and can get scared easily - you have to stay just but it’s so rewarding.