Sometimes you teach and you wonder how to get the information across to the student. The data clogs in my brain as I get so passionate about sharing what I know in a way that makes sense to the level of the rider. I want to be clear and concise but words fail sometimes especially when body language is the key. Then you just do an exercise that puts it all together. Mirroring is what the horse does. We can share this experience with our horses. Sometimes we shape around them but ultimately we would encourage that they shape around us. My student Sofia and I ended our lesson with some drill team exercises and the mere execution of it was such a perfect example of putting principles to purpose that I just kept my mouth shut (for the most part) and let the horses team up. One takes the lead, ever so slightly and the team syncs up as one mirrors the other and they get in step together.
This is such a nice example of direct and specific body language in the wild. It's about territory and what is important to the horses in any given moment in regards to survival. Is it play ? Is it food ? A mare that two stallions vie for? Shelter ? Comfort ? Why do they move each other around ? What can we learn from watching them with each other? When we can drop into these primal urges without the need to give horses human labels, I think we get closer to understanding the real nature of horses. Wild horses neigh, snort, nicker and scream in the wild but predominantly they speak with their body using focus and intention to set clear boundaries and goals. There is an amazing DVD that follows the, now extinct, Camargue herd in France. It's called "Such is the Real Nature of Horses" by Robert Vavras. I would recommend serious about learning the language of horses, especially if you are planning on teaching. This is a must have for the library and its beautifully filmed. xke
About four months ago, for no reason really other than I saw the book on my friend's shelf, I borrowed and started reading a book called "Perfect Health" by Depak Choprah. It's an old book, I think written in the 80's, about Ayurvedic principles, the different body types and foods that support that. It also included a daily routine that included meditation, breathing, yoga, exercise, warm oil massages and so on. I had been questioning my diet for awhile. I am one of those who always felt I need to lose 15 pounds. That I kept weight on as a buffer to the world and to my real feelings. I'd been toying with being a fish-aterian for awhile now and after a long drive to Arizona where I heard a very compelling NPR segment on meat alternatives, I decided to give it a go. This book was the perfect next step. My boyfriend negated the benefits of that book and all self help books in general (we broke up soon after). I really only added just a few of the routines that the book suggested. As my body, mind and spirit started to transform some wild things started to happen. People just dropped out of my life with great velocity. Long standing friendships just "ended". Family dynamics shifted radically. I concluded that my resonance had changed so dramatically that the world I knew before was not a reality any more. New situations and alliances were formed that aligned to my heart's passions. Be careful what you wish for. My connection to the horses got stronger too. The Ayurvedic cycles of the day inspired me to awake at first light with the sound of the birds and hike to the highest mountain. There I would assess my emotions, label them and go about my morning ritual that involves gratitude, rock sculptures and healing sage. We live in an amazing organic healing world. All that we need is all around us. Yet we are drawn to our devices, our distractions, our first world problems. I never dreamed I'd ever speak up about this but now it seems I can't be silent. I am a lucky girl. At 57 I live in a pain free body. Oh and I did lose weight, although if I would to list the benefits of this new direction, that would be last on the list. I love my life. I even love the challenges of pain, loneliness, anger and frustration as it allows me the opportunity to reset every day and pivot those thoughts to something better. And I know the horses appreciate it when I do. xoKiki