Horse Spirit Healing Concepts
Horse Spirit Healing Concepts
These HSH concepts have been taught to me by my horses who also inspire me to share with those who feel a resonance with their message. These are not universal terms found elsewhere in the horse trainers world. They are developed out of my experience and perspective, shared with me by the horses in my life…
Horses are the ones that have led me on this path of experiencing and coaching the Compassionate Horsemanship way. My learning has come straight from my horse's mouth! It is horse's compassionate teaching that has influenced me most, in all areas of my life. If you feel the magnetic pull of a horse's heart to your own, I will do my best, to share in inadequate words, a snippet of what they would like you to know.
Compassionate Horsemanship (CH) is understanding the natural and universal ways that horses communicate, intake information, understand, and react. It's an understanding of their natural individual and herd dynamics and how they interact and live in the natural world together as a herd. When we observe horses, it is clear how they communicate and who's top horse and the herd hierarchy. It's clear that they live understanding and relying on the leadership role. It is clear they are comfortable when they know where they stand within that role and the herd hierarchy as a whole. It is clear that they understand and naturally respond to intentional physical and energetic pressures (directives) and the release of the pressure (communication) of those directives.
In Compassionate Horsemanship we take this understanding, of natural horse roles and herd dynamics, and step into Leadership in an intentional, consistent and compassionate way. As compassionate leaders, we prioritize understanding and appreciation of each unique horse's temperament and how his life experiences and training impact his understanding, learning and connection with humans.
Compassionate Horsemanship affects our Leadership and Stewardship Relationships with horse. In these roles we interact with horse in a directive way, asking him to perform in a safe, respectful and considerate manner. In Compassionate Horsemanship we direct using cues our horses understand with a patient consistent approach. Our goal is to come into understanding and agreement with consideration of our horses temperament and personal development.
When humans enter into an interactive relationship with horse, the horse naturally wants to know who’s the leader and is it them. When a horse is confident in where he stands, he relaxes into his role. When the horses relationship role is uncertain, either with a human or another horse, the inconsistency and ‘discussion’ can be stressful, confusing, dangerous or problem causing as the horse vacillates in his leadership behavior, in order to establish where you each stand in the relationship. He has to keep testing to figure it out, until it IS actually figured out. Testing the boundaries is a natural way for horses to find out their leadership role (and kids too)! Horses desire clarity and assurance of who IS the leader or director, whenever a human asks to work with him.
When we step into a directive relationship (Leadership) with a horse, it is imperative, for safety, that our horse looks to us for leadership and support. If our horse is calling the shots, their decisions and reactions can put us, our horse and everyone around us in possible danger. If a horse determines that he is the leader, he considers himself the king of the two of us As king (Leader), he expects to direct us about and assumes it’s obvious that we should know to make way for the king and follow his lead and not the other way around! This is not bad horse behavior. It's natural behavior for the herd leader to expect such a response from his underlings! And the underlings, in turn, naturally expect to be respectful of their king. Everyone is happy and comfortable, because they know where they stand. Right!?
Yep, sure are! IF we humans DO step into this natural leadership role with our horse. THEN everyone’s happy, both human and horse are confident and safe to enjoy their adventures together - with human riding the horse and not the other way around! For if we don’t step into leadership, we are literally handing over the reins to our horse.
Three Relationships of Horse
Free Liberty, Leadership and Stewardship are three specific relationships with horse; a truly reciprocal relationship involves all three.
Free Liberty is horse is free to BE and, ideally, we integrate into their herd on their own turf. We aren't there to change, direct or influence them or their environment. In fact, we are present and willing to receive their influence over us. We recognize them as unique, powerful, influential and healing beings that have the ability to impact us more than we might even believe is possible. Ife we are still enough and quiet enough to listen and receive what they genuinely desire to give. The Free Liberty relationship is appreciating horses for their own unique individuality and asking to be with them, so they may influence and guide us with their innate gifts and abilities. It is in the intentional Free Liberty setting that horses are able to fully engage with us and influence our awareness and healing to the greatest degree.
As a professional lifelong instructor of Compassionate Horsemanship and balanced seat riding, I am well aware of the empowerment and growth that comes from communicating and collaborating with horse when we ride and guide our horses (Leadership). However, it is when we give up this power role and Ask to Receive the love and healing from horse that we are most impacted at our soul level. The most empowering and fulfilling relationship we can have with horse, is one of mutual honor and respect as the fellow beings we are. When we humans recognize that we are, in fact, in the presence of greatness, become humble and get over our human superiority complex, we can truly take in the gift of unconditional love that horses are waiting to share with us!
Leadership is essential in a working relationship with horse that is safe, consistent and collaborative. The Leadership role is one that horses naturally recognize within the herd dynamic. in each unique horse relationship there is a leader and a follower, whether it be horse to horse or horse to human. When we put on a halter or saddle up, it is important for the wellbeing of all that we step into the role of Leadership. As leader, it is now our job to be responsible and set the boundaries and guidelines for a safe and pleasant interactive experience together with horse. If we do not step into the leadership role after we've climbed aboard or put on the halter, the horse will undoubtedly respond naturally by filling those uninhabited Leadership shoes. After all if you don't step up to the job, your horse will. Naturally! And not 'cause he's bossy, rude or belligerent, but because you haven't filled those boots and someone's gotta step up for your little herd of two!
As we step into the leadership role, our horse can then relax and so can we, as we both know we have a respectful and attentive horse by our side, looking to us for guidance and support. It's up to us, as leader, to intentionally communicate clearly, consistently, compassionately and safely. If these intentions are missing, we instead create a relationship of confusion and possible danger by not fully accept the responsibility and role of Leadership. Leadership of horse can be incredibly rewarding and empowering, for both horse and human. Together, with intentional guidance, you can achieve adventures and feats of prowess you dream into creation together. Whether it's climbing a mountain to look at the sea or barrel race at high speeds, the respectful friendship of horse is truly one of life's precious gifts.
Stewardship is the relationship of responsibility we assume when we bring horses into our lives. It is our duty to provide for the needs of a Happy Horse*. Our horses give so much, not because they have to, but because they are the most compassionate and giving creatures on earth. It is through their grace that they give us all that they do. For if they wanted to tromp us into the dirt and fly over our spindly fences, they certainly could. Instead, they patiently, out of the love in their hearts, give, connect and share with us humans. So when we say 'Yes!" to this gift of horse, we also say 'Yes!' to providing the environment and care that gives them peace, joy wellness and safety.
This means sharing our love through touch, kindness, consideration and respect. This means providing a natural living environment with pastures where a horse can roam and graze and be the horse he was meant to be in the herd. This means ample food, fresh water and a clean, peaceful, safe living environment. This means proper consistent care of medical and practical needs such as grooming, worming and farrier care. Some of these needs, require our Leadership role to administer. Some of these needs can be provided in Free Liberty next to our horses. Committed Stewardship is part of a truly Reciprocal Relationship with a Happy Horse.
Reciprocal Horse Relationship: Receiving and Giving
A reciprocal relationship is one of the most rewarding connection experiences a human can have. When that relationship is with a horse, who freely chooses to engage, it touches the human heart and affects body, mind and spirit. Many horse lovers will tell you that one of the most rewarding relationships in their life, is the one they have with their horse and that the time they spend with them is one of love, peace, joy and empowerment.
What I have witnessed is that most horse lovers, more often than not, are more comfortable in giving than they are receiving. Horse lovers often relish the caretaker role. It can even be downright difficult to not pet or stroke or tend to our horses whenever we are near them. And why wouldn't we! It feels wonderful to share our love with horses through our acts of care and stewardship. Yet, every reciprocal relationship is about receiving love as well as giving it. And If we are always in give mode, we are not fully open or intentional to our own receiving. This also blocks the reciprocity in the relationship and the enormous benefits of receiving the unconditional love horses desire to give.
Here in Costa Rica, horses have shared with me even more of the importance of intentionally Asking to Receive. Many humans limit the love and kindness that they receive out of guilt, lack of worthiness or simply because they are too busy giving or doing to focus on anything else. They just don't make much time for receiving, much less intentionally Asking to Receive.
However, when we intentionally Ask to Receive, we open up our ability to take in what is being offered. When we honor and appreciate and acknowledge the gift we are receiving, it is meaningful to both human and horse. For example, when you give love and kindness to another and they acknowledge and appreciate your love, doesn't this expand your heart even more? Reversely, if you give love and it's barely noticed, doesn't that affect your heart conversely? Are you givers getting this? Luckily, a horse’s love is truly unconditional and they don't take our lack of awareness and appreciation personally. However, your lack of receiving most definitely limits the connection you could have experienced and shared with the special horse desiring to give to YOU!
When humans recognize horses as the innate healers they are and believe that they are worthy to receive, they activate their ability to connect meaningfully and profoundly. My horses have taught me several experiences to assist in this process of heart connection and to experience a reciprocal relationship with horse.
EquiEnergy, EquiTouch and Intuitive Movement with Horses are three such experiences my horses have asked me to share.
EquiEnergy * EquiTouch * Intuitive Movement
The EquiEnergy, EquiTouch & Intuitive Movement experiences are about BEing in the moment of Now with horse. As we quiet the mind and tune into the love and peace energy of horse, we connect intuitively and authentically, physically and energetically. As our hearts are touched, we activate our inner awareness of our body and emotions.
When horses join US in Free Liberty, we know they are choosing to BE with us. This is powerful, it means we are in a truly reciprocal relationship of free choice. And we are honored by their desire to give and connect so authentically with us.
EquiEnergy is an experience of acknowledging horses innate healing gifts and being open to receiving these abilities and impacts. It is one thing to believe and it is another to intentionally Ask to Receive the love horses desire to share. When we ASK, we magnify our ability to Receive that which horse freely and unconditionally gives, whether we are aware of it or not. If we present, we can feel the immensity of the Love and awareness they share with us. We feel the love connection flow back to them in a bond that is quickly felt and hard to explain. As our heart expands with the Love, Joy and Peace energy horses share with us, we turn reciprocate in return.
EquiTouch is an experience of giving back to horses in gratitude and appreciation for all that they so generously give and do for us. Our Intention shifts from Receiving to Giving, creating a Reciprocal Relationship. We focus our intentional attention to the eyes and expression of horse, the windows to their soul. We can see how our loving energy and physical touch effects them in return. As we lay our hands intuitively on horse to give physical and emotional love, we look for the signs of pleasure and joy we are creating through our touch. In addition to giving yummy delicious love to our ponies, we create a bond of mutual stewardship as well. We get to the know feel of our horses bodies and are more likely to notice if something isn't quite right. This awareness helps us to better care for the needs of our horses. Through the development of this meaningful time to connect, our horses joyfully come to us, with a true appreciation for the loving care you share together, in the Reciprocal Relationship of Horse.
Intuitive Movement is an experience of quieting the mind, connecting to self and horse. Expand into trust and awareness of emotions, somatics and sensations within this safe nurturing environment. As connection expands awareness emerges of what your body needs. Authentically and intuitively you allow your body to move and stretch and BE with Horse in relaxation, peace and connection. As Horse assists the opening of your heart you can access places within that need to be released and stretched. This can be done on horseback or on the ground with Horse. Together, you co-create an organic experience with the supportive presence of horse and coach.
Horse Spirit Healing Philosophy
My philosophy has developed over a lifetime of interaction, learning and commitment to my horses. My journey has inspired me to discover my own creative visions of purpose and meaning. Mine is an eclectic approach that evolves from a willingness to experiment and learn through a respectful and compassionate connection with horse. There is one thing I know for sure, there is always more to learn and horses love to teach!
My core belief is that horses are healers and we are as well. Given the opportunity to be truly respected and assisted, we are capable of partnering with Horses to bring joy, peace and meaningful purpose to our lives. Connection with horse impacts us body, mind and spirit. In BEING present in the Moment of Now with horse we co-create an organic journey that brings empowerment and awareness.
Present in Body.
Present in Mind.
Present in Spirit.
This trilogy is a powerful alignment that can bring inspired action to live more authentically and joyfully. Just like a horse does every day!
In our body (enbody) we experience horses healing impact in many ways. We feel their unconditional love in our own bodies somatic response to their attentive presence with us. It is truly an impactful physical connection to BE with these amazing animals. When riding astride these generous and willing partners, our bodies move and connect in a fluid, graceful, synergy with horse. The physical benefits of awareness, mobility and connection has seemed miraculous too many abled and disabled individuals alike.
The empowering body, mind, spirit trilogy is felt when “in flow” with horse and activates the attention of our mind. Our Mind's attention is captivated by horse and activates new awareness in the moment of NOW. Our mind and body respond to the intention that horse inspires through connection and communication between Human and Horse.
Spirit of both horse and human fill with joy and love through shared connection. And through love all things are possible! Inspired action follows when we are connected body, mind and spirit.
So many ways to feel this meaningful connection...
In a moment shared in timeless moment under a tree as you lean upon sleek, strong shoulder and share secrets to a compassionate ear.
In a moment of breath taking performance as you fly balanced over strong back and thundering hooves to achieve feats dreamed into creation.
In a moment of experiencing unconditional love from a horse who chooses to show up just for you.
It all starts with simple intentional connection between human and Horse and leads to positive life change......
Body…. Mind…. Spirit …. Horses Heal…..