Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who is the Most Observant of Us All?
It has often been said that the horse is a mirror to oneself, a reflection of who we truly are. There is much truth to this simple statement of reflection and observation. Horses are very intuitive, instinctive, sensitive beings who communicate clearly with their thoughts and emotions expressed as body language. Thus, our own thoughts, emotions are reflected equally in the way we carry ourselves, move, our actions, tension, and energy. The horse can read this, interpret it, and respond accordingly, which may not be in the manner we want him to! That is an error in our expression of communication, or lack thereof.
I know most of us can relate an experience in which we had a great day, and the a ride for the record books later on that day. Or, conversely, we may have had a not so great day, had an altercation with the horse and maybe left feeling better, but what about the horse?
You are responsible for communicating clearly through your mind and matter (physical expression of body language, which is an expression of your mind) to the horse. This is NOT the horse’s responsibility. It is YOUR responsibility. The horse will only mirror or reflect what you bring to the arena with you! If you are carrying excess baggage around with you from the day, you need to clear that out of your mind prior to working your horse. Individually, the manner in which this is done will vary. If, for example, I am stressed and tense, I usually have to go for a hard physical run to release that pent up energy, by focusing on my breathing and rhythm, and gasping for air! Or, I may simply sit down for 20 minutes and play the guitar to FOCUS myself. These are forms of self meditation that “get your mind right” for working with the horse. Communication has to be done consistently and clearly each time you work with your horse. Leave the emotion, unless it is elation and happiness, which will only serve to garner a better, more expressive, animated performance, at the arena gate.
Working with horses is rewarding and challenging. It forces ourselves, if we want to pursue being better horsemen and horsewomen, to look deeply within ourselves, to be self observant, to be true to ourselves. Your horse will tell you if you are hiding from yourself. You cannot hide your emotions from your horse, and you cannot hide from you. The horse allows us to express who we truly are.
Look. Listen. Observe. Reflect. Respond to your inner self and being.
Look. Listen. Observe. Reflect. Respond to your horse.
Look. Listen. Observe. Reflect. Respond as One.
Many Blessings on Your Journey of Communication.