Of all the animals I’ve encountered in my lifetime, it is the horse that has provided me the knowledge of real connection. I’ve been blessed to have had so many equine teachers that have guided me along new paths of thinking and for that I am truly grateful.
Horses don’t make it easy for you if there are lessons to be learned, they can push you into a mind space that can be very challenging. I read a book the other day and one of things that stood out to me was that when life is frustrating or hits an all-time low it is actually a good thing, providing us with a lesson that leads to new ways of thinking and acting. When we choose to ignore these precious lessons, they will be repeated. We just have to be open to the challenge!
Horses have helped me in my work as an animal herbalist and massage therapist, I often think that they get sick so that I can learn new ways to cure them. This is certainly true of one of my current horses who initiates a daily conversation with me concerning her issues.
“There is a poo in my stable, I couldn’t possibly eat in here.” “Scratch me here, no not there a bit further up, get it right!” This is amusing but just the surface stuff. The real connection starts working when you begin to understand their language. For this you have to ignore your own and concentrate on theirs, you have to learn to think like a horse, breathe in its energy, and be in the moment. Horses have been trying to teach us silly humans for so long and all we’ve repaid them with is ignorance and selfishness. Many have remained stoic in their nature and put up with the bullying and gadgetry involved in our inability to control them. Saddles that don’t fit causing pressure in the back, girths that are too tight stopping the ribs from expanding properly each time the horse takes a breath, nasty painful bits and bridles that put pressure on sensitive nerve endings, the list goes on. Then having put up with all that they are pushed to jump even high jumps, have people leaping on and off them, regular whipping if they don’t perform to our arrogant requirements, etc.
Connection is born out of respect, it has to be earned and there is no better teacher than a horse if you are willing to take the first step. It needs a huge amount of patience and openness, you cannot be governed by your own desires for instant results, but when you break into that zone you will be repaid with a lifetime of trust and companionship.
I believe that there are different levels of connection, in the beginning it is about noticing the everyday needs, most horse lovers have got to that level. From there on the levels become more complex and for some can involve a lifetime journey to gain more and more knowledge. There are a lot of experts in the equine world with a range of extraordinary skills ranging from psychological, physiological, muscular skeletal issues, biomechanics, nutrition, natural therapy, chiropractic etc. but it is how we use this knowledge that will define our connection with these wonderful beings.
Horses have worked with humans for thousands of years, fighting in battles, pulling heavy loads and competing in dangerous sports, surely we owe it to them by learning the language of equus!
Happy New Year Folks
Animal Naturopath and Massage Therapist