Looking at our human curiosity sense compared to our horses curiosity..and how this could relate to being vulnerable to our horses when riding.

I am at the beginning of an exploration into ‘doing’ with the herd, but from the perspective of working within the energetic connections I have developed with them over the last couple of years. These developments have included understanding a number of realities, particularly in relation to the illusions we humans live under, such as the illusion of control, the illusion of separation, and the illusion of time, and also learning how to be totally present with the horses consistently. This takes a lot of practice and I am still working on this step by step. This latest development in exploring curiosity is part of that.

28th July 2020

I sat in the sandpit with the big ball today just sensing into the herd. The gate was open. Timmy came in physically and asked about the ball. After a little walk around with it he lost his curiosity and left. No interest at all in ‘doing’ with the ball. It felt like a physical conditioning – this investigation. Not energetic.

I sat for longer with the ball, just being with it energetically and sensing into the herd. I could sense the energetic curiosity  of this new ‘being with something’. Also a fleeting sense of the entire herd as foals at play. The child energy coming through maybe. A deep sense of infinite patience around curiosity that horses have. They don’t feel the need to ‘do’ something about this curiosity. 

This is interesting me intellectually because horse people are often conditioned to make sure our horses physically go and look at something to desensitise them, whatever that means. This underlying energetic sense of curiosity felt more primal, deeper. Horses have an innate curiosity, but their curiosity is an awareness of something that requires the horse to become energetically alert. It is not something that requires the horse to physically go and investigate. If we consider this sense in wild herd animals, this sense that feels like curiosity is what takes the herd from one place to another. It is also a curiosity about the animal walking around the edges of the herd. They are curious about that animal but they don’t physically go an investigate it. They are waiting. A herd will not take flight immediately a predator arrives on the scene. They will wait and see. This is the curiosity sense. Many times a predator will just pass by looking for water for instance. Why would a prey animal waste energy on flight if it is unnecessary?

Because we humans tend towards thinking our horses are ‘scared’ all the time, a conditioned understanding of the words ‘prey animal’, we think we should desensitise them. This is effectively shutting down the curiosity sense, the sense that engages their alertness, before deciding to relax or run. Instead maybe we should sense the curiosity, the deeper vibration and patiently wait with them, be curious as well. Match their vibration. Be curious to, and wait until the decision is made, till the predator walks on by, whatever that may be (currently the big ball).

None of the herd came in to the arena during the half hour I was sensing into the curiosity. The infinite patience of curiosity.

So what about our curiosity; human curiosity?

Can we be curious without fear? It is not easy because fear has been conditioned into us from very early on in our lives – “Be careful”; “That is dangerous”; Don’t talk to strangers”; etc.

What would happen if Curiosity was sensed and allowed to expand into infinity?

When we humans have been curious and we haven’t overlaid it with fearful warnings, we tend to become ambivalent. Otherwise we become fearful or wary. These are two sides of the same thing and both shut down Curiosity. Curiosity is our basic awareness and should be strengthened, stretched and enhanced.

Sadly, in the human ego, curiosity generally turns into wariness as we get older. Wariness is our ego producing anxiety of what could happen if we explored our curiosity, which then turns into fear. Thus, we rarely explore the unexplained, we worry about what is around the next corner instead of being excited by it. If we can open our natural curiosity, we can start to explore our awareness deeper, be curious about what is real, and not fear it. The next time your child asks ‘why?’, answer ‘lets find out together it could be amazing’. Open up your own curiosity and remember what it was like to feel curious, to feel aware of something in the air, something different, something that needs to be sensed, before a decision about whether to fear it or investigate it is made. For example, I know a lot of people who don’t like wasps because they fear their sting. But, the wasp doesn’t spend his life fearing people because a person might swat him with a newspaper. If he did he would never get his job done. Being curious about how wasps spend their lives is a lot more interesting than fearing them. So, if you find a wasps nest, watch it, be fascinated by it – it is not necessary to touch it/prod it /test it physically to see if it will bite.

Our ego doesn’t like curiosity because it is a doorway to raising our awareness of the energetic world around us, so it has developed a way to stop us being curious. It gets us to touch and see rather than sense. Touching and seeing trigger a fear response quicker than sensing with energy.  So why do we insist on getting our horses to touch something with their nose and body, instead of allowing their innate curiosity and instinctive decision process run its course? This short clip shows Risada starting to make a decision based on her curiosity about the ball. It also gives a flavour of the infinite patience of horses and the fact that they have no desire to instantly act on their curiosity. She has also been sensing into Timmy’s investigations, as have the entire herd, and each one of the herd will be making their own decision about how they will physically engage and when, if at all.

Is it possible to maintain a deep sense of genuine curiosity around the horses, tap into their perspective and mirror it, learn from it? And, because their senses are so much stronger and deeper than ours, can we then, by being in tune, “react” with them, rather than before or after them? 

In that question I use the word’before’. In reality we humans would never be in a position to react ‘before’. What we do is react to what we see which would always be after the horse has sensed something and decided it was fine (or not). Thus our reaction is never the same as the horses reaction. A lot of the time it is a lot later and the horse only senses us, any fear or anxiety in us, and is not sure what to do with that. So he gets anxious and responds instinctively. He is never responding to the same external thing as you, only you.

So, can we tune in to their curiosity (which never needs to see or touch a thing to understand the response needed) and just go with that, be vulnerable to it, completely trust it? Can we ride a horse and be vulnerable to the horse at the same time, trust in their senses and react appropriately with them?

I am looking forward to developing this awareness of the way they use their curiosity. It is me that needs to practice this not the horses. The sandpit is my learning arena. They are the teachers. Playing with the big green ball has already made me aware of their curiosity and the infinite patience that surrounds it, while they decide what to do about it. The ball is not desensitising the horse, it is teaching me to be aware of each of the horse’s innate curiosity, and how that then develops into physical energetic awareness and then into physical behaviour.

This last clip is the second time Timmy and I are working with the curiosity angle. He has accepted the ball as part of the playpit. His energetic curiosity though is more aimed at me than the ball. I wonder how long it will be before the rest of the herd join us? I will let you know when that happens..

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