Finding neutral in the arena with Risada

Learning together is about a shared understanding of our response to each other in any given moment

When Risada comes into the arena she loves to have a roll, then run off to eat the grass round the edge. This time we let the roll happen, almost requested it, then asked her to be peaceful with not going to the edge and eating. I asked her to share a peaceful place with me, in the arena, with a head collar on. My focus : to find a neutral place where we can just be, at any point in time, when we are in the arena.

This evolved into the start of what the Trust Technique calls the invisible lead. Once she relaxed into the Present Moment I took the rope off but remained in that Present Moment..establishing that neutral peaceful place where we will always go if things get difficult, worrying, anxious, or even frightening : but without the attachment to the rope from either of us. I then just walked about a bit – not going too far away yet as, historically, she has always preferred to be in my space when considering anything new.

It was fantastic because I could sense her with me completely, just for a little while, until I release that focus by taking myself out of the present moment, giving her a feeling of pride in her and gratitude, and by giving her a physical rewarding scratch and then leaving. She chose to walk with me out of the arena. Wonderful.

What I am finding with this ‘re-starting’ (I suppose that is as good a word as any) is that, in 5 minutes of mutual teaching and learning with a peaceful mind set, we can take a huge step towards mutual communication. This is all that is needed. When thinking levels are low we retain new things better, so do animals. We both learn something in a moment. It is all about mutual response, not achievement.

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