The ultimate goal I suppose is to ride with a pure energetic connection with my horses, but first we have to really do the basics. After two years of meditation and learning to energetically connect with the herd, learning to understand their energetic language, and not worry about their physical behaviours, it is time to start engaging with each individual with a level of intent.
We start with a beginners mind…in other words every time I take a horse out it needs to be the first time. I need to connect with them deeply, being completely present, and have faith in the communication I have with them.
When Timmy and I decided to go out for a walk (not far, only a kilometre if we were lucky) it started with quite a bit of messing about. He wanted to go out but Risada got in the way. She didn’t want her head collar on, she didn’t want to go out, but she also didn’t want Timmy and I to go out either. I didn’t really take the time to feel into this, but Timmy did and gave her a lot of ears and body language telling her to go away. We got out and trotted up the road to the track and once on the track, Timmy stopped and started grazing. I took the opportunity to breathe deeply and let go of the adrenaline that had built up in getting to the track. Lesson one : spend more time connecting before leaving and trust that it will happen. Lesson two : If another member of the herd is anxious, feel into that anxiety and engage and acknowledge it.
When we stopped to graze we took many minutes to connect. As I took him up the same track as I walk my dog and connect in each morning with the earth and the trees, I did this first, then invited Timmy in. He was wary to start with but then he engaged at his energetic boundary. I let him set the pace, as long as we were going forward up the track. As the walk, and connection, developed I found that every time he stopped to graze, or look back to the farm, or just stop, there was something I needed to do. Either I had tensed up somewhere (shoulders usually), or a little bit of anxiety had come in about something, such as him running back home without me, or a feeling of needing to be going faster, walking forward etc, came in to play, which meant I was trying to control everything and not being present. Whenever we fully engaged in the connection, in the present, and relaxed into the environment, he walked forward until the next assessment. It was fascinating, and as you can imagine we had lots and lots and lots of stops.
Responsibility came into the energetic connection on a number of the stops. We talked about my hold on the lead rope, the energy in my hands when holding the rope, giving Timmy responsibility for staying engaged and connected, and putting the rope over his back to enable that. We dealt with a number of my anxieties mostly each time he turned the wrong way, or sped up a little, or I felt his adrenalin come up slightly when something moved a way off, or something rustled in the hedgerow. Each time I felt anxious he made me stay where we were and reconnect with everything around me and put my fears aside.
After a long time of little stops and starts we started walking a bit more together in a way, almost synchronising when we were going to walk and when we were going to stop. Then we stopped and engaged with who has what responsibilities when we are out. I sensed that Timmy had to have responsibility for his feet, the pace, and telling me what was happening in the environment, and all I had responsibility for at the moment was direction. Interestingly, I then had to consider the control thing again as it came up in me with regards to the pace. We just kept stop starting all the time and it would get very boring if this was what was going to be happening every time we went out. Once I went deeper with this though I sensed that it would not always be like this, it just needed to be like this now, so we could learn everything I have written here. Timmy is pacing the walk at this pace for a reason, so I could engage and acknowledge each of the little things as we went. Amazingly canny is my Timmy.
I knew when we had done enough as Timmy turned round on the track, and I felt his energy go home before he even considered walking back, but he walked sedately and calmly back. 1 hour out, five minutes back shows you how far we didn’t go physically, but we went a long way energetically.