Life has its own rhythm and its own natural course to follow, yet we still insist on trying to control how everything unfolds. This is particularly true when we are talking about training horses. We know what we want from our horses, we expect them to behave in a certain way and if we don’t get what we want, we are unhappy and frustrated. We then begin searching for how to fix our horse that won’t fit in the box we have created in our mind.
In contrast, it is a really amazing feeling when you are able to take a path in life where everything seems to go just as it should, without tension, without problems and without stress. I’m sure you have felt this at some time in your life. Unfortunately, riding horses is rarely something that happens without tension & stress. I meet many horses that tell me they don’t want to be ridden. With my own herd, I am open to whether they want to be ridden or not and I am more than happy to stay on the ground if that is what they prefer. I don’t have an expectation to ride my horses. It took me a long time to be able to feel this way. I think the hardest part was being able to let go of what other people thought of me!
The training path with Weltango has been just as it should be, without tension, without problems and without stress. Since her last foal was born 2 years ago I have been working with Tango once or twice a week with the main goal of helping her to feel good in her body, happy and secure. During these two years, each time she comes to the arena what we end up doing together becomes very clear because she is a very good communicator. If she likes something, she insists I do more. If she doesn’t like something, she give me a gentle shove to say stop. The trust that we have built through listening to each other, has her in a place where I can now say to her “I know it’s hard, but I know you can do it”. Often Tango will respond with, “Ok, let’s try it”. She does this by coming into attention and moving me forward into the particular movement.
These past two years working with Tango has shown me that she wants a very intimate relationship. She wants the reassurance of my touch and she wants to be close to me. She really loves it when I can help her find better balance and flexibility in her body. When she is trying something hard, she wants me even closer. This led me to thinking that riding may be a good option. She gets to keep me very close, I am able to give her a lot of support & guidance and the reassurance of touch. It seemed perfect! So I started to ask her what she thought of the idea!
Within a few sessions she was coming over to the fence and allowing me lean on her back. Last week my husband stood with her while I sat on her back and walked for the first time. Today I sat on her by myself and we walked and talked together. When I sat on her back, I grounded my energy and said thank you, she did a big breath out and I could feel she was happy to have me aboard. Pretty amazing that in just the second riding session we are already doing this alone. But you know, because the path to get to this point has been without any expectations and we have discussed every single step, it has been so easy to navigate the path forward with amazing progress. I just love this photo. I was asking Tango to try something. She didn’t understand so she looked up at me to tell me.
The more I am able to let go of expectations of the way it should be, the more I am able to enjoy what is actually taking place. It seems crazy that we fight with what already is. That we want to change or control it. There is so much opportunity in each moment with our horses if we are able to see it and allow it to propel us forward together. This creates a feeling of inner peace within you, this in turn allows you to relax and makes it easier to listen to your intuition.
So my questions to you is “what are you trying to control with your horse that is preventing you from going forward together?”
“Surrender to what is.
Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”
~ Eckhart Tolle