I don't ever feel alone when I am with horses. I can spend the entire day in the barn and not talk to another human being and be totally at peace. When I have a bad day, a disagreement, fight, or painful experience, I go to the barn. It is my refuge, solace, and serenity. That said, the fact remains that we as humans are social animals. We need human to human connection as much as horses need to belong to a herd.
In this age of technology, I believe we are lacking intimacy and connection more than ever. I feel like I desire more now than before because I don’t get it the way I used to. This desire for connection has required me to learn yogic practices that train the mind, body, spirit, nervous system, and the breathe system to open my heart and the human spirit. This is not easy. It is very hard and requires commitment, discipline, and desire to serve each other’s spirits and I don’t know how to achieve it if it doesn’t come from both sides. Horses will more often than not want that connection with me. Humans are often too caught up in Facebook to even know what it is. This connection requires vulnerability and spiritual training. I start with meditative awareness and become more in-tune to what I am feeling. By learning awareness of what is happening in my body, it allows me to make choices in how I react. Being mindful when I am with my horses is not only safer than reacting, it yields far more positive results.
When I am in emotional pain, turmoil, or imbalance. My horses show up for me. They lower their heads and touch my heart chakra reminding me that I am loved. Every morning while I clean manure, my pinto gelding follows me around. He likes to touch me with his muzzle. He just wants to feel close to me. He doesn’t say anything and he doesn’t ask for anything in return except that I let him touch me—an exchange of loving energy that needs no words. My connection with horses is only painful when one leaves my life. The rest of the time is the true connection of mind, body, and spirit.
Sometimes, it is the opposite. My horses will remind me that I am not balanced. They tell me with their reactive body language that I need to slow down, breathe, and get grounded. When we aren’t in sync, the horses tell me and I choose to listen. It is not just being in sync with them, it is usually indicative of not being in sync with my life. Not allowing the ebb and flow of life to just happen and trust that it is all in divine order. Sometimes, I resist and when there is resistance I don’t move forward in life. I can’t move and feel stuck. I am reminded that when I try to make things happen it does not work. But when I don’t do anything, I remain stuck right where I am at and that doesn’t feel good.
So, how do I get unstuck? I move. I walk, hike, yoga, dance, or ride my horse. Movement connects me to the divine. It nourishes me. Whether I am hiking, walking, dancing, or riding, movement is a huge part of my health, healing, and it restores my connection. The horses remind me to slow down. I don’t have to always run and move fast. Movement inspires me to spiritual openness which yields great feats of heroic acts such as kindness, love, and connection.
However, when my horses get a little too sassy with their expression, it is up to me to say, “That doesn’t work for me.” I don’t settle for their poor behavior. My horses get reprimanded and are reminded if something is inappropriate or bad behavior. I thank my horses for reminding me that we are each other’s reflection of what is going on in life and when the behavior shifts I reward their good behavior.
Horses are such wonderful teachers. Everyday, they remind me of how good it feels to be touched and loved. I believe that when I show up for other relationships the way horses show up for me, the connection has the potential to be open, painless, and full of love. And who doesn’t want to be loved?
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