Can we be content with less? Is less the path to deeper bonding?
When we envision a bond with a horse, I think many of us see a horse walking along, no equipment involved, walking beside us totally content to be there.
Stopping when we stop, backing up when we draw our energy back and carrying on when we start forward again. That is the proof we need to show that the horse and us are together.
As I move down through the layers of understanding connection with horses in my own journey, I realize more and more how this is just an outward display, one that us humans can understand to trust that the bond exists. Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful and meaningful to have a horse want to stay so close to us, but it is not how they always act with each other is it? It is not the only way.
I have been spending time watching the young horses in my care Branna and Coco.
They are very bonded and they grew up together. They are most content to graze together, they love to sniff at the same grass together, sometimes their feet are in unison and sometimes not. Sometimes they are more than 100 meters apart, some times not. Sometimes one looks up and checks the environment, sometimes not. They are always aware of each other, but not needing a response, not needing an outward display of connection. I am yet to see them walk, stop and back up in unison!
I think it is time for us humans to trust more and delve deeper into our consciousness and trust our instinct more to see that we don't need to have always have a “physical” show of connection at all times, and see that we can “feel” a connection and it is deeper than any lake or ocean.
That doesn't mean we don't ever train a horse to help him or her be comfortable in the human environment, I mean it in terms of understanding what connection is and what it isn't. The horse is so much deeper connected to nature than we are, they work in the realms of energy so much better than we do. They don't need words, in fact they rarely need actions, they can pass messages to each other in ways we can't understand yet, or have forgotten how to.
Be open to it, recognize the voice that sometimes you may hear inside telling you maybe what you are doing is ego based and not in your or your horses best interests. Don't mistake this for now always allowing your horse to say no, never asking for a yes when only no is being offered. Let it guide you to slow down and wonder why no is being offered and how you might be able to present your request differently.
This may be backing off, or it might surprise you that you need to be a little firmer and clearer!! We have a duty to keep our horses safe and able to adapt to living in a human environment. But start to be open to the realm they live in, don't let our strong personalities and ego based worlds drown out the gentle but hugely powerful lessons they whisper in the wind.
Spend more time in their world, observing, grazing together and listening. Worry less about when to move and how to move, just be yourself and open to listening, this will relax you more and open your instincts better. When it is time for training (in whatever form it takes for you) explain to them in a quiet message or words in your head that is it time for you to work with them.
Trust the answer that comes back and act on it. Horses don't work in words, they live in energy, so do we, we just don't always remember it or believe it sometimes. We hear words, that is how we understand.
The universe is big enough and vast enough to take the energy from the horse and turn it into words so we understand… trust it, what you hear might just change everything.