When you choose to extend gratitude rather than project judgment, your perspective will shift. You will begin to see your horse, and others, as acting in a way to meet their own needs rather than seeing their actions as an attack on you. Your horse’s poor canter transition can then be viewed as an imbalance that needs support rather than a disobedience that you need to correct. This change in perspective allows you to begin taking responsibility for your half of the partnership while supporting your horse to take responsibility for his half. With both parties in charge of stating their own physical, mental, and emotional needs, a respect for interacting with honesty and integrity begins to develop.
When both parties are empowered to be responsible for themselves without condemnation for their feelings, the partnership can develop to a new level. Within this framework of safety and understanding, both members of the team can begin to take risks. Without the fear of judgment, it is possible to try new things and grow to new heights. As you begin to own responsibility for your experience, it feels good to put forth your best effort through right action – the same is true for the horse. By acting with honesty and integrity, you can extend the support required for your horse to choose to cooperate with you without an emotional attachment to the outcome. Your horse’s actions need not be a trigger for your well-being or lack thereof.
How would it feel to take responsibility for your own feelings, thoughts, actions, reactions, and behavior? If you were really in touch with your half of the partnership – your own inner world – would you be able to interact with your horse differently? If you extended the same responsibility to your horse, how would you feel? Would that threaten your authority? Or, could you take the risk and put forth your best effort without trying to defend yourself or fix your horse?
What steps would you need to take to feel safe – physically and emotionally – relinquishing responsibility for your horse’s half of the partnership?
What changes would you need to make to have the confidence to act with emotional honesty and integrity while interacting with your horse?
Would you be willing to consider making those changes?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
This post is part of a year-long series of heart reflections based on the book Soulful Horsemanship, A Path to Emotional Freedom for the Horse and Human. Soulful Horsemanship is a spiritual approach to working with horses with the goal of developing empowerment, authenticity, and inner peace for the horse and human alike. The entire collection of heart opening essays is available as a book – check it out.