For the LOVE of horses

Yesterday my cute family took me to see the beautiful cirque inspired horse show, Cavalia for Mothers Day. It was incredible to watch the grace and beauty of the horses, the imagery, the intense riding, and the amazing training that has been put in to create such a show.

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The above image was one of many images from the Cavalia show that showed the love and training these people have for these horses. This woman was guiding these horses and they followed her every move and listened to every command. It was amazing and I had such an immense appreciation for this particular moment because I know how hard it can be to control your energy and get what you want from the horses. I sat there in awe at her clear desires and how the horses just followed. It was incredible.

This scene in particular touched me, it reminded me of a day where I spent time working with five different horses, trying to learn and understand their energy. My experience taught me how in tune you need to be with your own energy, so you can then project it on to the horses and have them follow you. It was a hard lesson for me to learn. To read my full blog post on my experience https://yourhappyplaceblog.com/2014/04/10/a-few-horses-a-lot-of-life-lessons/

 

 

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After the show we were able to go back stage and see the horses. Time and time again I saw the horse groomers brushing, petting, stroking the horses noses with such love and care. I talked to a couple of them, but one in particular was having a sweet moment with one of her horses. I said sarcastically, “You don’t have any favorites do you?” She smiled a big smile, “I love all my horses, but there are definitely some that you have something special with.” She put her face next to the horses and you could see the affection they have for one another. It was genuine LOVE. So sweet.

It was an amazing show & if you get the opportunity to see it, I highly recommend. It is beauty, magic, lovely music, incredible horse work…priceless. Here is a TINY taste.

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Here are some other great videos and images on the LOVE of horses. Enjoy. Everyone can be inspired by the power and beauty of these majestic animals. They speak freedom, the wild, carefree spirit, running because that is their calling.

 

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One last personal horse story: 

I was instantly drawn to the giant black horse that resided next door. At first it was his size that brought me in. But then as I watched him, he had a wildness that I could relate to, or on some other level needed and understood. I would watch him run wildly as though something inside him needed to be free. He would run faster and faster until there was no more room to run.

He wasn’t like a typical horse that stood motionless or meandered slowly, he was a vibrant spirit, unchangable in heart and soul. I connected with him instantly.

As a child I loved the movie, “The Black Stallion” and there was something about this horse, this black beauty, the running, the need for freedom, the need for friendship that drew me to this beautiful creature. I knew nothing about horses and had been on a horse maybe twice in my life. I felt like a little kid eager to get close and giddy at the thought of it.

I began to notice that no one spent time with him and that he was never fed, so my plan was to entice him with a large red apple. He was definitely untame and had not been around people for awhile. It took some time for him to trust me. I threw apples over the fence to get him to come closer, and slowly he began to see that I meant no harm. I went through dozens of apples before the glorious moment when he allowed me to touch his nose. It was a thrilling moment of friendship and trust. I was immediately hooked–visions of me riding bareback like the boy in The Black Stallion raced through my mind. I wanted the freedom that this beautiful horse could give me.

Then in an instant he bolted off and our moment together was over. My reality set in. He was a wild one and not even my wild one. But I could have one thing; the beautiful moments to watch him run, seemingly free, like a horse with a herd to run with. It was as if his heart could soar, though he was like a caged bird.

Over the next year my affair continued and he began to trust me more and more. I noticed through the winter months that no one was feeding him and my heart yearned to take better care of him. I talked my husband into asking our neighbor if we could buy him. The cost was $250. That may not seem like much for a horse, but for a young couple paying $400 in rent, to buy an unrideable, wild horse it was expensive and definitely not realistic. But that is how you know someone loves you…they buy you a wild, unrideable horse because you see something in that horse, something that changes you, something you need.

We came to find out his name was Sundance. Even his name was beautiful and freeing.

Every moment I spent with him became a dance of trust and he was not willing to give up the lead. Things were definitely on his terms. His trust was not given freely and there was something admirable in that. He had a wild fire within him, an almost telling nature of the need to be free. He was the epitome of every horse you see in the movies that yearns for freedom, the wild, depicted as ‘untamable’ and should be ‘put down.’

That fire was one of the things I loved about Sundance. It was something I believed we had in common. I could relate to this need of being unchanged and untamable, and that is why I was drawn to him.

My whole life my dad told me I was stubborn like a thoroughbred and that stuck with me. I always thought, “what is wrong with that??” and when I came to know this magnificent creature I began to sense what my father meant. Sundance definitely was stubborn and unchangeable, but his wild stubborn sense is one of the things that made him beautiful.

I began to embrace my own strengths as I watched and learned what I began to admire in this horse. I began to see myself clearly through seeing such strength and beauty. This horse was my symbol of myself, the yearning to be free, to find my voice, the need to truly trust someone, the awareness of the limits that held me from my true self, and the untamable nature that is me.

Shortly after we purchased Sundance our neighbor decided to put six mares in the pasture next to Sundance. Sundance became restless and agitated and I couldn’t figure out why. I watched him as he ran the fence back and forth where the mares were. I began to see his desire to be with them and his need to be with the herd he so desperately longed for. The mares were not my neighbors, so Sundance had to be isolated from them. I could see his desperation, but there was nothing I could do.

A few days later I came home to see Sundance wildly running with the mares in their field—I panicked not knowing how he had been able to get to them. I ran over to the fence and noticed some large scratches on his side and reality struck…he had jumped the six foot fence that was topped with barbed wire, with no thought of fear or harm.

My admiration soared to a whole new level. He was a horse of unstoppable determination and will. WOW! I knew nothing would stop him and this confirmed my feelings…

There is within each and every one of us an unchangeable desire, a desire that is placed within us to do unstoppable things with our lives. We must listen to the words that play from our heart because there is a natural truth yearning to be set free. We must find our inner calling and become unchangeable in our direction. We must seek our path and allow our thoroughbread to truly run free.

Do not let society tame you with its ideas of what should and shouldn’t be. Listen to your heart, for it knows your right life. Seek to find the wonder, seek to find your spontaneity, your inner yearnings. Let go of what is holding you back, whether it is the fear or doubt, do not let the illusions of this world hold you from your true spirit.

Let it run free.

So, what was so wrong with being like a stubborn thoroughbred???

Thank you Sundance. Thank you Dad.

 

 

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A few Horses, A lot of Life Lessons

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I had an amazing experience last Friday, I got to spend a day with beautiful horses learning about myself, energy, leadership and finding a deeper part of myself.

I am definitely a follower of my own intuition. I have tried to listen to any prompting, inspiration to try something, a book that seems to keep jumping out at me…there are always gifts and signs that can guide us to situations that will help us grow beyond our current state. I was listening to a podcast of Koren Motekaitis (she has a great podcast show) and she was interviewing someone named Renee Sievert who was a Equus Coach. I had no idea what that was, but I was drawn to her passion and excitement and then she mentioned working with horses. Deal breaker!! my interest was even more heightened, because I have always had a thing with horses, their wild essence, their spirit, watching them run…whenever I have had bad dreams throughout my life, I envision wild horses running and it seems to calm my soul. Not sure why, so a coach who worked with horses was very interesting to me. I listened to the podcast, immediately after I began to scroll my phone for anyone in my local area who did this type of coaching. I was hooked!! I instantly signed up for a class & was scheduled for a week later. Here we go!!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my experience, but I went with an open mind and heart, ready for anything. I met up with a great coach, Erin Cutshall who was within about 15 minutes from my home & we began our day with hugs & a walk through the ranch to grab our first horse, Ginger. She was a spirited, cinnamon colored horse that I openly admit was a little intimidating. She entered the round pen and began to kick and neigh, running in circles and bucking with spirit. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with her. Erin began to explain how horses have a “Leader Mare” they follow in a herd. She has to earn the respect and leadership with every horse that is present. Erin ran through some of the steps horses go through when testing one another for leadership and then the signs when they begin to give in and follow the leader—to be friends, to want to have a meal together.

Now, this whole experience was primarily for me to understand myself and seek answers to why I have felt so disconnected to people. I have struggled gaining trust in friendships and have not had the energy to engage with enthusiasm, so I have no friends. I explained how I didn’t like feeling like I was trying to learn and grow spiritually, but everything I read or watched emphasis the need to have close social ties or connections. It was so frustrating to feel so disconnected and not feel a need for others in my life. I did not understand.

She began training me in how horses are able to “mirror” people & will let off the energy they are feeling within the round pen. She explained how if you don’t hold a high energy or an “inviting” energy, the horse will not follow your lead. She talked about how intuitive horses read the energy we carry & if it is not a leadership, or your best self that is being shown—they will not be interested in you. Erin began asking me questions about me, my needs, my disconnection issue, my alone time, if I enjoyed being around people or if it felt like a drain…She helped me to understand that I have a very ‘Introvert’ personality and being alone is very vital to my personal needs. She helped me see that it was okay to not enjoy being around lots of people and that conversations can be very draining. She expressed how I was energized by being alone and social situations were draining to my soul. I cannot tell you what a weight was lifted in truly understanding my feelings. I had felt all those things, but having someone see it outside of me, hearing my needs and allowing me to be—was freeing. Erin helped me see that when you understand yourself, what your needs are and being able to take care of those needs, then you will be your best self—the leader that lies within.

She then invited me into the round pen & began giving me cues of where to stand to make the horse do what I wanted (to move, to run…) it was harder than I thought. I LOVE seeing horses run, so of course I wanted to see the horse run, but when I tried to get her to move, she didn’t listen. My energy wasn’t strong enough for her to listen. It took some practice & finding my playful energy to send her into motion. It was amazing. She ran and ran & then when my energy began to drop she would slow (like me). I stopped & wanted the horse to follow me. Erin walked me through the final steps to win the horse over & she followed me step by step around the round pen.

We worked with three different horses, all with different personalities & it was exhilarating. It was a craft that took time, learning to angle my body, getting over wanting to lead like I would with a dog. That was another aha moment for me. Erin explained how most people are use to leading like they would a dog, but Erin quickly got out in front of the horse and began to say things like, “please come over and love me, follow me, be with me, listen to me.” the visual was so pathetic and disempowering that I instantly imagined how in our own relationships we could be like that with people. BUT, if we learn to be our best self, take care of our needs, then people (horses) will be drawn to us. The energy we carry will free us from the bondages of being small, acting small & will allow us to be who we are meant to be–to shine, to radiate, to be strong, to lead and guide. It was even relevant to parenting. THink of almost begging your children to spend time with you, to listen, to respect you with a tone and action of leadership and love vs begging. You want those around you to admire and love you, to want to be around you because of the good energy you send out.

Watching Erin was even more amazing because she has been able to master the art. She put me in a large arena with one horse & had me try to get it to go through different sets of cones, but the one caveat, I could not get it to follow–I had to lead it. It was harder than I thought. A couple rows near the fence–easy, but when I was determined to get the horse out into the middle and have it go through a isle of cones–no can do!! I tried a couple different tactics, but my reasonable brain couldn’t problem solve because I figured I would have to go one one side of the horse and then run over to guide it the opposite direction. I finally gave in & just walked through the cones and had the horse follow. Erin smiled & was happy that I had at least finished getting the horse to go where I desired. I explained my only reasonable thought of how to get it through the cones & threw her a challenge to see if she could do it. She smiled and agreed to the challenge. She right away led the horse through the cones—I couldn’t believe it. She explained and showed me how when she began to give the horse space, it would then come in closer to her & that ended up putting the horse right where she wanted. It was an art. I couldn’t believe it.

I enjoyed learning the parallels of life and the energy we carry. Horses are definitely a mirror, when I got calm, they got calm, when I got excited they would run, when they were confused by my needs and wants they did not follow, one actually began leading me by sticking her head out in front of me, so I was behind. When you give them space, they want to follow. It’s a balance, a dance, a harmony between two spirits. It was a beautiful experience that I will always cherish.

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