Chakras are an age-old way of checking all the different sections of the body energetically. They are a complex system of energy centers that travel on a vertical energetic axis along the spine. “Chi” or universal energy flows in and out of them along the meridian system.
I was reading Carolyn Resnick’s book, Naked Liberty and found this passage which I thought was interesting:
“Although he permitted me to ride him, it was many months before Mustang grew to like me. But once he liked me, I could depend on his support and friendship more than if he were human. Over time, his love for me grew to such an extent that even though the free-range land where he grew up was just few days travel from our ranch, he chose to stay when we finally let him run free.”
I have had this dressage saddle for a number of years, but usually ride in my endurance saddle. Lately I haven’t ridden in it because my right leg kept coming out of the stirrup, particularly at the trot. I was thinking I’d have to sell the saddle even though it fits my mare Zuzka, really well, and I like the feel of it otherwise.
Then I rode in it the other day, and I was happily surprised that the right leg was no longer dropping the stirrup! What I surmised had happened was the femur, the long thigh bone, was not properly seated at the base of the ilium, the big bone of the pelvis, which caused the fibula in the lower leg to lose its place, so the leg flopped out.
It got me thinking about how we/I think that something is going to remain that way forever, once it sets in, sort of like a mindset, where we consider that now the leg is going to drop the stirrup and it will never get any better just because…
Dr. Arthur Lincoln Pauls, founder of Ortho-Bionomy, was interested in addressing what he called “crystallized forms” – where we think there is no choice. He wanted to explore what was beyond those crystallized forms – where could the body go if we allowed it choice, to find its own path of self-correction. Our minds, trauma, all sorts of things, can sometimes stand in the way, blocking the way to breaking down those crystallized forms of our thinking and in turn, what our bodies can and will do.
I receive Ortho-Bionomy on a regular basis. One of the things I tell clients yet forget myself is that many times we come for treatment of one particular ailment, but while that is being addressed, other ailments or problems may fall away. I have not gone to an appointment with the sole purpose of doing anything about my leg, for instance, because I had another saddle to ride in where this didn’t happen. I thought I was probably just getting older (perish the thought) and this was the new normal.
I know I’m not alone in that kind of thinking. It’s natural to tend to the things that are the most problematic. But what if we could achieve what seems beyond the body’s current ability, not shoving it around in a repetitive exercise class or judo, or insisting on lifting 100 bales of hay, but by just giving it time and encouragement to make the corrections it needs to make? And sometimes, I think, by forgetting about a problem, as I had, it gives the body the space to make a change. “Whew, she isn’t eyeballing me any more. Now I can relax.” [body part speaking]
It shows me that so much healing takes place while we’re busy making other plans, sort of like life. If we’re busy healing one part, then the others will join in if they can. We use the pause or “the space between the notes” in Ortho-Bionomy — where we allow a rhythm to continue or establish itself, whatever the case may be, that can lead to healing.
It reminds me too of how in liberty training in the Carolyn Resnick Method, we use “the pause,” and in it, we also sometimes turn away from the horse, find something else to do, so we don’t have all our attention boring down on him. He may find this interesting and come over to check it out. New thought patterns emerge out of curiosity. The horse becomes more of himself, curious, alive, wanting to engage.
So we can see how horses do not like crystallized forms. They want us to be leaders, but true leaders, who are always looking for the best way to communicate. By giving space in the relationship we hear what the horse has to say. We learn true leadership, so that horses want to do activities with us, which is what we would all want in a relationship. Why wouldn’t our horses appreciate that treatment?
If I remain open to possibility, to breaking down those crystallized forms with people and animals, there is a greater chance of touching the unknown, receiving gifts I didn’t know existed – and possibilities beyond my wildest dreams.
In thinking about doing this blog, I first thought, I don’t need anything else to write. I spend too much time in front of a screen as it is. I want to spend more time outdoors with my horses. But then I realized that I am posting little tidbits here and there all the time, unformed thoughts that I would like to expand on “some day.” I decided the “some day” has come. I may try to write something once a week.
Lately, I have found the merging of my Ortho-Bionomy practice for both horses and humans with the Carolyn Resnick Method liberty horsemanship work that I do. Sometimes one leads right into the other. Both are designed for healing in some way.
I began my study of Ortho-Bionomy which is based on Osteopathy approximately six years ago and prior to that, I had been studying Reflex Balancing for horses from champion reiner and cutting horse trainer and bodyworker, Art Grunig. I added to that Equine Positional Release developed by Ortho-Bionomy instructor, Zarna Carter, which is based on Ortho-Bionomy but designed for horses. These studies are all coming together to form some kind of perspective, a vision, of how to care for ourselves and our horses, and other animals. In the past three years, I’ve been drawn to the work of Carolyn Resnick, a trainer in California who is renowned for her lifelong study of herd behavior in horses. She has codified that behavior and language into a series of what she calls “Waterhole Rituals,” that are based on how horses interact and form community with one another in the wild. In so doing she has created a way for people to work with horses in a non-force, very effective way, speaking their language and learning to listen.
What appealed to me so much about Carolyn’s work is how energetic it is. In Ortho-Bionomy, which is rooted in a strong base of structural and physiological understanding, energy is the underlying foundation in all relationships. To find someone like Carolyn who has studied the energetic relationships of horses is to me, like finding a lost key. It closes the circle for me, offers the missing piece in my role with horses. The non-force principles of Ortho-Bionomy (“less is more,” “go in the direction of ease”) fit beautifully with Carolyn’s teachings. As I continue along this path, I see the flow of these visions coming together in an exciting way.
Although it may seem that this blog is mostly about horses, it is also for and about people. A lot of the people work I do has a big impact on horses. When people change, horses change – subtle, powerful changes can make a big difference in the end.
For more information and links you can visit my website www.orthohorse.info