Many people have expressed to me great sadness over not being able to ride a beloved horse anymore. In many cases, it’s not just that they want to ride, they want to ride their own horse, whom they have spent countless hours riding, who is no longer rideable for health or other reasons.
The other day I was working on a horse who began to swish his tail when I attempted to lift a hind leg. Obviously, this was painful for him, so he was letting me know in the way that he knows how, without kicking or biting me.
My mare Zuzka recently showed me something while I was riding my mare Jazzie in the arena. She looked directly at me and proceeded to wrap a lead rope that was hanging from a halter on the fence, around her neck. It was as if to say, “take me out for a ride.”
One of the interesting things that comes up for me in practice is how people will feel that their horse can do no wrong. That he won’t suddenly get excited by a herd of wild horses in the distance, he will absolutely never step on their toes, and he most certainly will never suddenly jerk his head up and rear if something startles him. (originally published Dec. 1, 2015)
The phrase, “it takes a village,” refers to the raising of a child and the “village” involved in raising him or her.
In the book No Life for a Lady, the biography of Agnes Moreland Cleaveland, the children were put in charge of catching a horse and riding into town in order to get supplies. This was New Mexico in the early 1900s. The author said that they didn’t have corrals so catching a horse could take half a day. The horses would know you wanted to catch them and would hide behind trees.
In Ortho-Bionomy we work with reflexes, and one of them is rebound. If a body does not have rebound then it has little ability to change, to heal itself. We want to reinstate rebound in the body in order to elicit change and the ability to correct itself. That ability can grow in a being and is directly tied into the continuing health of the organism. I seek that self-corrective response in each body I work with….and in my own.
After I had some time to think about it, I think the theme of this past Saturday’s Liberty Foundation Workshop was “horse listening.”
One day some years ago I was riding my gelding Khami at a fast trot along some side trails, then dropping into a sweet arroyo, then swooping back out of the sand to head up a rocky hillside. The light and shadows created by low hung branches played across the canyon, the sun kissed the tips of my horse’s flying black mane as we moved along together, feeling as one, like we had done for so many miles before.
The horse’s self-image is something that we don’t really talk about because it’s hard to envision the horse looking at himself. I would venture to say the horse sees from the inside out because he feels himself in his skin. His nature is like an orb shining from the inside out from his heart through his skin.