There is a spectrum from 0 – 100+ or maybe more in terms of engagement and levels of interaction for horse and human.
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.”
Everyone who has taken on a rescue horse, or a horse from families who have passed them on, or a horse they have purchased, but then found the horse really is a rescue – experience the great unknown.
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)
I moved my horses recently, and I took the gravestone I’d had made for my departed gelding Khami with us. I was concerned that we would have to create a new sacred space at the new location, because the horses would no longer have Khami’s grave to roll on. A few days before the move I went out to the grave and it had rained hard so the center was squishy, smooth mud that took on the appearance of the surface of peanut butter upon opening a new jar. One of the horses had walked around the mud center, hoofprints marking the perimeter of the grave. (originally published November 20, 2015)
My mare Zuzka comes to stand beside me at the gate, ready to have her halter slipped on. She is one who often will want to play games about being haltered, suggesting, no, I’m too busy today to go ride. Or maybe it’s just the game she likes. But this day she really wants to go out. I can often tell if she wants to go out on the trail, by how she stands looking off in the distance, when there is no activity on the horizon that can be seen with the naked eye. A sort of longing to be out there. (originally published December 14, 2016)
Years ago, when I got my mare Zuzka, the trainer I was working with at the time was so happy when we were able to put her in the same corral space with my gelding Khami. The trainer said it helped her training because the mare would be moved around all day by him.
Liberty work takes on a life of its own. Even when I know the horses involved, they do not always do what I expect.
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.
Touch can change heart rates, calm and nourish. Touch is the way we sometimes make contact when nothing else can work. I remember being in the hospital and having someone touch me in a healing way, just touch, not trying to move me, and it made all the difference in the world. Continue reading “The importance of touch in horse work” »