If we allow them too, horses provide us with a direct channel to our own aliveness. On the one hand, that’s something we all yearn for; the ability to merge with another creature so that their legs become our legs, their muscles move our muscles, their strength and power becomes our own and as a consequence, we are free to experience something that we would never be capable of doing independently.
The catch is, while it’s that aliveness we yearn for, it’s also something we are fundamentally afraid of. Many of us have come to associate any level of activation in our bodies with fear or lack of safety, even if those feelings are an obvious inaccurate representation of the position we find ourselves in.
Your horse begins to move freely, and you shut it down. The power is too much for your body to handle.
Your horse shows expression, and you shut it down. In theory, that’s what you want; in reality, you only feel safe when your horse is close to flatlining.
The task then lies in increasing our capacity; to deal with emotion, energy, and experience. Our capacity to embrace our own fundamental aliveness and meet that of our horses in a way that feels exciting, advancing, uplifting, rather than concerning, worrying, and scary.
Do a little test now- put on some good beats, turn up the volume. Let your feet drop you into the here and now. Let yourself dance.
How comfortable are you letting yourself move freely? How long can you go before you get the feeling it’s too much and need to sit down? Does even the thought of it make you slink away?
Get curious. When you feel life come into your body- be that concern, excitement, anxiety, joy, frustration and anything in between- can you hold it? Or do you turn away?
Something to play with.