A little while back, I read a post on another page from someone who felt like they’d done the wrong thing by their horse in a training session. The crux of their question revolved around the idea of forgiveness. Essentially, how do we ask for our horse’s forgiveness when we know that we’ve screwed up?
Forgiveness, in many ways, is such a human concept that I’m not sure it’s possible to transfer it to the equine world. But I do have something that perhaps allows for a practical action to be taken when such situations occur, and I believe it to be the biggest gift that you can give both yourself and your horse. It is:
You have to allow both you and your horse to be new in every moment.
What does that mean?
Letting yourself be new means that allow yourself to meet the training session and see what presents. You don’t have ideas about what’s going to happen. You don’t presuppose that your horse is going to respond in a certain way. You don’t presuppose YOU are going to respond in a certain way.
This extends beyond the mental and emotional to the physical also. You don’t label your weak side or bring the story with you about your stiff left shoulder or how your horse always drops to the inside on the right rein. None of it.
You let you and your horse be completely new every time you meet.
Every thought we have has a corresponding motor pattern in the body. Our thoughts play out in our physiology. If we have habitual thoughts, we are consistently expressing habitual patterns as part of a sympathetic reflex response.
Let you and your horse be new.
It’s the biggest gift you can give both of you.