I’m fascinated at how quickly you lose rapport with your horse when your attention deviates. Many a time, I have been working on something and then picked up my phone to film it and the moment is completely lost. My intention has shifted, and my lack of presence and focused attention means that I no longer have the mental bandwidth to hold both my horse and the filming with the integrity they require; and consequently, off my horse goes.
Working together in ways that focus on building relationship means that you are fully present in all moments and are seeking to make decisions for the both of you with the intention of lowering stress. The beginning stages of this require that we flow with them in order that we build enough depth of relationship and skill in timing, rhythm, and understanding that we can not only flow but begin to direct the flow in ways that allows for subtle changes of thought or focus that allow for better feeling.
Working at liberty is very telling because there is no room to pretend. Your horse will tell you if you are too clumsy or if you are in an area that they are non-accepting of in very clear ways; they will leave, and you don’t have the ability to stop them.
I find this work fascinating because it constantly holds me to account. I’ve been frustrated, despondent, elated, joyful, and cross. I’ve taken things personally and then made myself stay with the feeling so that I can better understand myself and my motivations. When I remove my ability to make things happen, what I am left with is only allowing things to happen; to creating the conditions to allow good feeling to arise. That is the skill of an artist.
At the base of it, this is the foundation I want to lay with all of my horses. Artistry, beauty, and friendship.
“Artistry is to a large degree, simplicity”.