Being from a Catholic background I have always celebrated Easter as religious holiday, but as I have become more spiritual, letting go of the constructs of religion to embrace the symbology, the concepts and the archetypal journey ... I am in even greater awe of the significance of Easter - as we cycle through our calendar year and return to this sacred event and the welcoming of spring and re-birth in the Northern Hemisphere.
My own personal recently documented relationship with Eagle (see the weekly HorseWisdom energy forecast series) , this former stallion now gelding has given me much to contemplate, surrender to and embody around this return to a raising up into greater consciousness.
Very much like my relationship with religion, I had to return to this relationship with Eagle and let go of the constructs of what I have been taught and know about how to be in a relationship with horses. Eagle had no investment in what I knew about approach and retreat, herd dynamics, response vs reaction and all the other teachings the horses have given me in the course of this lifetime. What he wanted from me was to again, let go of what I thought I knew so I could "give it a way" to come into being. Each time I am invited to surrender to higher learning that the horses continually offer space and recognition for, I am humbled by the compassion, generosity and mastery that they bring to support, educate and inspire us humans in this way.
Eagle gave me one of my first "visions" that presented him as a warhorse archetype in a time where that archetype no longer has a place or need in society, here is the story from April 2015 ~
"So I have to write this down because I think in any other circle most people would think I had gone over the edge:) I had brought my recently gelded 7 year old ex-stallion in to connect with him and see what direction he wanted to go in life. I got him as a weanling and have spent all 7 years trying to do whatever it took to connect with him while giving him his space as he was extremely sensitive, proud, explosive and wary. He is a "tough one" in reference to klaus Ferdinand hempfling's type descriptions and lived up to that type to a T. I felt that I could never sell him because in the wrong hands he would instantly kill the person if they held the wrong attitude for just a moment. It was for that reason I decided to geld him last December and now am faced with not having space to keep a gelding who no one can do anything with. I have a relationship with him (he has taught me the mastery of patience) and today decided we needed to have a heart to heart regarding his staying here. Today I tuned in to Eagle and as soon as I did that I had the understanding that I needed to be a catalyst for creating form from the formless... Eagle was asking me to release him from the "war horse/tough one" archetype and create a new mastery for the soul of the war horse as their place in our current reality no longer exists and many are being highly misunderstood. This archetype is full of vision, courage, pride, nobility, stamina and enduring feeling sensitivity like no other, which in the past kept their riders from death. Eagle asked how to best serve now and the word Teacher dropped in from above. He asked me to release from the Horse Conscious the outdated archetype of War Horse and integrate Wise Teacher in its place. At this point tears are pouring down my face and I am wondering what the hell, is this really happening??? Yes. And now him and I are quietly sharing space in a profound new way to be. I had to share the whole story, because I'm still unsure of how it all happened!"
Fours years later I am returning to bringing form to that vision and with what has transpired over the last fours years and also within the span of one week. There has been a return to, a healing, a raising of consciousness, a truth revealed and an integration of what Eagle asked of me four years ago.
This week began with an admittance of not knowing how to relate to him, which gave way to ending the week with a very profoundly safe, trusting, grounded and intimate grooming experience yesterday where he and I stood together for almost an hour in a way that we have never have before. And at the end of this experience, he closed his eyes, sighed and licked and chewed ~ signs of an acknowledged authentic felt sense truth.
Resting and relaxed in the space of that truth, the pathway being that of giving away everything I was holding to return to a higher form of consciousness embodied.
A special request ~ if you have been part of this journey with me and feel called, I would love to invite you to leave a review or recommendation on our FB page and in return, I will gift you with a HorseWisdom inspired intuitive reading from Eagle around the archetypal evolution of relationship.
Thank you for being part of this amazing journey!
Sitting here trying to put words to something that is still in the feeling stage is THE hardest thing in life. Translating an intuitive process is like trying to describe what the story, "The Little Prince" is about - life. It's about life. And in this story, there is change and letting go. Chief, our 4 year old stallion, left the herd earlier this week and as I write this should now be in the competent hands of his new person, Phil Oakes from OBar Ranch. Saying goodbye to Chief didn't actually feel that difficult as my daughter Sage and I shared some quiet evening moments with him. What was even more "interesting" in a wow, I can't believe it kind of way, was the road that I had to travel on to deliver him to his US departure destination. My drive was shared with my new puppy in the same way that I used to haul horses, before having kids - just me and my dog, the horses, the truck and trailer. It was really all I ever wanted to do when I grew up. It meant that I was going somewhere.
This road took me backwards in time... as we headed north, we passed the farm of an old boyfriend that I was sure I would one day marry. We crossed the landscapes that morphed from southern Alberta windswept prairie into rolling clusters of aspen marshland with old falling down farmsteads still holding out. Since I wan't in a rush to reach my destination, I found myself taking backroads instead of main routes - just because I could. Backroads that allowed me to see perspectives and timelines I can't always see in my everyday life.
With each mile can another realization of where I am in my life - that Chief, who is the product of a Morgan horse breeding program that I started with my dad in 1991 because of a dream, found his home with a great hand, a man who was beyond excited to get him and had been searching for a horse like him for many years. If I could have told my 12 year old self that by following this horse dream, this thread that you can't describe but you can feel, it will take you far beyond any reason you even think you are doing this for, and so much more... pursue that thread; it is an inevitable part of who you are.
As more and more trees filled the landscape I began to tune in to something that was, in a small but terrifying way, haunting me. Prior to writing this post I had no idea how this was related to letting Chief go, but I feel that in sharing this, it might help make sense of many things for many of us...
Reading on Facebook about a 17' long female python snake that was caught in Florida and the story of how these snakes are becoming a problem because they taking over the Glades, this kept creeping into my thoughts. Finally deciding that I needed to understand why this was happening, I tuned into this snake and asked what this was all about. Not ever having tuned into the snake collective before, I had no idea what to expect... but I will do my best to share what I received. Admittedly, it felt a little "creepy" at first, but as soon as we began a dialogue, the whole field opened up. She offered me the word reciprocity and the idea that there is an imbalance in the giving and taking - she said, it is time for the rising of the serpent. I asked what she meant by that and she said to stop disowning ourselves by giving away our power. We are so terrified of our power that we fear it and we are manifesting it into the world in a way that is annihilating all life in its path.
**If you aren't familiar with what the rising of the serpent means - serpents and snakes represent creative life force (also known as kundalini energy).
Snakes shed their skin symbolizing rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing.
Everything on earth is about balance and cycles and nature itself shows us where we are out of balance in the cycle. What I find fascinating is that, like my story with hauling Chief, I was doing the same thing all over again, the same cycle, but from a different perspective. A new cycle of travelling over the land with my animals, but with greater awareness in what needs to be consciously let go of in order to attain a balance of power (in my own herd, and also in the snake population, and the world at large).
Writing this itself has taken much letting go in order to find balance within my own power... but not sharing this message was, in some ways, eating me alive. My internal struggle to let this message go out into the world, also comes with a sigh of relief. That, just like Chief, this message of letting go and the time of the rising of the serpent will move into the hands of those who need it most, in order to bring balance to a dream that began long ago.
I used to think that I knew everything there was to know about training horses and that I was well on my way to becoming "the" trainer that people would rave about and want to bring their horses to for training.
Little did I know at the time (I am using this phrase both metaphorically and very literally!) that my very narrow and limited thinking of myself was the very thing that would present me with one of my greatest challenges and lead me to surrendering to the fact that the more I learn, the more there is to learn...and that by sharing what I have learned along the way is of greater service to others than trying to be the one who knows it all :)
My willingness to listen, to be open, to be vulnerable, to be willing to receive had all essentially shut down within me because I had something to prove! Heralded into my experience at the time came loss after loss of those things that meant the most to me in life - my connection with my horses and the life of a number of my horses. These were given to me in ways that I could not avoid the experience of; from having foals born who were unable to stand or to nurse because of deformities, from losing horses to colic, accidents, and dying during the birthing process, to having those who were alive simply chose to turn and walk the other direction when I came out to them.
The loss of my connection to my horses was essentially a loss of my connection to who I was as a soul. I had become who I thought people wanted, I had become someone who I no longer liked. At all. And it took the devastating loss of my horses to crack open my heart to help remind me who I was at the core of my being. That I didn't need to have all the answers. That I really didn't need to have any of the answers. I just needed to listen. To feel. To actually experience the loss because there was something even greater than my sense of loss... my connection that returned me to my own soul and spirit through connecting to the spirit of those I had lost.
And what I have gained as part of that re-connection is that we are always in transition, we are always learning and always able to share a part of our journey or a piece of wisdom we have gained through living it, that helps or inspires someone else.
By being willing to be vulnerable and admit that we don't know everything, we are actually gifted the opportunity to continue learning through every interaction and relationship we engage in. The only way we can truly learn is if we are feeling safe enough to grow, trusting ourselves and our environment to expand out into. By showing me who I wasn't, my horses also gave me the space to feel safe enough to figure out and remember who I was. It was my own mistrust of being vulnerable that had me thinking I needed to prove to the world that I knew what to do.
Last weekend my oldest daughter sold her 4-H lamb project and I have to admit, it broke my heart. That feeling of heartbreak helped me connect to my knowledge that our soul is eternal and that in the feeling of loss was another level of learning as the student. A student of the animals. I am starting to finally understand that each time I am moved back into the student phase, there is another layer that wants to be shared. Another teaching that wants to be revealed. But, for me, the only way to teach it is to learn it by living the experience in order to share it not just as a message, but as a meaning.
Reflecting on 39 years of life today has illuminated for me a few perspectives ~
... it feels like only yesterday when my siblings and I gave my Dad a cofffe mug that read, 40's not old if you're a tree!
... I love my life, and through sharing that simple declaration with a friend last week, I realized today the full impact of what that means for me.
A few weeks ago the words that came out of my mouth, while offering perspective for a group of kids that included my daughter, "when I was your age"... WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE? Did I really just say that???
And then I laughed at myself. Because in that moment I was re-living an experience that I had been part of when I was ten years old, participating in 4-H highway cleanup, except this time round I was almost 30 years older, wiser, quite a bit more relaxed and a lot less serious than I was when I was ten. My ten year old self was very concerned with doing it right, listening to the adults, staying safe down low in the ditch so we didn't get hit by a vehicle. That moment where I laughed at myself allowed me to fully feel why I love my life... a) there is no wrong way to pick garbage, or really do anything for that matter, b) now that I AM the adult, I know that there is much greater force at play in my life that I listen to, and c) staying safe is a very nuanced way of living that is mostly governed by our thoughts and rarely provides the opportunity to experience and challenge us in ways that connect us to our courage and grow in confidence.
Yesterday I was blessed to spend time with a young friend who shares many commonalities with me: the me that I am right now, and the me that I was when I was ten. A deep love for animals, the ability to sense and feel things that many people can't, won't or don't, the understanding that the gift of being able to sense and feel that much is as much a blessing as it can feel like a curse, and the notion that if we could just figure out what our purpose of being here is then we would be able to relax, trust and make sense of everything. Listening to him, I was blown away at how open and candid our conversation was around topics and truths that could be considered very dark, intense and deep. But through our mutual connection to our totem animal the Owl, we recognized and honoured that everyone comes here with certain traits and abilities. And last night as I was doing my rounds of chores with the horses, what shifted my perspective from my 10 year old self to my 39 year old self, is the knowing that we are given these talents to be part of the greater picture and to help others who don't recognize who they are, or have the 360 degree range of vision, wisdom and ability to explore the unknown and see in the dark like the Owl. And to say that we don't want to be an Owl is like saying that what we have come to this life with, we don't accept because it's too great of a responsibility. Kind of like the story of the Ugly Duckling... where Duck represents the resources to navigate life and the ability to be the mentor, guide or interpreter for others by sharing your knowledge and having faith in your own abilities and Swan represents the beauty that exists in all things, and the ability to take the time to really look and see via the development of intuitive abilities and connection to our own inner grace and beauty, allowing it to shine forth for others to be able to see too.
The clincher for me in all of this, is my horses. What began back in 2011, when I threw my hands up in the air after losing 7 horses that year and not wanting to train or ride anymore because nothing seemed to be working, being emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed and mentally unable to wrap my head around what I wanted and needed in my life, led me into and through a very existential experiential self discovery phase that in essence was a reclamation of my own Owl abilities. In recognizing where I was staying safe through not connecting to my intuitive and psychic abilities was my fear of what I might hear regarding who I was. In realizing these abilities and developing them, what was missing in my relationships with my horses, and with myself, I found through sharing this with others to help them. And in a very roundabout way, like all energetic feedback systems that exist in nature, I also reclaimed other parts of myself that I had no idea were "lost".
And last night, after letting my Owl self guide my experiences with horses, I was the witness to a shift within me, through my horse Fancy... who finally laid down; grounded, relaxed and trusting herself in her environment and that what is hers cannot be taken away, and is honoured. By honouring all of what is mine, everything that has felt like a struggle or a challenge as much as everything that has felt like a synchronistic gift, has given me the opportunity that has come from being alive for 39 years, offering me the chance to share this, from a grounded, relaxed space where I trust that who I am being is my purpose. And gratitude for everyone who reads this, because I used to believe I had nothing important to say, but the last week especially has allowed me to see that through my own experience of life I am grateful to be here and loving that I can share this perspective :)
We are continuously being given opportunities to recognize that we have the ability to reach for and find what wants to become known and tangible in our lives, as much as we have opportunities for taking action in our lives.
I have had a few conversations over the last week around letting go...what it means, what it offers us and why it's easier said than done. The essence of letting go is a release....like the movement one would do in the unclenching of a fist into an open palm. We release our attachment, and the self generated need for it ~ giving up our control and trusting that the unknown outcome will be in more in our favour than not.
Where it becomes difficult is when we are unfamiliar with the possibility of the potential outcomes that we have never experienced before. Like little Midnight, our kitten with the frozen paws. Over the last two weeks he has gone from being found frozen to a metal post, to laying wrapped up in blankets for most of the day, to wandering aimlessly around the house on 3 legs and sitting sullenly by a window, to following the kids out the open door to the school bus (still on 3 legs but now engaged with life).
We always have a choice ~ in the case with Midnight, I could decide that I know what's best for him and only allow that which I think he can manage, or recognize and offer him the power of self responsibility, as a conscious being, and give him choice in how to best manage himself (even though this self responsibility led to his frozen feet in the first place). Our animals, like most of the people in our lives, deliver to us experiences and organic processes that extract the ways and origins which are not intrinsically sustainable (enabling the letting go), inspiring us to find and bring forth that which is a natural progression of what wants to become known, our passion that motivates us to engage with life.
Where we tend to get hung up depends on who we are and the experiences we have had. Giving up control...choosing to identify with the power of self responsibility...trusting in what is beyond our knowing.... and two additional key parts that we don't often see as part of letting go: acknowledgement and gratitude. Our experiences guide us towards something infinitely greater than what we might ever think of as possible... in letting go of what we know, we give ourselves space to reach for and lean into trust... and that's where the extraction of the possibilities can come into play, the possibilities that we weren't even aware existed because of the pathways of our known probabilities.
My mare Sadie was born and raised here and found through the course of her 8 years, over three different homes, returning to me in-between each home. Coming back here each time, she brought with her a physical or emotional aspect that demanded my digging deeper, reaching further and stretching into my own abilities to facilitate healing - for her and myself. And then there would be someone who would show up to whom Sadie would find a home with. Only to return again with another aspect of me reaching for and bringing forth a new layer of how to show up, and be present with, what wanted to become known as a new pathway for how to heal. Without allowing Sadie to leave me, I would have never found the avenues and channels that supported me to open up into being able to mentally, emotionally and physically tune into what was, has become, and is, possible for me.
To have Sadie return to me with gifts of being trained as a mechanical zombie horse, tearing open 3 out of 4 legs to the bone, being so frustrated all she could do was bite, and lastly foundering to the point of laying on her side for what seemed like endless months... all horrors to most horse owners!
Yet the gift Sadie offered me in each of these experiences were the endless opportunities to discover ways of healing that I would have never known, or considered, possible.
Following and recognizing what wants to become known in our lives has a way that if we acknowledge it, letting go of what we know is possible and probable, opens us up to find the underlying motivator in our lives, our passion. Without Sadie's unfailing return to me, those opportunities that enabled my motivation for healing might have never been presented. Without me choosing to let her go, Sadie would have never had the chance to continue to return. Without the trust that something good would come out of the experiences, I would have never let her go in the first place...
Without that passion to engage us, we become trained as a mechanical zombie horse or a cat that wanders aimlessly, trapped in a sullen state while watching the world go by.
Sadie's message from the #horsewisdomRevelations ~ to Return ~ the greatest longing one has is to be witnessed for the strength of character within one's heart. This strength must be recognized within one's own self in order to recognize and honour it in another. In doing this, we allow each individual being to partake in their own journey, and are able to simply be the witness to the inner strength of each in their adversary. It is this that allows us to witness both passion and suffering and honour it for all it brings into context.
As part of sharing my passion, gratitude and gifts that Sadie and the horses have enabled for me, I am offering $22 personal wisdom readings bringing through the message from a loved one or animal, along with messages from one or more members of the Guided by Equus herd for you, and identifying and releasing any trapped emotions within you that are related to those messages. The last part of this is a follow up 30 minute conversation to support the integration of the wisdom within your personal reading.
We are never so far off as when we are doing what we think we should be doing, or listening to what we have been taught as opposed to how it makes us feel.
There is a quote that hangs on our bathroom wall, "In the end we will conserve only what we love, love only what we understand and understand only what we have been taught."
For years I cherished this quote. I still do, but with an amendment ~ that we are able to fully understand only when we learn to follow a feel. The term "follow a feel" in the horsemanship world was coined (to my knowledge) by the Dorrance brothers. Essentially, and quite literally, it means we are following one or many sensations that we feel.
The learning comes when we equate that feeling with an experience. All experiences that are stored as memories are related to how we felt, or rather, what we were sensing as emotions that were triggered within that experience. When we learn by following a feel, we are engaged because we are relaxed enough to feel in the first place, trusting enough to be vulnerable and open enough to be willing.
Following a feel requires the freedom of choice. From a felt sense of that freedom, without any attachments. Easy to say, easy to write about...less easy to put into practice.
Watching my oldest daughter, Rayann, the other day work with our 2017 foals, both fillies following her like they had this act rehearsed. And my heart swelled with pride, like any parent's would, watching my daughter's soft, open hands and smiling, inviting face confidently ask them to follow her. To which they both were willingly interested in.
This experience, for the fillies, was a building block in how they not only relate to humans, but also how they relate to others and themselves. No different than it is for us.
This experience, for Rayann, was a confirmation within her that she had all the potential and abilities to create this kind of outcome with the foals. Having been not quite so successful with her own horse Summer, what Rayann gained in those few moments leading the foals had been imprinted, become intrinsic, within her. A learned experience to take back and offer to Summer.
This experience, for myself, was a gained understanding of my whole concept of learning to follow a feel. Trying to help and teach my daughter about following a feel with Summer, meant that Summer led and Rayann followed...much to her frustration and me feeling like I was letting her down, in that the outcome was rarely relaxed, trusting or willing. The experiences with Summer thus far had ended with more disappointment than smiles.
All Rayann wanted was to ride Summer. All I wanted was Rayann to understand that Summer will learn when she is not trying to protect herself by having someone jump on her back when she is not fully willing. All Summer wanted was to show us that neither one of us was following a feel - both were wrapped up their own thoughts: Rayann of having the wind blow through her hair as she galloped across the field on Summer's back. Me of wanting to save Rayann and Summer from going through struggle, frustration, anger and hurt.
While I can't speak for Rayann, I can share that I now have a greater understanding that we can't protect or save anyone from their experiences. All of the times we follow a feel and don't follow a feel, that's what gives us our experiences, and our learning.
Summer's wisdom, from the #horsewisdomRevelations ~
"to Align - when one holds dear something to them that is born from an outer world, the definition by which they live is but a sham. Walk with your head held high and denounce that which has led you to believe in false truths that do no compliment the nature and way of your being. Honour those who have come before you, preparing your way... but impart the graciousness of what you feel and recognize within you as a bold new way of upending a level of dedication to an extrinsic state of being."
Learning to follow a feel means sensing that which offers you a natural, relaxed, inspiring and open sense of your environment. Learning to follow a feel also means learning what you don't want to follow, what doesn't resonate, what doesn't feel right.
Getting bucked off a horse means, hopefully, you might feel into what your horse is wanting you to follow next time. Giving someone a compliment because it feels right, and having them well up with tears because they thought no one ever noticed means, hopefully, you might listen to that feeling inside you a little more often. Saying yes to an opportunity that scares the hell out of you but because you have been building your feel, even though you don't know where it will lead you, but you decide to follow it...
It is with probable measure that each of us will endure the experience of loss, and the cycle of life and death.
With Halloween and the Day of the Dead just past and Remembrance Day approaching, we are in a time where our thoughts are filled with associations and connections to those who are in Spirit form, while we vacillate between the memories of the heart and the emotions that still overwhelm and grip us.
Two days ago I found my son's cat, Midnight, hanging by his paws that had frozen to the steel bar above the livestock drinker. It was bitterly cold and a distressed and weak meow had caught my attention while feeding calves. Thawing his paws with warm water, we eventually unstuck him and I brought him inside, putting his shivering body against my chest. At first I wasn't even sure he would pull through, but within a few hours he had stopped shivering and was now writhing in pain from the thawing process. His right back leg was the worst and remained cool to the touch. The kids got home from school and were presented with what had happened to Midnight. We prepared them for all the possible outcomes, as much as you can prepare someone for death or the possibility of losing his leg. What I didn't find out until this morning was that the very same day, a friend of mine had actually lost her horse that very same day. And what I came across this morning, just prior to finding out about the loss of my friend's horse, was a beautifully written piece about loss, death and choices ... http://www.listentoyourhorse.com/rewilding-the-herd-last-n…/
In my sharing with my friend, she spoke of hearing about the loss of one of my mares a few years ago, Carmelita. I lost Carmelita during the birthing process of her daughter Karma. Even when death is expected, as in old age, there still remains the vast array of both expected, and often, unexpected emotions that surface. When death is tragic, there is almost always the question of WHY?? Why did this happen?
Having lost my first horse in a very tragic accident when I was 10 year old, and countless other humans and animals through the course of my 38 years, I have come to understand that each time a loved one of ours- be it human, animal or plant- is lost (my one daughter still cries when someone cuts down a living tree)... there is an opportunity that by default becomes availalbe to us; to find something greater that lies within us, waiting like a seed to emerge.
And I am not trying to sugarcoat death, by any means... but from what I have witnessed, when we allow ourselves to feel all that comes with loss, there is a re-kindling of something within us that may never have risen to the surface of our human self had we not experienced that loss.
That "something" is a remembering. And with that remembering, comes our own unique connection to a piece of us that we had either forgotten about, or had "misplaced".
Even little Midnight is still not out of the woods regarding the loss of his leg. There have been many conversations in our house regarding each person's perspective on what to do with Midnight But when my friend reminded me this morning of losing my horse Carmelita, her wisdom seemed very relevant to share today.
From the Horse Wisdom Revelations: Carmelita's message ~
to VALUE ~ the discovery of self is found through the unending repertoire of opportunities encountered, designed to unleash the existential collection of extremes and opposites that have gathered within us as a means of contriving to withstand the role of caretaker of the planet and all within it. Let all who call out to us in desperation find the direction that they seek, if not by our wisdom then by the nature of our demeanour.
I feel like maybe I have been trying to discover more of myself. Not that there was anything really missing, but the more I let myself follow the idea of not having to do something just because I think that it is expected or necessary... the more I become inspired to explore things...which leads me, always, towards more things to explore!
Delving into my relationship with people, my horses, myself and my abilities has taken me down a few rabbit holes lately.
This summer I wanted to make my life "easier" and so I put my two year old stallion Chief together with four year old Noche. Putting stallions together is definitely not for the faint of heart!
Within moments, it was established who the stronger leader of the pair was. What transpired over the course of the next few months was a very closely bonded connection and inspirational mentoring relationship between Noche and Chief.
A little while ago I got it in my head that I wanted to include Coast, my senior stallion, in with my small stallion herd for ease of keeping them together over the winter. Noche and Chief had battled it out and ended up with virtually no wounds, but I wasn't quite so sure about how Coast would fit into the mix. Coast, to those who have met him, is almost really not a horse. He is a lover, a healer, a nurturer, a kind hearted pony in a stallion body, a very gentle sire who takes his foals under his wing. And yet he has a very powerful quality to him that not many get to see. He knows exactly who he is, even though he is just considered a horse at 14.2h. He knows fully what he is capable of, who he is and where he stands.
Always fascinating to me is the shift in the herd dynamics when a new horse is introduced, or pasture mates are changed..often what is revealed is a different aspect of a horse that you might have thought you already intimately knew and understood.
A few days ago I decided to put Coast in with Noche and Chief. Like the gentleman he is, Coast jumped into the trailer, leaving behind Fancy and daughter Echo. I was momentarily torn with my decision to move him in with the stallions as he and Fancy called back and forth to each other, the distance between them getting further and further. Arriving at the pasture with Noche and Chief, Coast remained calm and relatively quiet while I backed the trailer into place. Many horses, upon leaving their pasture mates, become at least a little distressed. And stallions, upon encountering other stallions, often will call out, challenging each other. Coast did neither.
He jumped out, greeted Noche and Chief with a squeal and a kick, and the three of them took off running.
When I put Chief and Noche together the first time, there was immediately an initial challenge and a very quick takedown. With the 3 of them now together, it was more of a finding out who they were in relation to each other.
Chief remained on the outer rim; interested but keeping a relatively safe space for himself. Coast and Noche both equally took on the role of establishing ground. Amidst a great deal of squealing, a lot of pawing the air, some running back and forth, and minor muzzle wound on Noche inflicted by Coast; the stallions are now grazing together, giving each other space and connecting by reaching out with their nose, tipping an ear, arching a neck or turning a hind end while they confirm who they are relating to.
From the horsewisdomRevelations,
Coast's message ~ to REVEAL ~ when we exemplify our highest ideals we draw unto ourselves those who seek to see their own presence through the light of another. We cannot give that which we do not recognize to have. And so in truth, seek that which is your most reflective state to offer to others the chance and opportunity to be captivated by the greatest brilliance of your essence, brought forth through honouring that which is Divine in you to communicate through your compelling and paradoxical gentle heart and fierce spirit.
Know that if you are not always in a space of feeling like you can connect to the outside world, seek to find yourself first and then find yourself in relation to another.
What happens when we show up with the ability to "hold the space", regardless of what it is we are presented with?
A few days ago my friend Sabine and I drove down to the pasture where Coast, Fancy and Echo were, with the intentions of hauling them home for the winter. Sabine had been here for a few months and was due to fly home to Germany within days, and I wanted her to be part of bringing the horses home for the winter...an experience I always look forward to, as it feels like a returning home and gathering together the pieces of myself, my horses.
I knew that Coast would jump on the trailer without hesitation, which he promptly did the moment I opened the door. Fancy and Echo were the ones I was thinking would take a better part of the day to load... Echo had eagerly followed Fancy on board at only a few weeks old, and now was nearing 6 months old and getting quite a bit more independent. Fancy still very much required her own space from human initiated contact, meaning that our relationship progresses when she is given the choice and in my desire to have a relationship with her I continually honour her need for space and choice.
So with Coast standing in the trailer, patiently waiting for Fancy and Echo, Sabine and I stood back and allowed Fancy and Echo to investigate the open door invitation to ride along with Coast.
Within moments of sniffing the trailer, Fancy took a few steps backward, to which I did the same, and she turned, pawed the ground a number of times and started to drop her body. What it felt like as we watched was that her body had become so heavy, she hardly had a choice but to lay down. Once on the ground, it was as if she had no intention of staying there and stood up. Again, turning and pawing and dropping her body heavily to the ground, but this time surrendering completely to laying flat out.
Fancy laid in the middle of a triangle created by Sabine, Coast in the trailer and myself. None of us moved, and while I can't speak for Coast or Sabine, what I felt inside me was Fancy's internal struggle and recognition of letting go, laying it all down, giving into her body that moments before had seemed too heavy to hold up. Coast began yawning, Sabine had tears in her eyes and I had to take a number of huge, deep breaths.
In a space that we had opened up for her, Fancy chose to trust, become vulnerable and let go...ultimately allowing healing for herself and each one of us there. It is a powerful thing to have a horse lay down with you in it's presence. It's even more powerful to have a horse that has been in defence and safety mode, fully and completely surrender in the space you have offered and are holding for her. (the Trust Technique details this)
Standing back up, Fancy licked and chewed, shaking the dust off. She looked at us and Echo, who had been on the perimeter, now joined her. By a motion of our hands, we encouraged her to step towards the trailer again. Fancy positioned herself ready to load and after a few times looking back at me I felt like their was an invitation from her.
I grabbed a halter and rope and stood by her head, with the halter open. It was almost as if she was asking and encouraging me to place the halter on her. Leading her into the trailer, she began holding space and moving her body to not only invite, but encourage Echo to follow her...which, in being given the choice, Echo eventually chose to accept the invitation and stepped into the trailer with Fancy and Coast.
Fancy's message from the Horse Wisdom Revelations ~ to Inquire ~ When one aims to accomplish something, even with the best of intentions, there is a connection lost in translation as defined by the original intent. When we can offer our intention to receive, the connection comes through the universal definitive action of pausing, as it is then that we find the true message in the meaning and feel the connection to the original intention...to feel is to recognize the essence of another.
"The only thing we can do for others, is that which we do for ourselves"
Those words were given to me by Chinoden as an answer to a question I had proposed to the horses.
I was driving home from, and in reflection of, the experiential retreat weekend of yoga and horse healing. Each piece of the retreat puzzle had come together to provide every one of us there with an opportunity to find and feel something that we maybe didn't really realize we had lost until we found it back.
What I found was discovered through the horses, the scenic and serene landscape of the Elk Valley, the 8 of us who came together to embrace & engage with our own unique experiences of all that was presented to us.... and in the words offered back to my inquiring mind.
I found in the soft light of the morning hours that giving my body the space to find itself through yoga was deeply invigorating for all parts of me.
I found in the pasture with the horses that life shows up when we do; not always how we want it to, but always providing us an opportunity to connect our presence with.
I found in the quiet space of the evening glow of the fire and the darkness of the night mountain sky, that each one of my senses became amplified offering me a greater sense of how to feel myself in relation to all that is around me.
And I found that allowing myself to do what I wanted and needed in each moment, always gave me an experience far greater than what I thought I was stepping into. Going for an early morning hot tub on the Sunday morning and hearing, for the first time that weekend, the bugle of the elk. Wanting to be by myself that morning; following a trail to the Elk River to come across a huge bull elk who lifted his head, looked square at me and bugled, calling his herd who came crashing out of the nearby trees and out into the open hayfield, about 40 of them standing there watching me... offering me that there are always messages, insights and experiences being given to us, it is up to us to notice them.
Each of these findings are concepts that I know about, talk about and understand. My greatest find of the weekend was the experience of how those "findings" FELT to me, in my body, rather than just talking about or understanding them.
Going full circle back to the answer that Chinoden gave me, the only thing we can do for others is to step fully into the experience ourselves ~ so that we are a body within that experience, we embody that experience. Words of wisdom are needed, and very compelling... but when we are present with having a felt sense of an experience, this becomes our presence...we have felt the feeling, allowed it to move us and move through us. This is what we offer to anyone and everyone who crosses our path; their own experience of our presence.