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.