This story is from my early days with horses when I was 13, 14. I would like to share this because it illustrates where my fascination comes from. How our emotions, intentions and thoughts are influencing our horses. In less extreme cases it maybe missed but I was lucky to be aware of the process and some lessons are only now to be understood and learned. With time and experience, everything falls in place.
I groomed Excellent in the lunch time. Because the boss did not want me to spend time on this ‘stupid goat’ that’s how they called him. I felt so sorry for him. He just did not fit in the system, he tried everything. Bucking rearing running back to the stable. They punished him with so much pressure that he often would lay down and play dead. It was difficult for me to see him suffering.
That is why he got my special care, just because he needed it. I had to do him in lunchtime and when the boss was at home or when he went to a race. I gave Excellent my quality time. He was really friendly and enjoying my attention. One day I just hopped on his back while he was in the cross ties. And he was cool with it. I spend many time just sitting on him and talking to him. I trusted him, and he trusted me.
I wanted to ride him in the saddle, because there was a chance he would end up at the slaughter if he was so difficult. He was not succesful in racing. And they had labeled him as a ‘crazy goat’. That could be the end the end for such a horse. I had to beg the trainer to let me try to ride him. And finally he agreed. ‘I could try him if I really wanted to break something.’ Was the answer after a few days begging. But, I had promise to wear a helmet. (We never used helmets.)
Just as I suspected riding Excellent was maybe a little more difficult because he was not really motivated. But he did not throw a single buck. I became happier by the day that Excellent could be a riding horse in his next career. My boss phoned up the owners to tell them the incredible news that Excellent did a good job under the saddle.
On an afternoon and totally unexpected, the owners of Excellent showed up at the stable. They wanted to see their horse performing as riding horse. Excellent was not used to be worked twice he showed me his hesitation to cooperate. This could be very well, be caused by my tension. And I instantly became nervous. His future depended on this moment. What if we fail?
I could not even ride one round on the training track. In the first corner Excellent stopped, and he lied down with me on his back. I was heartbroken. I told the owners I wanted him. But they believed the horse was dangerous and they did not listen to me. ( The news was after he had been send to another trainer and from there he becamee a riding school horse at least that was what they had told me)
Excellent with his new groom after he left our stable. I just told this girl how fantastic horse he is, and that he is a special and friendly horse. Because he is if you treat him like that. That was the key to his heart. It was so hard for me to let him go.
What happened? I was nervous and this pressure that it had to happen now, triggered such an amount of stress in the horse that he could not cope with. He was a mental wreck. He was so frightened and nervous because of my tension, that his ‘freeze’ instinct kicked in, the survival mode of the reptilian part of the brain. Excellent is ofcourse a pretty extreme case. But the dynamics of energy are at play in every horse human relationship at any given moment.
I can today reach back into all this story’s of the far past (and the present past.) I see my lessons and they have to be solved like it would be puzzle. Some memories are useful for a mindset in the ‘now’ they become relevant again. Wonderfull yourney the horse.
Through the horses I get the chance for personal development. They are truly my zen masters I do not joke about this. And I am always aware because of them, of the world, of the unseen matters, that is the main thread in communication with horses. It is not so much about the action. It is the intention behind the action, that is invisible by the naked eye. But horses are capable of making the unseen ‘seen’ for us.
Let the horse be with you!
Sorry for the typo’s, there are onky 24 hours in a day. And I have much to say. Had to squeeze this out of my tired hands. For the horses, that will be fully understood one day.