Charisma Connection

I Almost Sold My Soulmate

Peter Proulx - Tuesday, January 09, 2018


My Soulmate

Recently I was talking to a young woman. There was history of disconnection between her and her horse. She told me she was selling her horse and if that didn’t happen fast she was sending her to an auction by the end of the month. Her money to take care of this animal had dried up. Underneath her stoic nature, I could feel her pain. I asked her what she learned from being with her horse? She said she learned nothing but frustration and failure. She regretted ever buying the horse and she said she would never get another horse again. I could see that this experience had broken her spirit and destroyed her dreams. The horse wasn’t intentionally trying to destroy this young woman’s dreams, but somehow they attracted each other.

This woman’s experience was breaking my heart and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. As I sat with it I realized that this woman’s pain made me sink back to a time when I felt this same gut wrenching despair. It was some 20 years ago when I was faced with a very similar situation. I had it all, so I thought. I had this amazingly talented horse. She was everything I wanted in a show horse, young, powerful and ready to mold. She was so physically talented; she could effortlessly trot with her knees up to her chin, hocks digging into the earth, dirt flying and head held high. She was exquisite to watch, but beyond that surface talent there was something deeper, a feel, a presence that would captivate the viewer. Just observing her trot across the arena would make the hair stand up on my arms. She was appropriately named Charisma.

Harnessing this power was challenging for me. The techniques and training tools I had learned were not enough. We won many ribbons, but the rides were a bunch of over reactions and mistakes on my part, there was no connection. The show ring left me feeling terribly exposed, vulnerable and somewhat of a failure. I found myself frustrated and stuck. First I had tried to overpower her with more equipment, harsh bits, over checks, whips, etc. Then with frustration growing I decided the best thing to do was sell her. So off she went to a trainer out of state to be sold. Nine months later when that didn’t happen the trainer’s advice was to send her to a sale. I was at a crossroad. Was a sale even an option? Much agony went on within me. I would jump back and forth between my head and my heart. Not knowing which decision to make. When I allowed my deepest thoughts to surface I found myself saying things like “I just can’t get myself to cut the invisible ties between her heart and mine”. “How did this horse weasel her way into my heart”? I had always been able to barricade myself from listening to that part of me. I had been trained that success in life happens with control, trusting what you’ve been taught and attacking life head on. It certainly wasn’t about trusting a feeling. Somewhere, somehow something had shifted in me and in the end I choose that oh so subtle promptings of my heart over my training. I brought her home, finding myself in new territory for sure. At first I felt somewhat paralyzed by my decision. The reality was that all of the strategies I had held so fiercely and all my skills and techniques I had used on my previous horses weren’t enough. She was asking me for something more, something deeper.

This was the start of a new way of being with horses and much learning. I started to just spend time with my horse without an agenda. In these quiet moments I would talk to her. I began to show her more of whom I was, exposing even my weaknesses to her. I found that the more I showed her about myself the more she showed me who she was. The communication between us deepened. As I became more self-aware I could feel my personality soften and loosen up. My empathetic abilities started to open up. This practice of learning to be present and mindful increased my ability to feel my body and my ride. No longer was I focused single-mindedly on the result. My concern was to support my horse. I became aware of even the subtlest language between us, an ear twitch, a look, or a thought that passed between horses. The walls were breaking down and an intuitive channel started to open between us. It was as if not only our bodies were connected but our emotions and our minds. I would instantly know what she was feeling or what she was thinking. We were developing a soul connection. I believe that this soul connection is what horses are asking us for when we take them away from the herd. It’s much deeper than the eyes can see.

If your lucky and you ride long enough you too will meet that horse, the one that asks you to become more, more than a mere rider. This horse will ask you to fine- tune aspects of yourself. It will ask you to not only have physical balance in the saddle, but to develop emotional and mental balance as well. It is my truth that we must harness our own inner power in order to ride theirs. It’s difficult for many equestrians to shift their perspective but I encourage everyone to see that life is never as it seems. The teacher can show up in the body of a horse.

“A soulmate is the person who makes your soul grow the most.” Caroline Myss


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