The horses have shown me that self -awareness is the foundation of being with horses. It’s important to develop and know ones self. Why? Because the horse will ask, “who are you”, “are you safe to be with” and “can you provide the self- knowledge to support the inner nature of this individual horse”? A horse has the ability to read us like an open book and they have this amazing ability to show us our negative aspects as well as what we have denied in ourselves. If left unconscious it can cause a lot of frustration and miscommunication for both the horse and the person.
Similar to our human relationships we have some horses that we get along with and some that we have resistance with. So does like attract like or do opposites attract? It actually can work both ways. Numerous times I’ve seen people who may own multiple horses. If the horse has a similar personality to the owner they achieved harmony much faster. Their communication fairly is easy to achieve. They both develop a trust and support for each other even if they have to work through a few past programing and training issues. Their other horse, not so much harmony there! Their personalities traits tend to magnify each other. I look at this as a great teaching opportunity for the person. This is where we need to check our ego at the gate and allow the horse to become the teacher. The horse is just asking for us to develop a piece of our self that is denied or undeveloped. A trait that the horse does not possess but the herd had supplied for them. This could be any combination of traits like sensitivity, courage, focus, willfulness, leadership etc.
With my Eponaquest training we use specific exercises with the horses on the ground. The exercises slow things down so you have an embodied feel for the information your body and the horse is giving you. If the communication is strained on the ground I wouldn’t suggest getting on the horses back. Communication, willingness and mutual respect needs to be there or else it opens the door for someone to get hurt. In the past, I was trained to do it the old way of getting on and overpowering the horse with equipment. This, of course, does not build the trust we want from our horse or the ability to see what the dissonance of the relationship is trying to teach us about ourselves. When we have the courage to step into this place of vulnerability of allowing our horse to become our teacher, transformation can happen. We allow space to open to not only truly see yourself, but that of our horse, spouse, co–worker and friend. This is the starting place for developing a deep bond. It comes from being in a place of authenticity.