Sometimes in life, we just need to breathe and let go…..
The need to hang onto the reins and to control things, is just another way of us trying to find security in what we are doing and what is happening in our lives. It’s when that sneaking inner anxiety and fear about the future is slowly making it’s presence known but you are not aware of it yet. The tension and stress that you may not even notice in you, slowly starts to come to life. You start to notice that you are controlling everything around you and that you are hanging on to the reins.
Unfortunately in riding and in life, if what we are doing is an action driven by fear, it only produces more fear in the horse. This is where no matter what we do, we keep sending signals of insecurity, control and tension and this keeps bringing back to the same response to us from the horse.
I have been working for a while now as a Dressage rider and coach. I went from learning how to ride bareback, no bridle, no helmet and on my own as a young child, to working with animal behaviorist, Andrew Maclean, to living and working/riding under old school Classical Dressage trainers in Germany, to owning my own stables in Australia. I have since been head coach for stables in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and recently in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Throughout all those years, working with all these different horses – young to Grand Prix, Show Jumping, hobby riders, to Western riders, beginners and professionals, different religions, cultures and even in different languages – there is one thing I came to realise;
Horses don’t have problems, people do.
Fear is not always that we are afraid of heights, dogs or snakes. With so many of us now taking on our own companies and businesses, it can be the fear of opening the post. Of reading an email from a complaining client. Not making the months bills or losing your clients. Sometimes the fear of being afraid can override the thing you actually are afraid of!
You cannot help a situation when you are living in fear of it.
For a long time now I have been wanting a way to share with you all a very great man who is not overly well known but deserves the same focus and spotlight as everyone else.
A man who taught me not only the patient building blocks of a Dressage horse and rider but the encouragement and dedication it takes to be a teacher of horses and riders.
Riding is one of the only sports that develop areas of the brain that connect with intuition, awareness, instinct and feel. When you rely upon forms of interference within your own body as well as the horse’s body, you cut off this ability to intuit what is happening. You cut off the most powerful form of growth available to us with horses – awareness.
Today we have a never ending supply of tools that are not only taught to us by our trusted trainers but in many places they are the only option given to us either forcefully or with the use of ‘law’.
How often have we been asked the question – What is your worth?
What is your value?
How much are you worth?
We are born into a society that teaches us to go to school, learn, study, find a job to survive in life and then one day you may have enough money saved up to do what your heart actually wanted to do in the first place.
It is a society that bases our self worth and the belief of what we are meant to do to earn a right to survive on this planet and in the amount we earn for the work we do, whether we love that work or hate it.
Just under 8 yrs ago, I sat and watched the shock and horror on the face of a truly gifted woman playing a huge part in my then business and Dressage Training stables, Equinoxe Equestrian, when she told me that I could NOT use the word Spiritual in the new brochures! She was afraid that we would lose all the clients from the equestrian world and sure enough, she was right ;-). I didn’t however lose the clients who were benefitting from me fully embracing the truth of who I am and what I believe my Soul came here in this life to be and do. Those clients are still friends today and have become great teachers and riders themselves.
Have you ever wondered why certain behaviors happen with your horse? Maybe a situation in your life is effecting you or repeating itself?
We have so much power in us, so much spirit yearning to express itself, live itself and create itself.
Why are we holding that back?
Why are we afraid to speak our truth?
Why do we live a life in the limitations of what we fear the world around us, wants from us?
Why do we allow separation between each other? Whether is be culture, race, work hierarchies or celebrity status.
In 2010 I closed up my entire life’s work, my dreams, achievements and abilities in a defeated pile. I sat down with leftover pieces of guilt, shame, exhaustion and lots of stress and fear. I decided I was no longer going to pursue a success that was defined by the world around me and was going to remember who I really was, why I was here and what my life and existence had planned this time around.
I sat down and tried to remember why I started doing what I was doing in my life in the first place?
Mainly during my first years of riding as a young teenager but also during various places and stages in the past, I attracted often the ‘bolter’ horse that is sensitive, very electric and always running away. This was a strong connection of who I was at the time. It was a reflection of issues that I was learning from and working through in how I dealt with my own life – flee, run, don’t reflect on things just quickly get to the next place. I was afraid of confrontation, scared and with a belief that I was somehow wrong no matter how much I had come to learn from experience and others.
My path to healing led me down numerous tracks. At first I was in complete denial and searched in whatever medical way I could to escape the pain and continue my beloved work. This did not last and after one day getting off a horse and realising I could not feel both my legs I was pushed to more action. Shortly after this surgeons were telling me I would need to change career and I could not ride again, I kept riding but I also began to search deeper. Accupunture, water physiotherapy, herbs, pressure point therapy, mental coaching and many, many anti-inflammatory tablets!