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!
Recently I had dinner with a wonderful group of people, one of them being a Biologist with strong views against any form of domesticated animal. His belief was simply ‘no pets’. This view hit me hard as I tried to understand where and why he had it from. He alike many other people, believe all animals should be wild and have no human interaction at all. That the world would be a better place if it was completely separated between animal and human.
It was to be the first of its kind. The focus was on the 7th neck vertebrae and its problems stemming from a widely chosen form of training with Dressage and Showjumping horses at the moment. Firstly a biomechanical riding and judges aspect of the damage of Roll-Kur, a veterinary explanation of the health damage and well then came me – the Spiritual side.
The night before, our participating vet called to inform us that she was extremely sick and would not be able to join the seminar. So it was now up to Wolfgang and I to provide as much information we could ourselves to cover the afternoon ahead of us.
That turned out to be not a problem!
On the 12th of October in Milan, Italy, a day for us all to remember for a very long time was in the making. The night before, after receiving some information as to why the majority of these men were in prison, due to my own inner fears of not being able to be present without judgment, I woke up in a panic at 4am thinking that I really should not go. I did go and I would not be who I am today if I didn’t. Here is a small expression of a day in a prison made of light and its profound healing it brought to us all.
People had been asking me for a long time before my visit ‘Why was I going to a prison?!’ For me it was very simple –
I believe we all have a responsibility in this life to help each other in whatever way we can.
I went into this place knowing nothing of who these men were, their pasts or their futures and only was told statically what most of them were in here for but I did not know individually. I had to go in with an open heart and let go of any judgments or perceptions of who I thought these men were. If you can look beyond your own ego it is easier to look beyond the ego in others and here is where we can see the truth of each others pain. I ended up spending 8 hours there with this extremely wonderful group of inmates, program leaders and their horses.
Not long ago I published an article with LinkedIn on the ego in our industry and if our love of horses could overcome it. I wanted to share it here but with some more detail and personal additions to it.
Slowly the equestrian world has begun to part waters and form a rift between two worlds – one of professional sport and the other of naturalists and therapy work.
I believe in both.