Horse Whispering – Noticing Change

11-16-2013 10-20-24 AMNoticing change is a good part of being an excellent learner. How is your “noticer” working these days? When an individual makes a commitment to simply “notice,” their world begins to flow with life, simply because of the awareness of change. It may be the smallest of changes, yet when one notices, a wave of encouragement and gratitude flows in place of dismay. When we fail to “notice,” we can become discouraged because we are not aware of any change, and think that nothing is changing or even working!

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Notice the two words in the word NOTICE……not….ice. Ice does not flow, does it? Oh, a chunk of it may float, but floating isn’t flowing.
To be empowered is to allow change, self-discovery without guilt or shame, and encouragement (to name a few,) to flow into your life. This empowerment comes into our lives every time we spend time with a horse. Why? Horses either whisper or shout to us to NOTICE something about them, us, or our environment.
Horses are good at training us. They let us know that we had better not canter “or else,” or stay away from that mounting block. Or, “I don’t do plastic containers without going crazy.” They cause us to either choose to avoid or to develop leadership. After all, the world of horses is all based on dominance, and who is number one.

As I engage with people and horses I am meeting for the first time, the communication usually is based on their interpretations, some of which are accurate, and some of which simply are not.

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As a mentor, I purpose to help individuals understand horses. When we understand, our interpretation shifts, and we have another notch on our belt called experience. If a horse acts in a certain manner and I don’t know how to interpret the actions of the horse, this will cause me concern and even fear. When this happens, create space between you and your horse. Ask someone who has horse sense, not someone who is highly opinionated. Get clarity.

You are experimenting with your horse just as much as your horse is with you. You may be wondering, “I wonder what my horse will do when I purpose to close the gate while I’m on his back?” The horse, who is skilled at outwitting his predators, asks the same question. “Hum. I wonder what the human would do if I _____?”

The more you understand the horse, the more your interpretation will be accurate.

Corral Connections has begun a mentoring program. How exciting! The learner is engaged in NOTICING. The learner is becoming aware of body language, presence and intentions. The learner is seeing horses as horses, not humans or dogs. The learner is taking in approach and withdrawing. The learner is observing how horses and humans communicate. The learner perceives things about himself, the world of horses, and how to develop strategies. The learner is discerning and detecting himself, the horse, and the environment in each session.

11-16-2013 10-21-13 AMOne of my objectives as a mentor is to safely invite the learner outside his or her comfort zone. This is the very place where learning to notice happens; however, not “too” far outside the comfort zone. An equally important objective is for human AND horse to experience the building of confidence! One session at time, one “notice” at a time, one interpretation at a time and one experience at a time, the foundational blocks in which confidence is built are put in place. This creates a foundation on which to build a relationship.

Wishing all of you wonderful readers of ATHENS NOW a delightful Thanksgiving, and if you happen to choose turkey for your meal with one of those little button deals stuck in the breast, you may want to notice if it’s all the way out before you start carving!
Your “NEIGH”bor,
Deb Kitchenmaster

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