Horse Whispering – Picture This

By: Deb Kitchenmaster

It can be humorous having friends and family in other states. I get pictures from friends that show me feet of snow, snowdrifts that are up to stop sign levels, and frozen lakes appearing to be Icelandic villages on several inches of frozen water. I return pictures of daffodils, birds galore, and standing water in pastureland with horses needing a shedding blade to be swiped over their bodies. Are you aware of the pictures that came up INSIDE the screen of your mind when I mentioned snow, snowdrifts, frozen lakes, Icelandic villages, daffodils, birds, horses having shedding blades swipe across their bodies?

I want to talk to you about the place inside of you where you picture things. You may refer to it as imagination, the big screen of your mind, the amphitheater of your soul; nevertheless, it’s that place where a picture is worth a thousand words.
Two teenage BFF (best friends forever) girls enrolled in a three-day horse camp I ran in service to my community. Both were strong-willed, quite opinionated, and judgmental toward authority. After intake, the girls were unpacking and getting settled in their rooms. I slipped away and made a couple of calls to friends, requesting prayer. Each person I have spent time with through a horse session puts me through a test. I am serious about this. In sundry ways each wants to know answers to three underlying questions: 1. Am I real? 2. Am I safe? 3. Do I have their best interest in mind?

I, as well, have three underlying questions for which I need answers from each handler: 1. Do you have ears to hear? 2. Do you have a willing yes (response) to instruction? 2. Are you here to relate or dominate? After dismantling the cowgirl mentality of “kick to go, pull to whoa,” our round-pen sessions began to have some welcomed fluidity.

Standing in the center of the round pen I asked 16-year-old Amy to picture this. When you get to this post in the round pen, I want you to picture your horse turning into the center. I do NOT want you to give any physical cues. You cannot twist or slightly turn your wrist in any way, shift a hip, turn your navel; absolutely no physical cues. Only a picture inside where you “see” your horse turn towards the right to the center of the ring. Amy gave me a look that only Amy could, and continued riding. She nodded to let me know she heard me and that she understood the instruction. I watched. When Amy and her horse got to that specific post, her horse turned towards the right into the center of the ring. I will NEVER forget Amy’s expression. It was priceless. Like I mentioned earlier, a picture is worth a thousand words. “How did that happen?” she shockingly asked. “Picture,” I said.

Horses have the ability to tune into your inside “picture” or “intention.” That’s why wild horses can be grazing peacefully in an open meadow with a lion close by because they instinctively know the intention of the lion — not hungry. On the other hand, you will see videos of wild horses swiftly running to flee the presence of a hungry predator. Horses are so amazing! Intention/picture is like Jesus saying, “Which is easier to say? Your sins are forgiven, or take up your bed and walk?” (Same thing, different language, as soda is to pop.) This experience Amy had with PICTURE THIS facilitated a quantum leap for her and her horse. From the round pen, she successfully entered corral environment and completed all the instructions joyfully. This opened the gateway for an entire afternoon trail ride in the prairie grasses, where at one point on the trail, we sat quietly on the backs of our horses, gloriously surrounded by butterflies.

What is the picture you have of your horse, the sport you are passionate about, your family, school, summer, relationships, health, finances, marriage, or business? You learn from the horse. Inside (eyes to see) pictures produce actions or results. How many times have you removed a picture from a picture frame to replace the picture with a more current one? Creating a vision board where you cut out pictures and paste to express what you are going for in any focused area is helpful. If you haven’t done it, you might want to consider making one. If you have any questions or need help with this, email me at I’d enjoy encouraging you.

You become what you behold, PICTURE THIS,
Your “NEIGH’bor,
By: Deb Kitchenmaster