By: Deb Kitchenmaster
Merry Christmas, partner. I want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas. We provide for our domestic horses but do we partner with them? Horses in the wild are on their own; however, the domestic horse looks to us to provide water and forage, shelter, salt and minerals. Horses in the wild get their own hooves trimmed as they travel varied terrains. Domestic horses live in confinement to one degree or another. The need of a good farrier is an important provision. Unlike most sports, riding involves developing a relationship with a living, breathing creature. After all, you don’t build a relationship with a ball, unless of course, you’re stranded on some island and some volleyball from the ship happens to wash ashore.
The partnership between the horse and human needs a couple of foundational blocks to stand and build on. One is justice and the other is equity. The horse may need help, but more often than not in the relationship it is the human that needs help, not just the horse. The mind of the horse and rider need to become one, only then can true liberation in the relationship be found. When our focus is based on liberty for both of us (horse and human), the platform is set for building a partnership based on justice and equity, not a relationship based on serving. I quote: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time… But if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together.” – Anonymous aboriginal woman in the Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov.
So, if you do, what kind of relationship would you like to have with your horse? One that you have the mindset that this is ‘just’ an animal and it better do what it is told? Or like twisted government officials who think we are here to serve them instead of them being our voice in our counties, state and nation, mirroring us, WE THE PEOPLE? Or true authentic partnering? Let’s say that we each desire a relationship with our horse that brings us together in a partnership. The beginning of this partnership starts with us gaining an understanding of the nature of the horse. We need to have a clue about how a horse thinks, speaks, and what their needs are if we want to accomplish anything worthwhile with the very creature we seek partnership with.
Horses see the world differently than a cow, a dog or people, and, for sure, cats! They live in the moment and harmonize with nature. When the eyes of our understanding open we can learn their language and thoughts as we have more in common with these magnificent creatures than we possibly realize. Common ground would be living in a herd, wanting companionship, enjoying quiet time, responding to praise for our efforts, and getting upset when punished for something that was no fault of our own. Horses have an innate sensitivity that locates a person’s true self, untangled from performing, pleasing, or any pretense. If we can match the horse’s sensitivity, we will enter into a partnership; understanding the sensitivity or the spirit of the horse is the living expression of freedom and independence! We want to preserve that spirit while we step into being the leader for this true follower to follow. That would look like a person who has the power of reasoning, logical thinking, controlled emotions, patience, good timing, time itself, and creativity. Start thinking like a horse, after all, we are entering their world; they are not entering ours.
A horse needs time to think and process what you are asking him to do. The quickest way for a horse to ‘get it’ is when your request is perfectly clear and understandable and it is repeated over and over until the response is “YES! That’s what I’m talking about!”
This is the horse arena. What about the arena of marriage or family? Are you there to provide or partner? In the midst of giving gifts, may you give the gift of partnering more so than providing stuff. May your partnering presence be the best present ever!
Your “NEIGH” bor,
By: Deb Kitchenmaster