Tag Archives: baggage

How I came to understand the handling of disease.

 

How I came to understand the handling of disease.

I wanted to give you a a synapsis of a bigger blog I’m writing , that kind of got away from me as I think I used it to vent . It may not get put out there… it’s good but it does go on a bit.

So for the sake of clarification, I offer you this bit of clarity I found in understanding disease – specifically cancer.

Imagine you and your body just going along, everything seems fine, but a couple things are causing you some minor issues. You treat them or maybe ignore them as they aren’t really in your way yet. Maybe you see a Dr , take med’s, OTC’s or whatever and get through the issue by passing it over – not really addressing the root cause. God forbid we should miss a beat in this fast pace world.

Now relate that to your horses if you have them, or other animals. We go along and in our own little world we think it’s all good. We notice a couple instances where our horse gets a bit pushy, or has an attitude. Lots of people try to carrot their way out of things , instead of correcting it and setting a standard. They don’t want to have the horse not like them because they were mean. (Don’t deprive yourself of things you want even if you know they are not good for you). It’s easier, but is it?

Just this morning while feeding my colt, he got very anxious to eat and if I let that type of behavior go, he will grow to think he can just be a feisty boy and not learn to wait till his feed is placed. I say it is ok to come forward with manners, but not barge. Big life lessons! Sure it takes a bit of time, less than a minute!

Time passes and say you don’t do as I do and let things go thinking “oh he is just a baby” … well babies grow up! They don’t have to be a baby either – this is more often seen by me in well established horses, 6-12 yrs old. You live with them, you really don’t see anything as a potential issue to build for future, and don’t have time to correct anyway. Or do you??? It takes less time to pull a baby weed sprout than a full grow dandelion.

Now back to disease..

So we are going along busy busy and with out thinking really about our body speaking, we just keep taking on new symptom or old symptom getting louder. Typically we take more Otc”s for example and go along. Instant gratification. Got forbid we should stop and think. Again does it take less time now or later?? Hmm….

Time lapse… a couple yrs down the road you finally have an issue you can’t control with OTC’s or prescription stuff. Hmm ?? Dr take another x-ray, hmm? lets get a better look, we see something but we will run a CT Scan.

Results! Take you out at the knees! You have allowed parts of your body become Left Brain dominant ( quietly maneuvering for a dominant positions, stubborn, don’t like to be made to go), and take over as they have not had any instruction, or direction otherwise towards health and the balance.

Dodging OTC’s, and drugs along the way that masked the underlying issues of a whole system /body imbalance- Dis -Ease!

Getting the picture!

Your horse one day when you have a wonderful day in spring to take some time to pay attention to them, and they say, screw you! And Bam. You’re on the ground or if your lucky just had the you know what scared out of you with a display of dominant behavior.
“You want me to behave now? Listen to you now? You ignored me with my whispers now I’m screaming! You never gave me any idea you were leading before, so you’re on my turf now.”

This was my revelation a couple weeks ago as I did stalls and tried to get my head around the health crisis my family is now enduring. Somethings take longer to catch on but bottom line is when your body or your horse is injured and brushed over for too long eventually you will be called to put your big girl/boy pants on and face the music you and only you created.

Horse behavior and disease let go are both dominant bad boys! Why? lack of clear communication and time put in to keep the lines of communication open.

Then you have an issue and all of a sudden you need to step up and assume responsibility for that you have created in you and or your horse.

That’s harder than dealing with it as it comes and finding the root cause. Boredom, poor diet, emotional stressor, etc etc.

Take some time to breathe and think and in the end issues will tap on the door, not knock it down and run you over, because you didn’t take the time to listen. With horses, I say “listen with your eyes”, with your body – feel! It’s simple, every day it speaks to you… just listen.

What we create we can dismantle, and release. Whether it be self inflicted or environmental, a issue can be released and detox can happen , with time and clear communication.

Funny, I was just down in the barn doing my stalls thinking back to this post and ralised soemthign else. This whole thought process can be attributed to raiising our kids too.  That is a whole other topic of which I have an opinion. LOL

Be well~

 

 

 

 

 

An awesome re awakening: A Ph.D and my Horsemanship Journey, what??

Less than a week ago I had a great conversation with Brian Reid of HKTWH with its intent to work out some details re schedule an event spring 2013 at Sable View. Early- mid spring — fyi :)

The call was so not about the scheduling and I’m so happy. Oh sure we discussed some  details but it was the inspiration  absorbed and  the direction the call took me in that is truely awesome.

We discussed  visions and experiences, and how things  line up for a reason. Im all over that. We discussed  past  workshops Brian had held durring th yr, and the outcomes that Brenda inabled. The thinking was very “Forward” . I like Forward!  The negative stuff can’t stick if you’re on a roll. Your horse can’t buck as bad and twist if he is moving forward. Hold him back and bottle him up and , you better be ready to deal with the energy.

As a funny off shoot story here, I had a horse long ago, Oliver ( Ollie). An Irish Sport Horse. We fox hunted, evented into Prelim. He was cool. Anyway a couple of his “things” were , He would spanish walk  naturally, not taught.  So cool. Not a typical Fox hunting thing to do!  It was so easy to  ask him to do. Going down the dirt rds, while roading hounds , all fancy..HAHAHAHA !  I would have him do it long. Most of the time it was requested as every one loved to see it!  He would also on a flat our run across a field do “Airs above the ground” and leep out of his bell boots. Litterally they would go flying almost every time. Not rip but fly!  He was so exhuberant! Just loved life! Funny to other to watch. It was not a scary thing , powerful?  You bet, awesome  in fact, but not scary. Why?? Because once I knew it was his thing, it became  ”Normal”, ( great normal right!) and most importantly it happened with forward motion.  It happend all in stride and it was done and we went on. What a horse! What a teacher!

Now back to my conversation with  BR: Durring our conversation a couple names I hadn’t thought about in a while were brought up. TED (www.TED.com) and another  Brene Brown( www.BreneBrown.com). Its funny how things go full cycle, in this case re-appearing when the student is ready. The word “Vulnerable” played a big part in our talk. We discussed its meaning in some diferent ways . Not suprising I related it to my horsemanship journey as Brian discussed how  his experience with Ms. Browns work was still unfolding new  pages to get through. It all fit.

After our call I was fully charged and went straight to my computer to search out both teaching topics. What came from that is I noted a great opportunity to share with my daughter who is a Jr in HS . The Massechesetts Conference for Woman in Boston MA. www.maconferenceforwomen.org.  Dr. Brene Brown  is one of the key Note speakers, as well as Deepak Chopra and others, WOW!  Long story short  we and a few of her school mates and teachers are going .

The word Vulnerable is probably thought of in one main light by most of society, Including me till now.  Its a strength, not a weakness.  It allows us to do what  I have been prompted to do on a few occations at clinics. Get rid of the baggage and accept you as “Enough” . This is not normal for us humans, its a tall order for a lot of us.  I have had a manta developed  for a few yrs now after a ground breaking Parelli clinic with Jerry Williams, (one of many I might add), and I still  fight the negaitve tendancies. Hmm…guess Im not perfect!  My montra is “I AM GOOD ENOUGH”  made up of very  poignant words and phrases for which the mantra is an Acronym.

If we want to be real with our horses and have our horse be real with us, we need to be real with ourselves. They can see throught us like nothing else and when we even begin to get real they respond instantly. No invisibility cloaks to hide behind. Just be you in all your “Imperfect glory”,  and YOU are enough!

Stay tuned….

 

 

Listen with your eyes, slow down and be open to re-learning.

Great feed back!

Thanks for listening.

 

Sometimes , more often than not , I find myself  asking the universe to slow down and stop sending input. Do you ever get that way?

“For me, once I send the intention out , I know to buckle down for the goodness to come flooding in. Among the goodness is the greatness of learning”.

Learning comes from Students, horses, and life in general. Some time  either side of the equation has to be ready to Re Learn. 

As an instructor/mentor I am always  learning. That is my job. Best job in the world! Never ending self improvement.

In some cases I’m Re-Learning old things come new again. Funny how that works!  Some times its  brought to my attention while I am in learning mode other times it comes to me as I am working through things with my horses,( still learning mode, LOL  ),  or a student’s horse, to find the right answer.

If I ask a question and don’t get the right answer, I  ”Listen with my eyes, slow down and prepare to get potentially uncomfortable as I learn the lesson for the day” =  what the right equation is to find the answer I’m looking for. We must listen to our horses. Inappropriate behavior is not natural for them , its caused by something, It is a communication.

Why do you think this is so  hard for some people to do? ( humble pie…looking in the mirror and accepting your accountability to the situation?).

As a learner I am very introverted. I like  some hand holding, and not a lot of chaos.  I like to observe a lot: extremely visual! I take it home and  replay it in my minds eye while I attempt to emulate the maneuver ,  task or job to be completed.

Horses  , some of them, learn in the same way. They need time, and no chaos! Softness with corrections maybe so, but not with emotion. The real test is keep the emotion out of it for all. Often times  a horse is pushed to a point where they  feel all they  can do is be explosive, mis behave extremely, to get attention.

This is an introvert on the edge! Kinda sounds funny as I type it but its true. Like “Donkey ” in the movie Shrek, “Im a Donkey on the edge.”

In the wrong inexperienced hands( direct line and  predatory, not emotionally fit), this horse will be  man handled to comply: suppressed if you will. We all know it happens .  No one likes this! But then why don’t those who get this way see there is a problem and seek to address it in a more communicative manor. Not to say my idea of True Horsemanship should be  all flowers and  fluff , not at all, but horses  communicate in the purest of ways. If we can learn to respond accordingly and appropriately things will change.

They don’t want to win the game they want to be a part of a fair game. None of us as humans like being involved in a game or discussion which is so one sided. For me I know I just shut down, stop listening and or just walk away. Lots of signs are given prior to this departure, ( mental or physical), but if Im not thought of,  I’m gone. Being human we tend to have a mostly rational response and it is understood, Usually. Our counterpart see’s or perceives a rift and should respond accordingly to re open the door to play or communication. The results can vary depending on the degree of shut down. Horses, depending on the type of  brain they have  can be very rational and calculating in response or just blow. Don’t you love it when you see a horse get the message across . Or depending on the  clueless — ness of the human( Sorry), begin to try.

EX: Don’t think they don’t know where your foot is!  And suddenly  feel nothing from pressure to move off. This is a mild but classic case. Gotta love it!

A good leader, if ever caught in this situation, no one is perfect, (we cant be, we are human),would probably catch the rift before it grew too wide, and if ego was left out,  offer a softer solution and communication would be more 2 way. I do not think that this is being wishy washy. Here you get into a bit of the  school of

” You can’t let them think they’ve won”. How many of you still hear that today around horses. Talk about Human EGO! Again, horse don’t want to win they just want to be a participating member of your herd of 2. They want to know where they stand in your world . They want safety, and comfort. Ok food  and water too but lets hope that goes without saying. When I feel safe and comfortable I have fun.

Don’t you want your horses to have fun, and feel confident to express themselves? Good question huh? Do you know what that requires from us?

A great book “Play to Win ” by Larry and Hersch Wilson, discribes this perfeclty. Might I add this is an amazing book , full of Aha moments, that in  the first chapter clarified what I was going through in my life but couldnt  pin point or discribe to others. I had begun this transformaton and though aware of  it , so much was untangible.

” When we are talking about playing to win in the adventure of our lives, the traditional definitions of winning and losing don’t hold up. Of course , there are times when we need to call on our competative nature to accomplish what we have set out to accomplish. But competing to defeat someone is only one way of responding to the events we encounter. In fact, in the great adventure of our lives, there is no one to defeat.” P 22

In my world what I have found is you need to know what you want and like and will accept as a foundation to teach from with human and horses. But , no person is alike and no horse either , so to assume your way is the only way is quite bold. This holds true for  learners and  teachers. Guess we call it  being Closed Minded! Not seen too much in horses unless pushed too far, for too long and they are on shut down to humans.

From a  learners point of view, USUALLY…  taking what you learn and  making it your own is the very right thing to do. Its you , your horse , your job, so buck up and assume responsibility for your own decisions. Don’t  try it and say , “Ah this  doesn’t work,” because you got a response that backed you off. That my friends is communication“Listen with our eyes”. Admit you don’t know it all and ask for help for sure after  honest attempts have been made by you to find neutral.  This is the process of learning. So what if you might have caused the issue,We usually do. Welcome to the group.  It, thankfully to horses being so forgiving, can usually be fixed. As stated before , usually there are things that happen before the end result. If we all slow down and listen we might be able to not have to go there. It is here, at the ”Cross roads of communication,” that I see a lot of  the inconsistency, and hopping from one  thing to another to avoid  Accountability, (responsibility), to  your own  inadequacies, mistakes,  errors,  is so normal these days , kids and horses suffer. It’s not the  tools or the technique it’s the implementor.

I hear about  this a lot, and eventually see it first hand as  those who are ready to Re-learn( three cheers!!), come to me and ask for  help  finding the  way back to  a better relationship with here horses.  Challenges are opportunities to  grow and get better. With  horse I say they see you and raise you one or ten! Can you meet the challenge, find the way, and be the  leader, the Accountable/Responsible  human leader they need and are asking you to be?

It may not seem like asking when things get weird,( small things were over looked and now it huge), and  your sweet little horse  finally has taken a stand. Someone wants to have a say in the game plan. We can do one of 2 things,  go direct line , or “Listen with your eyes, slow down, and be open to Re Learning”. 

No one thing is perfect including who we look at in the mirror.  But it is that person, who if going it alone, with no willingness to look  imperfect for fear of looking like a failure, who them must eventually come to terms with  the big questions …

Whose fault is this really? Who or what is holding me back?

A very good friend/mentor worked through this with me and others over  a couple summers of intense horsemanship clinics,( not always about the riding), and  last time the group was asked

” What’s holding you back? “, I was very proud to say “Me”.  I got it loud and clear. Open the trunk, put my baggage on the corner and drive away!

No one else makes my final decisions,  plays with my horses, rides them , interacts with my circles of fiends. If I’m going to be what  I want to be, I need to be accountable. The past is over its time for many of us to move on!

Speaking as a horse owner and professional it’s a hard process to go thru but we can’t blame the horse worlds top names, or our childhood, or what ever we might come up with, for our inadequacies.  Its us,  practicing imperfectly, and not Listening with our eyes .  Horses serve up humble pie so well.

If your horse is asking you to step up, it’s the universe opening the door to a learning curve, will you accept the challenge  and  see where it takes you, professionally , personally?  Sometimes it’s not what we want revealed about ourselves.

Again an excerpt from the  book by Larry and Hersch Wilson called “Play to Win”..  discussing Playing to win, or Playing to not loose.

Playing to not loose: Avoiding situations where we might lose, fail, be emotioanlly hurt, or be rejected. p 23

Playing to Win: Consciously going as far as I can with all that I have and learn from what ever happens. p 25

Welcome to  true horsemanship… let the games begin.

 

The rules of engagement and Grey Matter.

In the “Natural Horsemanship” world  how horses interact  is referred to as many things, I like to call them “The Rules of Engagement!”  I believe they  have a progression. If you watch a herd it becomes clear. Messages are given, brief  time to understand  and respond, then  if  the response isn’t correct or fast enough, the  transmission mode of the message increases through its stages to the end being full on contact or a very intent driving force.  We have all seen it. No Grey Matter involved. What the stages and processes are is a whole different blog.

I have been thinking, again, of how we mentally need to be engaged with our horses,  to really be a part of them. So much of my horsemanship journey is a mind game. Im not alone in this , I know!  In general we have a need to concure our fears, phobia,  insecurites and the horse for many of us is our pathway to freedom of Grey Matter, Baggage. A way to find ourselves again

Amongst themselves, horses communicate seemingly telepathically . The key to their ” Rules of Engagement “ is Clarity.  They throw energy by simply stopping chewing or a twitch of an ear.  They make their point and get on with grazing. No Grey Matter involved. How wonderful ! Think about it , no hangin’ onto the emotive side of things. The ability to let go is a wonder!

I have to say I foster an decent ability to let a lot go and move on. Forgive and forget so to speak but our human make up is not that we can really ever let go. An instant may arise and we are brought back to a situation and we are steaming again. When we work with our horses we carry  what might happen with us, or what happened at work or at home etc etc. We as humans are so not moment to moment . It’s a real talent to shut off the world and tune in or tune out , however you wish to think of it. All this baggage is  transmitting energy.  Horses feel it long before you enter the barn yard.  Not the horse. Other than a stand made for herd breeding rights, and that watchful eye that must be kept , life is  as it is,  moment to moment. A Get it, got it, good attitude.

Recently I attended The Vermont Grazing Conference and the guest speaker was Dr, Temple Grandin, need I say more. No Grey Matter , just as it is. I envy her in so many ways.  Speaking for myself , I think having read her work and now meeting her , I have a clearer vision of what I need to try and mimic in order to get what I think would be the ultimate in communication between my horses and me.  If I wish to be  more like a horse, I need to be more black and white in my communication.   Horses live as I said before , moment to moment . So  other than a really bad experience , usually human induced or involved in some way, they go on. No bagggage attatched, no grudges .  Each day, each moment is fresh. The hierarchy is established, plain and simple , Black and White, and there is a symbiotic flow of energy, it very natural! Though, naturally there are shifts in leadership , and the flow is broken, as in any Family Unit or Herd,  it is handled, and finished,  sorted out , shift  either happens or  was held a bay, done, life goes on.

The Rules of Engagement: simple laws followed and lived by with great results.

How can we develop and fine tune the practice of ” Turning on – and – Turning off” of emotions. Wouldnt it be great to have a “Clapper.” Honestly  ! Its an on going study for me. I continuously attend clinic , and  expo events to watch , listen and learn, and still take lessons myself. I also do a good bit of reading , all to grow through my own “Grey Matter” and see and communicate more clearly…. Black and White!

I think as I near the end of this Blog post one of the first steps to no Grey Matter is …..

Dont Take it personally.  I want to make a suggestion,  read the Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz.