Tag Archives: lessons learned

Refelctions from an Amelia Kinkade Animal Communications course 7/12

 

Lessons keep coming: Refelctions from an Amelia Kinkade Animal Communications course

Amelia Kinkade, ( http://ameliakinkade.com), what an amazing oportunity to meet and grow with her as a guide.

After arriving home from my clinic with Amelia, my outlook was eased. We learned a lot , got a lot of affirmations to our communicative abilities, but also were asked to reflect inwards.

We were asked to release and forgive ourselves. Not easy to do. But I think everyone (40 students), made a good leap in the right direction, including me, LOL

We were also asked to define “Home” or “It” by Brian Reid, ( http://horsesknowthewayhome.com) .

Yes, as an added treat we were able to also learn from Brian Reid of HKTWH and the wonderful Shire mare Brenda Lee. The joining of these three teachers was huge!

Most of my time with my horses or those of boarders or students is not affirmed. By this I mean much of what I sence is gut and I go with it. I have learned its good enough and usually darn close. This past weekend I got a ton of affirmations that I was on track. My daily routine is practice enough I guess. I always take into account that little voice for me and for the horses.

Going to this weekend I was a bit unsure as I hadnt really been tested so to speak. We had our first group reading of the day after lunch on day 2( I had jumped in on day 2 due to prior commitment at my own farm) . I was called on by Amelia to say what I had received, so I did. No pressure! Freakily enough it was in sync with Amelia’s readings as well. Yicks. Some things I did not say she mentioned too. Omg it was huge. Next time I will literally write everything down.

After arriving home and thinking about things, with a new found depth of awarness and confidence , I realised a lot. I found what home was for me, or a clearer vision of it. Also a new depth on how to really be with my horses. I re assesesd again what my 2012 purpose(s) was, and found a great goal for me that also backed up just being with my horse(s). Funny how a detour leads to a better path to begin with. Its all a great game, and Im a willing player.

A lot of this is unexplainable, as you can imagine. A world reknowned animal communicator and a world reknowned “Life Coach “ working together. Things went deep. As deep as you would allow.

Where am I personally / professionally now? What were my revelations to move to “MY” next level?? Can’t tell it’s personal :)

Each of us has our own journey to travel and mine has been quite a ride. I am so excited now to see a new path to my ultimate goal .

I say, “New path”, but its just an off shoot of where I started yrs ago. Im only following what my horses lead me to. Its good for them and better for me. Thank God I’m an intuative person and even more, willing to go with it no matter what the “Norm” thinks!

***Brian Reid /HKTWH will be at Sable View in 2013. Look for the event info, and be amazed at where the experience take you. Personal and professional growth and awareness. http://horsesknowthewayhome.com

***Amelia Kinkade will be back to VT in May of 2013( still in the works ). Look for this and more up dates at

www.sableview.com

 

 

 

The first impressions of a colt…. “And you are??? Dump the ego!”

“True” will do it for you! True is a horse in small form. Okay technically a large pony by breed but  who measuring!  Honestly I think horse do all the time.

They measure your intention, emotions and demeanor all the time, from birth~

Rescently True had some visitors who ASSUMED way to much. I was suprised at the lack of insight myself. Before I Knew it Sarah’s stall was filled ( door open to paddock TG!) with 2 humans and she and True. By nature Sarah is very curiuos but also very energetically charged. All horses are  very perceptive, some take offence  to in your face human interaction more so than others. Sarah is one of those and  Bubba the same. You need to earn your place next to him. As it should be ! Immediatley I saw the MAKE we humans take on with animals, horses to stay on topic. And when we have a smaller animal we feel  even more able to dominate and or push around and handle. No real regard given to the natural emotion of the horse in question.

This was an amazing event to witness. Very purpose driven . I was  in the isle and  then went to stall side. I wish I  had a video to show. I was so taken off guard, with in a minute the whole thing was over, not tramatic visually but to the sensative nature of this mom and foal it was not a good first impression of these humans. The  message was given to leave stall, as the littlest one  was not going to be “Handled”.

So very cool to see the world through this little ones eyes.  More stories to come.

 

 

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.

 

Winning friends and influencing horses.

Welcome to an excerpt from my up coming E book !

…..And so began my real journey, Unwrapping “D”

Layer by layer, “My Onion” , as I call her, began to reveal herself to me. How privileged I was. In my opinion she was just passed on owner to owner due to her very pretty head and finer features, but not really seen for who she really was. Im thinking the issues I found, were  what others came across  as well and passed her on rather than venture to help her find her real self. Take the time it took.

I made a promise to her she would never be passed on again. She needed to be grounded and trust, to feel like she belonged. We have a special bond. Not always perfect, sometimes like oil and water, but to me it is special and good. Why? You ask, if its not “Perfect”. You see D is so sensative she can feel you coming a mile away. Read your mind  before you even know your thoughts. I had to do in myself what I knew she needed to do. This is a part of Horsemanship not many promote. It should be!  Im blessed to have linked up with the perfect program to go forward for both of us.

The first witner I had her it took all of a couple months to just get her to relax with me ,or anyone else, for that matter in her personal space. A very big personal bubble. Treats, time and quiet all came together along with my little voice tellng me I needed to find a different way to be with her.

As fate would have it when we moved here we got satalite TV. Now I had horses on TV, how awesome! I began to watch the shows even more so when I knew I needed help, to see who made more sense to me. I had many years, since age 7, of ridng experience. Fox Hunting both as a lay member and as professional staff, hunter paces, eventing , showing , collegiate team riding etc , but something was missing. Innately I knew D needed to trust, so I was on track with taking that first winter to allow her to chill.  Imagine what the “Real” world was saying? Peer pressure, Phooey!

My Missions: How to be with her and have her feel the same trust while riden, and to not be so bracy. Is it Physical? Is it emotional?  Is it Me? ( This is a whole other topic but you do know “most often” it is us.)  These are all questions we should ask when things don’t go right. Follow the journey your horse is laying out for you. I did!  Grow and get uncomfortable. This was not simply a door opening, it was a gate way to a powerful journey,

“Making” her didn’t compute, aside from the fact I wasnt 16 any more. 4 kids and a few growing yrs with kids off from real intence horse time changed my perspecitve. Age begins to enter the picture. Any way, enter my decision to follow the world of “Natural Horsemanship” and what an amazing addition that was to my already well established foundation.

NH filled in so many pieces and allowed me to acknowledge my feelings, good bad or indifferent as well what I felt the horse was relaying. Imagine that taking the horses perspective into consideration. Wow!  This was like the best thing. Now I could acknowledge what I had instinctively done but never spoke of it.

To date I still refer to D as “My Onion” I also call her my monitor. When I’m good with her I’m great with everyone else. I am still peeling back layers on both of us. Even as rescently as the last 6 months or so we have reached a new level of communication and understanding. So cool.

Biggest lesson, you cannot make anything happen, and expect to win friends and infuence horses.

***** Look for more excerpts from the E Book, slated to  launch early summer.

 

Re-naturalizing….

And so it begins, naturally!

Meet and greet

Recently on a FB question asked  about herd dynamics, I got to thinking about some of the answers given. While doing stalls a few days ago I got chatting to

Myself , a usual occurrence, I may add. The topic came up of this question and  I began to answer it  myself,  taking in all perspectives and came up with ,

“Hmm? Can you re-naturalize a horse?”  In turn I posted that question to the FB community and was asked to give my version of what Re-naturalize meant.

So here it goes as it pertains to mainly the Herd Dynamic thought.

Sable View , has been termed by many a sanctuary! Horses and riders come to me, Sable View , misunderstood,  missing puzzle pieces to the  ”Fun” part of being with horses and riding, and horses forgetting how to be a horse.  Honestly I can not tell you what it is but with out a doubt horses here change  regardless of weather they are assigned to work with me or not. There is a great energy here, calm , quiet, and safe.  I try as much as possible to keep  the horses here as natural as possible , integrate the herds, full turn out 24/7 unless bad bad weather.  All this makes a difference right off the bat. The quiet  nature of  what I do and how I do it  permiates and  as much as they can with hands off so to speak, they settle. Some horses by request of owners are mutually worked with. By this I mean owner/ horse  time is spent with me. This is more for the relationship and safety  parts of the puzzle, but still can relate to the herd dynamic as well. Acknowledging, and reading  body language with respect.

I have had horses come in very boldened to humans and so clueless to equine signals its mind boggling.  All I can do is refer back to the Movie “Buck” . No, my experiences were not as extreme, Thank God, but the basic  premise of human error , or lack of  herd socialization as a youngster  jumps to the fore front as reasons.

Why?? Money, production, the prize,  OR maybe a mare dies, or rejected the foal, lots of reason why humans step in but I beleive the error is we  raise them as our “Babies” and not as  a by nature a wild herd animal. Those instincts are still there . All of a sudden  the baby is big and has no manners. Bad news!

I hear all the time, ” I don’t want to hurt him/her”. Or “I don’t want him/ her to not like me”, OMG people, REALLY! Think, in a herd  if they don’t get it by the third signal they get a swift  double barrel , a snaking charge,  and or a chunk taken from them.

Think do we take lip from our kids? I will answer for me, NO! I can tell you , I’m a tough mom, and my kids and I still laugh and  kid around  together all the time. They still love me!  There is a respect that is understood. Boundaries! In herd or house gotta have them!

So, in horse body language and communication, how would the mare correct her foal?   You all can think  through this  and Im sure can see in  your imagination at least the answers , as there are many. And , for as many as there are there are degrees of severity too.

When I have a horse come in with an owner who is fearful, It’s usually the “Oh my Baby ” thing. Fixable once owner gains ground in confidence  as the alpha of  their herd of 2. When it stems to the herd, and not being able to  mingle and find a place without  endangering others , whether it be dominance or submission or shear confusion, (I have seen it to where it would be banishment in the wild, my alpha knows its not  quite right and  will not allow it in ,  entering horse just doesn’t get the idea to keep his place. and ask permission to enter closer, sound familiar!). I begin to think something is missing from its “Natural” development,  social skills.

Enter “Re – Naturalizing” as  I put it. To try to get a horse to be accepted into herd and be aware of  the natural cues after missing the memo is not an easy task. I  am very fortunate to have  for the most part two herds with inter-changable members. So if full integration is not a doable thing, a herd is still an option with less pressure . 2 herds , 2 different energies. With inter-chageable members  I can  slowly  allow my more dominant  members, mare or gelding, to meet and greet, supervised  of course. This is a slow process.

For sure over the fence happens first, and  one on  one time in a private paddock area. I learn a lot from the over the fence time  I carefully watch, as to  how far I can  take the next step and who I can make it with.

In the one on one time I personally am hands off  as  I see the behaviors are not  ”Bullying” but clear and consistent with “Natural selection of a pecking order”.

I will and do make my presence known in the intro process. I feel it is important to let my place in the order of things be very clear.  In the end , the buck stops with me. Among themselves ,  they have their own order, enter human, owner, me , whomever,  a shift should be made to give  acknowledgement and respect with a feeling of comfort and ease.

In a nut shell this is my interpretation of what i call Re-Naturalizing” a horse. It can be taken deeper  in many aspect , but for this post my point was to just give an overview. I look forward to  more posts on this topic. Its unfortunate  they are needed.

 

 

 

 

 

How many lessons .. Part 2

A revelation to say the least. Since that day I often think back to the exact moment I spoke those words to myself and am amazed at its simplicity and it magnitude .

Protecting and Compensating. These are  two “Guarding” words if you thing about them, right? Technically  I was reffering to my leg, but symbolically, well there is a different story.

My Horsemanship Journey  though technical in many ways is not so much about the horse aspect but the personal growth and development.   Horses are my therapy.  My poor horses! :)   Over the last 8 yrs I have been on a wonderful journey, and of the last 2-3 its been getting really good. I have begun to unlock and reveal me.  How did it begin , at a clinic of all places. It really is so much more than riding. The obstacles and set backs I encounter with my horses  all have a greater purpose.  If it were not for  them I would not be writing this blog post. Why??? Because I would not be  aware enough or ready to hear what those words really meant for me! And more importantly , those of my students .

Compensating and Protecting,  it’s not about the ….leg , but My heart and emotions.  Long story , not a bad one just the way it was. Easier not to feel or express feelings. I know I am not alone in this.

So what came out of this wonderful Ah ha Moment???   I realized how emotionally exhausting it was for me to be on guard, and, that I was.

What was I “Really” scared of anyway???    This was a wake up call. Now its up to me to realistically look at what is holding me back and move it aside, or move through it .

**After adding this link to an older post , I had to laugh, and needed to fess up. I wasn’t denying the disease energy,  I was denying myself emotional release,
( Chicken! Just didn’t want to feel).
” You gain strength, courage and confidnece by every experience in which you  really stop and look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the things you think you can not do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Break free and Play! 

“Catatonic”, Learn to read!

Of late I have been blessed, really, to have been personally enlightened to the potentially scary life of a  RBI.

Ask yourself what it means to you to be “Catatonic.”

Sarah and her water

Just take the time

For me it is any of the following:

Vague, A lost or far away look , gone to happier place, Non responsive, frozen any of these can be used to discribe the word.

A few days ago I was put in a situation where I was so aware of what a RBI(Right Brained Introvert), must feel when being pushed to a point of needing to hide. I guess though a RBI would tend ot go there more readily if pushed, any Introvert or horse treated without a say in the conversation would or could go “Catatonic”.

Lets just say there would be a degree of difficulty in scoring as in diving or gymnastics.

Never have I felt so scared and unsure.

My only way to find escape from the pressure of the external enviroment was to close my eyes and go away, litterally to an instant deep sleep.

I figured it out pretty quickly and used it to my advantage when I didn’t want to deal or answer questions. it was clearly a very deliberate  response.

If any of you have not seen this happen in a horse, take a better look at your own! Most of us are guilty to some extent of  not understanding how to read our horses language when it is subtle and not explosive. Is it “Submissive” or is it “I can’t cope, Im going far, far away”.

To the untrained eye and spirit it could be mis read, IF read at all. 

Trying to please all around me and coping with building stress I had not filtered well, my error, I was mentally and emotionally fried! I had no options given to me other than do, this try this, etc etc .

Finally by default, I was given an opportunity to have a voice and choose a way out. OMG, what a relief!  Time was running out,  and people needed to move on so by necessity  I was given an option to get relief. Ever seen a horse push you to a point where you have to stop pushing and give up, all of a sudden they make a move and start to offer things? Yup! They just needed to be given an option!

I have a whole new respect for the impact of pressure for both ” H factors”. I do have a very good eye for reading horses and humans but this expereince has been a lesson I will never forget and will bring with me as I interact with my own horses and others. A real gift!

Always read your partner ….. Don’t make them have to escape because they are not heard and cant cope. Just because we think they should do it or others are watching! and putting pressure on you!

Don’t get me started!

Gage your pressure and monitor your mind set.

LEARN TO READ!!