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.