Sometimes when I go to spend time with or learn/work with my horse I have this idea or agenda of what needs to happen or what progress we need to make, often something to fix or alter, maybe something to improve upon. And when I do this, I sometimes find that I go at it in the same manor that got me to the situation that I am looking at now, predictably, I make little progress. Even when I am doing ‘the right things’ and doing it the way I have been taught or studied, the way it is commonly done, I find that that I cannot make progress or poetry of the situation.
What has helped in this circumstance is to let go of what I want and how I am going to get it and think about why I want it. Sometimes the answer is, I want it because I feel like it is a place or a situation that my Horse and I should be adept and I view this from a place of assessment or even judgment. Sometimes I think its because we will be safer if we know about, or, if we are proficient at this particular task, sometimes I think I want to address this action/situation because other people do it as a basic in equitation or groundwork, therefore it must be good for us too. And often it is, but not always.
Here is where challenges, disappointments and unhappiness can show up. If I remain true to my Agreements with my horse and my commitment to a Soulful Quest with my Horse, I will focus more on the ‘why’ of this situation. I first ask, ‘Why do I want to perform this certain task/exercise?’, and when I have that answer I ask ‘Why will my Horse desire to participate in this, what is in it for her? Why would she be interested?’ These questions leave me in a place of observation so that I can better approach the How. To address a basic truth here, in order for us to know these answers, we must know our Horse, really know who they are, what they enjoy and where they feel challenged.
If I have a reaction from my Horse that says she does not want to do what I am asking, I can again, look at the situation as an observer. Perhaps the problem is in how I am asking, or because I am asking with no particular purpose in mind other than, ‘I have decided that this is what we need to do’, rather than, ‘We need to improve this, or, this will help us find common ground’. When I approach her with the intention of finding a way to see this request/exercise as a benefit to our relationship, we have more flexibility for us to co-create with our own language and technique so that we can further our accomplishment in an authentic way.
Take one hour this week to focus on a small accomplishment. Ask in a way that is not typical for you to ask. Perhaps ask with just intentions, or just body language, maybe study your Horse and see what they are asking, and answer that.