Anna, I follow your profile. Some time ago, I felt that I want that horse to be with me and to express his freedom. After a Clinic with [name of the trainer] I believed that I would succeed. I keep trying, but I am strongly confused how I should behave in relation to the horse. I want to take a good care about the relationship, I want my horse to seek me, and not vice versa. Sometimes, according to your advice, I forget everything what I want to achieve with my horse and I just enjoy what he offers. Then I have the most joy. Even if he leaves me, I accept it.
On the other hand, several people who I respect for their achievements (eg. [name of trainer]) convinced me that respect = obedience. The pressure and dominance is natural for horses. I’m not talking about violence, but about requiring constant obedience. In this way, we (humans) become strong in the eyes of the horse and the horse sees us as more attractive company because they feel safer. I thought that the horses did not feel well when we impose them to do something, but it turns out that having a partner who is always in control they run to see him.
I’m afraid, for example, that when I ask a horse for a canter departure, he will refuse. And then if I will say “OK, do as you like” this freedom will make me weak in his eyes. If I am weak, I’m unimportant. How to put the boundary between freedom and requiring a horse to do something, for example for my own safety?
I will be grateful for your answer,
First of all, thank you for your question and turning to me with your dilemma. Thank you for your trust.
When I read your message yesterday, I immediately felt there three layers of YOU who spoke through the lines: One voice that spoke was the Real You, the other voice that spoke were your Personalities, and then another was the Fear and Convictions that have been sticked onto you by other people.
You may think that you wrote to me, but to what I felt when reading your message, the message was written by yourself and directed to yourself. All answers to your questions are in your message and show beautifully who is speaking when, and what are the things that this person believes in. The three paragraphs of your message show beautifully these shifts and what emotions are where, and when you feel at peace, where fearful and where just confused.
The first paragraph is the most interesting one to me, as this is the only one where the person that speaks actually experienced something herself. In the two following paragraphs the person that speaks is either expressing her fear caused by convictions of other people or fear and convictions of other people. In these two paragraphs there are no real-life experiences that you had, only fear or convictions of what the you that saw or listened to something thinks that she saw and thinks that she heard.
When you do not know who you are, it is like there are many people living inside of you
If I could draw a graph for you to show it in a visual way, it would be a ball or a globe with a big number of spheres around it. The essence, the core of the globe is the Real You, and the spheres around the globe are the “Other Yous”, that I would call “The Personalities”.
In our lives we get strongly attached to the Personalities, we may even think that we are them. But when you look from a big perspective on your Life you see that these Personalities are not stable, they are changing, and they are weak and dependent on the external factors, for example: One day you may like your body, and the other day you may not like your body.
When your message starts I see the Real You speaking. The Real You sees the path and feels pulled to take steps on this path. The Real You seeks help in the people who encourage you and supports you to see the world differently and live without fear. This is beautiful. The Real You expresses joy and states that the most beautiful moments happen when you allow the control to cease. What is more, the Real You seeks the possibility of deepening the connection with a horse, and expresses it by the very important following statement: I want my horse to seek me, and not vice versa.
Let’s stay with this line for a moment.
Before I will elaborate more on that, we have to understand three factors that are present in this statement:
WHO wants your horse to seek You
WHO is your horse that seeks You
and WHO is your horse seeking
When you understand these three factors, your dilemma will disappear. Let me explain:
WHO wants your horse to seek You
When you approach this from the level of ego, it is almost palpable that the one that wants your horse to seek you are the Personalities: They want to keep under control the ever-changing conditions and situations of Life to create the false conviction of safety and the false conviction of that their own existence is much needed.
From this level you will want your horse to adore you, seek you, love you, respect you, please you and comfort you. And this is good. But the YOU that is by the microphone, will see the signs of that only in the things that can resonate with ego, with the Personalities. This means, that you will see these signs of connection only in: staying close to you, responding immediately to your requests, standing still when you require, moving when you require, not leaving you at all, being “obedient”, “good-mannered”, and “polite”.
When you approach the same sentence from the level of your True Self, from the essence of you that speaks to me in the first paragraph, you can feel the subtle shift in energy:
When one that wants to be sought by the horse is the Real You, the Real You will want your horse to adore the Real You, seek the Real You, love the Real You, respect the Real You, please the Real You, and comfort the Real You.
From this place you will see that your horse does so all the time, and you will see this in everything that can resonate with the Real You:
You will see it when your horse leaves you to tell the Personalities “Go away, I want to connect with the Real Her, and not with you”. You will see it in your horse not responding to your canter departure request to tell you: “Do it with even more softness, you do not have to tense your stomach”. You will see it when your horse slightly pushes your shoulder with his nose to tell you: “Relax here even more”, etc.
WHO is your horse that seeks You
When we look at the above from the level of your Personalities, your Personalities probably see the horse as an animal that has smaller understanding, and intelligence as you. You are superior to your horse and you want your horse to show you his affection in the way that you consider as “nice” or “respectful” with your awareness assigned to the Personalities that is full of fear and tensions, and is always afraid about the future. You can easily understand that if you look at your message above, most of this message expresses fear about the situations that never happened o you in your Life. This is how the Personalities involve us in worrying about imaginary problems.
When we look at the very same from the level of your essence, of the True Self, you can start to see in your horse someone that is equal to you, if not superior to you considering the level of awareness. You can start to experience glimpses of the bigger awareness and greater understanding that your horse shares with you, and you can start to truly experience how these moments expand your awareness and how you grow as a person thanks to that. You can also experience that this growth is not expressed by changing, but by deepening and expanding the glimpses of the connection that you always had with your True Self.
If you follow this path in purity and trust, you will start to see that your horse always cares about you, and always wants to help you. Even if you horse says “NO” to canter, you will see it not as “NO, I don’t want to canter”, but as “NO, I don’t want to give canter to you when you are fearful, tensed, unhappy or controlling”.
Opening yourself more and more to these experiences, you may realise that to learn something new from your horse, you absolutely need your horse to step outside of the commonly understood obedience (meaning that the horse does what you require, and only what you require, and that all activities your horse does are initiated by your requests).
To show you new things your horse has to have the possibility to take the new actions and tell you things that are new to you, unexpected, and many times hard to hear (but again, it depends on who is listening to your horse: your Personalities or your Real You?). This, of course doesn’t have to do anything with horses being unpredicted or unsafe. This only means that your horse needs to have freedom to express his voice and guidance.
Please let me direct you to my following articles that treat this subjects deeper:
WHO is your horse seeking
From this place is already very easy to feel and understand that your horse has absolutely no interest in seeking anything but the Real You. Your horse has no interest in interfering with your fear, anxiety and tensions, either implemented by others into your Life, or the ones that you have grown yourself.
Your horse is interested only in speaking with the Real You.
And so am I.
This is why the last two paragraphs of your message I will leave without an answer…
Let me just clarify that asking the horse to canter and him saying “NO” to that has nothing to do with keeping the situation safe for the both of you.
I wish you a wonderful and fruitful journey,
OneHorseLife: Canter departures and first flying changes offered by a 5yo horse:
Learn more about Anna’s approach:
B.A.S.E. Kick-Start Training: Online Workshop designed to guide you step by step to the shift of awareness from the Personalities to the Real You. Last edition this year starts on the 15th of September 2016.
JoinAnna: OneHorseLife Training Videos: Anna shows horses’ guidance that exists beyond the positive training methods. In the Articles that accompany videos Anna explains what and how horses want to teach us to expand our awareness, and how to change upon and profit from this guidance.
BodyMarc: Expand Your Awareness: A complete 11-Week Self Study Course with a Book and Video Set to connect with your body, and through the body with the Real Self. The best place to become a better rider, and a more aware person and to profit from the personal guidance from Anna and Pawel.
Anna Speaks about Liberty, Positive Reinforcement and expanding Awareness: