By: Deb Kitchenmaster
I chuckled as I read about a Harvard-trained brain surgeon and his relationship with horses. What a paradigm! Whereas, a brain surgeon operates on the brain, a connecting relationship with a horse has the potential of rewiring the brain.
How is that? When a master predator and an ultimate prey animal “scalpels” by cutting through judgments, traumas, and toxic mind-sets to the center of understanding the flow of vital energy, intention, and focus, the gate of an inside arena opens and welcomes you! Should you choose to step through the open gate, you simply say “YES” to a continuous lesson of awakening sensitivity and leadership.
Let me give you an example. When I approached one of our mares the other day, I literally ‘sank’ on the inside. I connected with low energy, sadness, and a sensation of being overwhelmed. Sensitivity led me to pause and observe. I noticed the other mare in her paddock was dominant in a subtle way. These two have shared a paddock area for weeks. However, this day, the white blazed Morgan mare needed a break! We spent the next hour together and what a connection we had. I continue to reflect upon that moment, and it was beautiful. This horse needed a “Debbie connection” and I equally needed one with her! I want to point out here, I had the time to give to her that day. If my schedule was penciled in with timelines and deadlines, I would have chosen another solution, such as put her with another horse or give her area to herself. The difference between being merely attached to your horse and being connected to your horse is your state of mind.
Here’s a fun eye-opener exercise in understanding the energy of your presence and focus. Go out with a halter and lead rope to a pasture with horses. Find a spot like a nice tree where you can safely sit down and relax. Curiosity will be the look on the horses’ faces as you sit down. This is “unusual” behavior in their minds. Most horses have never experienced a human coming into their pasture without wanting something from them. When the horses have returned to grazing, randomly pick out one horse from the herd. Get up and start walking toward him. Picture you catching, connecting, and haltering that one particular horse. Once you have made a decision on which horse it is, don’t change your mind. Stay focused on your horse. Keep walking straight toward him. Observe what happens! The horses you are not focused on will let you walk around them as they are grazing. However, the one you intend to halter may start to pick up his head and possibly move off. What did the selected horse sense that the others did not? This horse is aware of the intensity of energy toward him. Simply making a selection in your mind creates a change in your energy that is easily perceived by the horse, even across an entire pasture. What about miles?
When we moved to the South we lived in town and leased pasture several miles east of Huntsville. I had met a man from Canada who heard about my connection with horses, and he scheduled a session. When I drove out to the barn for that session, one of the six horses was standing at the gate waiting for me! She KNEW she was the ONE for this person. What got my attention big time was this particular mare loved pasture time. Here she was waiting! Harvey remembers this round pen session like it was yesterday. Abba Father and mare Annie tattooed Harvey’s heart with a NOW moment in permanent ink.
Whether you are reading this article because you are a horse lover, a horse owner or simply reading because you are holding Athens Now in your hands, I want to encourage y’all to go ahead and get the scalpel out. Be willing to cut between cognitive mindsets and the possibility of an intuitive lifestyle. We find comfort in holding a compass in our hands as we journey on. We want a map to reassure us where we are on our journey. Horses simply have faith. Whether walking in darkness, fog, storms, or carrying a confused human asking, “Where are we?” - to find the trail that leads us safely home. Horses have a way, as we connect with them, to return us home to our author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Himself.