10-17-2014 3-14-21 PMThe tears flowed as I listened to a song sung by Christina Aguilera, “Say Something.” Christina had no idea that when I was considering what to write on my informational card, I had coined the phrase “connecting with life and the power of choice through horses”. Life is communication. Communication is relating. Relating is RELATIONSHIP. A healthy relationship is always a 2-way passage: listening/speaking, giving/receiving. First and utmost, I considered my relationship with Abba Father. Second, I considered my relationship with humans. Thirdly, I considered my relationship with horses. When we “CONSIDER” someone or something, we position ourselves in a place where the eyes of our understanding can be opened! 10-17-2014 3-14-29 PM Because this is HORSE WHISPRING my focus will be on the equine. The song states “anywhere I would have followed you.” Horses are TRUE followers. True followers do two things. Want to take a guess what those two things are? (1) They follow and (2) they challenge the leader to see if the leader is worth following. Horses are skilled at outwitting their predators. It is at this point we make a choice whether we will relate as a predator or as a leader, a controller or a communicator. The song also states “swallow my pride.” Human ego is the horse’s greatest predator in domestic life. Human/horse relationship is not rider teaching horse OR horse teaching rider, but it IS creating an environment! The environment it creates establishes emotional and physical boundaries in which human and horse can understand each other. Horse lovers desire the discipline and the ability to act as one with one’s horse. This requires open, two-way communication between horse and rider. This relationship can be obtained easily, but by no means does it come quickly. To secure a true partnering relationship and open communication with your horse, very specific tools are needed, the most important of which is time. With his students having been dismissed for the summer, a teacher carried out his months of preparation to ride his Arabian horse from Minnesota to Wyoming to visit his brother. His biggest challenge was when he and his horse encountered a wild stallion. They came through unscathed. His most rewarding event was coming upon a campfire one evening, and the Chief extended an invitation to ‘come and be by the fire.’ He accepted. Needless to say, when his personal goal was reached, the teacher and his horse had quite a connection. True but rare story; however, the point is time spent with horse. A mother and grown daughter wanted to do something together and spend some time with each other that would include their love and interest in horses. CORRAL CONNECTIONS welcomed them. I received this letter. “At times I felt like crying. I don’t know why I held back my tears. I felt protected standing so close to the horse, maybe it was its shear [sic] strength next to me. He didn’t use his strength to harm me. I felt connected, maybe because of the beauty of God’s creation. I felt accepted in the moment; the horse didn’t care who I had been or where I would be going. I felt empowered. Today wasn’t just about being with the horse, but learning about the horse and how being and learning translated into lessons about relationships and boundaries. Boundaries are precious. Boundaries enrich a relationship, not suffocate it. Seriously, boundary setting & enforcing established boundaries is uncomfortable for me because I am concerned that setting boundaries will come across uncaring or rejecting! Yet I am aware that HEALTHY relationships REQUIRE HEALTHY BOUNDARIES. I have known how to build walls. That is lonely and disconnecting. My new equation in LIFE looks like this: walking in love = setting and enforcing healthy boundaries.” And….”My experience today was very nostalgic and reminded me of riding classes I took during middle school. I enjoy learning about various things and appreciate the knowledge Deb shared with me. Although the horse I was grooming was sassy and difficult, Deb patiently explained that he was challenging me, which meant confrontation; not my greatest forte. It was a great practice in being a leader, although I didn’t quite get the horse’s full respect by the end of the day. Spending time with the horses was a great de-stressing experience, which is nice after a long work week. Thank you for the awesome day, Deb!” Your NEIGHbor, Deb Kitchenmaster Corral Connections www.corralconnections.com 256-426-7947 Animal B.E.ST. Practitioner corralconnections@mchsi.com

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