Fall is in the air! I so enjoy this season, with its cooler temps, earthen smells, and varied colors. Great time to saddle up a horse and travel by a riverbed amidst the trees and wild turkeys, vultures, foxes, honeybees, and Canadian geese. All of these I encountered on a recent outing. Later, I found myself relaxing by a campfire under the stars, sipping a fresh cup of coffee with a shot of real half and half, and listening with friends to stories that warm the heart and soul. One word comes to mind, and that is “UNITY”.
What is unity? Unity is an agreement, accord and unison that presents us with a dance card of closeness, friendship, peace and solidarity. Some people refer to being on a horse as riding. Riding refers to travel, a journey, to be carried, a trip or an outing. Unity refers to a willing communication between horse and human; a dance that requires focus, balance and rhythm. An acronym for Unity could be Understanding, Noticing, Insightful information, Timing, Yourself/Your horse.
Three of our grandsons came this summer and spent a week with us. One afternoon, there were four horses out in pasture and four of us to bring each into their stalls. The boys dropped me off at the gate while they went to get halters. As I was bringing my mare into the barn, I looked over my shoulder to see eleven-year-old Evan walking out in the pasture with his rope halter, and lead rope draped over his shoulder. I wondered if Evan ‘remembered’ how to put the halter on. I thought, “Interesting!” Coming from the barn, I saw something that is tattooed on the fabric of my memory forever. It was Evan walking across the pasture with his halter still draped over his shoulder with his horse walking right beside him, and her head dropped at the level of his right shoulder. UNITY! WILLINGNESS! COMMUNICATION between human and horse!
I waited at the gate. Evan said, “Mamaw, I didn’t remember how to put the halter on, so I told my horse I needed her to just come with me to the barn, and she did!” It was the position of the horse with the human that makes this story so beautiful. One of the most important things to understand with your connection with your horse is that this is an individual process. It has to come right out of the inside of the individual. Real learning has to come from within oneself. This is what I mean by “IN- sightful” information.
The opposite of Unity is disagreement or discord. There will be moments where there aren’t shared aims or a team spirit between you and your horse. It is in these moments one needs to remember that sometimes going slow is the quickest way to get back into agreement. When you learn to wait and enter into an awareness of timing, you may observe frustration and fear within yourself or your horse being replaced by knowledge and trust. Confusion becomes confidence, and discord becomes harmony. Focus on the picture of what “could be.”
This fall of 2012, may you enjoy the goodness of unity between you and your horse as you accept, recognize and appreciate the uniqueness in you and your horse!
Connecting with LIFE
through a horse
Animal B.E.S.T practitioner
By: Deb Kitchenmaster