Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New perspectives

I just started a book called The Tao of Equus by Linda Kohanov. It's a pretty interesting look at the horse-human relationship, though she focuses a lot on women and I know at least a few men that could relate to her insights.

While some of what she writes is a little out there -- though definitely not impossible -- what I like is the basic premise that horses are not stupid, that they are sentient and intelligent beings that not only can but do show us our selves in a safe and non-judgemental way.

I've referred to Lena (and Bar) as excellent bio-feedback, and acknowledged that you can't be elsewhere when dealing with horses. What I didn't always grasp was that "faking" emotions is not effective with horses. You can't breathe your way out of fear and expect your horse to believe you. Bar knows, with every inch of his intuitive Thoroughbred self, that no matter how evenly I'm trying to breathe, sometimes he truly scares me.

But he also knows when I'm relaxed and enjoying him for who he is, even when he spooks at what I think are silly things, and that I love what he brings to my life.

Lena takes a lot of this for granted, being the confident Alpha mare that she is. Yet even she breathes a little easier when I am careful to take the time to be sure I am truly with her and paying attention.

I suspect it is the difference in their upbringing as well as their general temperaments, but they both show me different parts of myself and both provide valuable insight and feedback. And I love them both for what they mirror back to me.

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