-There is a crack in everything That's how the light gets in-
Inner peace starts with accepting everything about yourself just as it is. To embrace yourself with everything you are, the light and the shadow sides, your likes and dislikes and to stop fighting with yourself because this creates continuous inner conflict. Acceptance softens your heart and is the first step to transformation. When you bring friendliness to your heart, all inner combat stops and inner peace arises.
What a gift you are then for your horse.
Meditation and silence
Meditation and silence are important building blocks for laying the foundation in the relationship with your horse, in horse riding and in the way you are living. Meditation is 'doing nothing'. It's like resting in this state whilst your doing things, letting your thoughts and feelings be as they are. Nothing to achieve, nothing to do better. Being fully present in your body, not dreaming , not drifting away, not going to fantasy land. 'To be' for a moment.
Meditation is an essential ingredient for a good, rewarding relationship with your horse. When you practise meditation regularly, even for five minutes before you make contact with your horse, it results in being more present with your environment, with your body, when making contact with the other and in what you are doing. At my retreats meditation forms an important basis for the interactions with the horses.
There are different ways to ‘empty your head’ or relax. Maybe you like to go for a run, or whatever works for you….. but keep in mind that horses react to your inner state of being. If you are calm and present, their behaviour will be very different than when you are nervous, loud or overenthusiastic.
Living meditation is letting life go it's own way while you take part fully without being driven by your personal opinion about how life should be and how your horse should be or perhaps shouldn’t be. It is acceptance of life in everything exactly as it is.
Meditation helps self-enquiry too because by practising meditation over time you become able to take a bit of space between you and your habitual thought patterns, developing the ability to see them from a distance instead of being tangled up within them. With regular practice you also begin to be able to see these thoughts patterns without having to make judgements about them or yourself.
With more mental silence you can observe what is happening around you with more clarity. The more present you are the better your senses are able to function. You smell, see, hear, taste and touch more of the world. With this comes the ability to easily determine what the horse is trying to communicate to you because you are more able to listen. You can interpret the body language of your horse more clearly and you more readily understand what your horse is communicating to you via his/her intention.
Horse riding also becomes much safer because when your mind is silent and you are present in the here and now you can anticipate with much more accuracy. The horse will feel you more when you are really in your body and present because horses are always in their bodies. The first thing a foal learns from it’s mother is to be in it’s body for survival. In the wild horses can be easily killed by preditors so this is a hard-wired instinct.
Bodies communicate and feel each other. The energy exchange can be felt between energy beings which we all are. When an energy exchange takes place a response lights up that doesn't come from your mind, but from your heart. It is a natural response, an awareness that life is flowing through us.
Horses are very sensitive beings, they fee what your feeling and they respond to this as well as your, state of mind and inner state. To have a good interaction with the horse it is important that you reflect on your inner state over and over. The more you can cultivate calmness in yourself this will have a positive influence on the horse and can help him/her to find a calmer state within him/herself too.
Restlessness in yourself will probably cause him/her to feel anxious or at least uneasy. Of course each horse will react differently, there are, like people, ‘thick skinned’ horses. Horses in stables can be obtuse and will not react as sensitively as horses who live in their natural environment.