Self-enquiry / coaching
- Nothing is more visible than what is hidden -
Thought patterns, feelings, habits, attitudes and beliefs, many of which are not beneficial for our
well-being, have a massive influence over our lives. A pervading belief for many people for example is that they are not good enough. This belief can lead to negative feelings & thoughts which can result in negative behaviours.
Self-enquiry and coaching help us to recognise these thoughts, feelings, habits, attitudes and the underpinning beliefs about ourselves. As many of these patterns do not serve us any longer, working in this way can help us see them and to let them go.
Practicing self-enquiry in relation to horses takes on a new dimension because horses react to the totality of who you are: Your emotional state; your intentions; your believes and your body-language.
A horse can sense and will even react to tension held in your muscles, how you are breathing and your heartbeat.
The logical way in which we use our mind is less important in the communication and relation with a horse. For example it is always today, or even now for them, never Monday or Tuesday.
It is important to understand that you communicate to your horse who you are in all your aspects. Not who you want to be but who you actually ARE in that moment. Masking or trying to cover anything will not be effective because horses see directly through any masking. This is why they help us in a big way to be authentic. Because they almost demand authenticity from us it means our contact with them must be sincere. The masks we have created for ourselves can often makes us feel sad because with every mask we have created in the past we have hidden a piece of ourselves behind it which can leave us feeling that we have lost something important. Horses help us reconnect with those parts or aspects of ourselves, because they act as an authentic mirror shining light on all of these aspects. This brings us eventually to a greater sense of wholeness and contentment within.
When you make contact with a horse, you see yourself. You see what's really in your heart. You see
on the one side your fears, obstructing emotions and other blockages. And on the other side, because horses live in their natural state, in an authentic way, standing in their inner strength, grounded and centred, they mirror these things to you for you to see them. Contact with them brings you more in contact with your natural state, your authenticity and your inner strength.
It is very helpful if you begin to notice all these layers in yourself and what unconscious messages you are sending out to your horse.
What is authentic in me?
What serves to me and my horse?
What am I bringing with me in this moment?
What can be let go?
Self-enquiry will enhance your contact with horses, it engenders a respectful relationship.
We also have our believes about horses, what they need, how to treat them and how to ride them. For example, many people learn that horses need shoes. Many people shoe their horse with the best intentions, because they’ve been told that horses needs them. But is that actually true? Or have we just learn this and over time it becomes a truth?
Maybe in some cases and circumstances horses need some protection on their feet, but I have my doubts shoeing horses as a general practice. I say this because many problems derive from shoeing a horse. I have spoken to a very experienced farrier about this issue. He told me, despite this being his business, that he prefers to go to people to remove shoes and help to restore the health of hooves instead of shoeing horses.
The hoof functions as a blood pump, with every circulation of the blood the hoof makes a small movement which helps the blood circulate throughout the whole body. When you put a shoe on a horse it inhibits this natural pumping actions which can lead to issues in other parts of the body (the knees, hips and back) later on due to poor circulation. There are more drawbacks to shoeing, for example the procedure involves iron fitting and nails which are unnatural materials. Shoeing can also cause hoof infections especially when they are not changed frequently (every six weeks at least). Horses who have been shoed do not have direct contact with the ground, this means that there is not an appropriate exchange between the earth and the horse who as a result cannot release tension easily. Consider for yourself how nice is it after a day working to take your shoes off at home. Fortunately there are good alternatives now for shoes.
But to return to self-enquiry, this is not limited to talking about whether to shoes horses. An interesting example would be how making assumptions works. Someone tells a story enough times (for example horses need shoes) and we take over this belief and in time it becomes our belief too. It is good practice to do some enquiry into ourselves to see what and why we have all started to believe in.
It is nice to cleanse your system so that you can naturally express the fullness of who you are in the moment. Having the intention to do so is already an important step. Horses react very strongly to intention. So if you have clear intentions like for example 'to be kind', your horse will pick up immediately on your intention, even if you fail to live it sometimes. When you are honest in your intentions, you know when you are living true to them and when not. Coming from this level of honesty it is much easier not to project your mood onto the horse, but instead to see it in yourself.. When this is seen a path to freedom will appear and the contact between you and your horse will become a different experience.
Horses can give you many insights, as well as profound friendship and teachings. Moreover they have a transformative power. More focus, direction, peace and strength in your life can develop through this relationship with horses and also by giving your service to horses. It is something beyond what you can grasp with your mind. Something you can only experience.
- Kim -