I learned yesterday that you can buy a time-share in a horse. You have your day of the week to groom and ride the horse. It helps the owner, and you don't have the hassles and vet bills. It is a win-win, like life.
We worked with the horses yesterday the same way as last time, though more smoothly, as we learned to perfect our body language, and adapt to each horse, and each horse's adapting. One woman spoke of wanting everything black and white, the same. That is the point. Nothing is the same. Each interaction is new. What a concept, and how foreign to so many. This is a lesson in presence and patience.
My book group met last night at Emma's to discuss Joan Didion's Slouching Toward Bethelehem, which is a collection of essays on the 60's. I recommend that book, plus Didion's next one White Album, essays on the 70's. That, plus Shana Alexender's book on Patty Hearst, Anyone's Daughter, and you've had a good visit back in time.
So, with the horses, the body language is Ask, Suggest, Inspire. Inspire is a little more forceful. The point is to bring the energy up in your own body, and inspire the horse with your own energy, so if you want the horse to back up, your energy is helping to back it up. When the horse follows a suggestion, you release. Both in neutral again. This is a way to consciously work with our energy through the horse, and receive instant feedback as to our effectiveness.
Also, we need to know what it is we want to convey to the horse. We have to be clear in our own mind. This is not as easy as it sounds. Are we used to giving ourselves a moment to be clear? Do we want the horse to stand there, back up, come forward, go in a circle? What do we want? If we don't know what we want, how can the horse know? A mess ensues when person and horse are confused. Again, I was struck by how when I knew what I wanted, the horse knew. Horses are telepathic, when we are clear.
Horses want to please, and they have considerations of their own. They don't like to waste energy. Young ones may, but older ones know how to conserve their energy, so they are ready to run when there is a threat. It makes sense, and is again, something we once knew and can re-learn or re-inforce through the horses. We can learn to be in neutral, unless there is a need to mobilize our energy for response.
Many of us have had the experience of becoming frightened on a horse, and wanting it to stop. What do we do? We raise our energy, shouting and flapping and kickng. How does the horse respond? It goes faster! Doesn't that make sense? What would you do if somebody were flapping about on top of you? So, it is another lesson in learning to be calm when we are frightened. Pause, and convey that it is time to stop now. Pause. Ah, the wonderful roundness of the pause. I love the pause.
Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause.
Lessons abound. Horse therapy is a lesson in presence. Am I present with myself? Am I present with the horse? It becomes very clear whether I am, or not.
Also, I am meeting a wonderful group of people at the stable in Fairfax. This is a touching experience in all ways.
There is a free water coloring class for cancer patients today. I am amazed at all that is offered. I'll see if I make it up to Redwood High School. I am enjoying being tucked in on this day where the sky looks like smoky quartz, healing in all ways. I use the sky today instead of the radiation machine. It is a gentle, quiet eye.
Angie, who works at the Mill Valley library, is looking for volunteers who love books to staff a desk, and talk to people who come in looking for suggestions. The idea is to inspire people on reading, and open them to new possibilities in their reading repertoire. It could be as little as two hours a month. Let me know if you are interested. It sounds fun, and imagine how many more books you will learn about while sitting there. Everything you give comes back in multiple folds. Live your life as origami. Live fragrantly Bold!