He lied his way into the arena….

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It was a windy cloudy day in the 40’s when the men’s group arrived.  There were 8 of them hanging over the fence petting the horses before they signed their release forms.  When the paperwork was out of the way we had our intro conversation in the arena;  the wind was uncomfortable and one guy excused himself and said, ok, well thanks but I’m not really in this group and I should go wherever I’m suppose to go and besides, I’m really cold, I just wanted to pet a horse and now I’ve done that, so I should go.

We take the horses to an adult residential rehabilitation center for people in the early days of recovery from addiction to drugs or alcohol, so I say to the guy, you know, the thing about the weather is, it’s either cold, or windy or there are bugs, or then there are allergies, or it’s hot, if we are just going to work our recovery program when the weather is right, we are on a narrow road here.   He said, good point, how about I just stay here and see what I can learn.

We had our activity “steps one two and three” and when we were done, the guy comes over and makes a point of stopping us to say, I am so glad I stayed, I thought we were just going to pet the horses, I never imagined I was going to learn something valuable for my life!

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The thing is, they “Want” to be together.

ImageWe can and should use this to our advantage!  

horse·man·ship

  [hawrs-muhn-ship]  Show IPA
noun

1.  the art, ability, skill, or manner of a horseman.

It’s not just about riding, it’s about having an artists eye to see what’s so, the ability to know what to do with it, the skill to do it so it becomes your way of being.  
 
As noted in the picture above, one of the things there is to see, know and use is the fact that horses want to be together.  They will be happier moving away from home together and    giving their all to you at home.  And it is through being together that you can move apart from the herd.  
Here’s the other thing to see in the photo; Curiosity, notice how all the horses are curious about the photographer? It’s not feeding time, it’s natural curiosity, this is what, if cultivated, has our horses be interested in leaving the herd with us.   
These are things a horseman understands.  

 

I’m Afraid – Emotional Intelligence…

All living beings feel other living beings through relationship or Social Intelligence.  This starts in the brain and follows neural pathways and related systems to manifest outwardly.  Think of bees stinging repeatedly, they release  information to other bees through their endocrine system and so do you.  Before you know it, you have a big problem.  It works the same way with horses and dogs and yes people too. We are all wired to read each other.   It’s just that sometimes humans don’t recognize what’s happening as quickly as other living beings. This is because we rely so much on talking.

If you have spent any time with me and horses I’ll tell you, just be honest because there is no where to hide.  The reason for this is because in the hiding your blood pressure rises, heart rate increases, your breathing changes, all outward signs that something is wrong.    You can use this information to monitor what is happening to you thereby becoming smarter about what you are feeling (emotional intelligence.) When you add your new awareness to a mix of horses, rabbits or other people this becomes Social Intelligence.

Learning to be emotionally intelligent is something that is easily learned In the Company of Horses and Social Intelligence is clearly defined and learned in the herd.

In the Company of Horses

Sharing

The herd in this photo has done all the work necessary to share food.  Emotionally  knowing what they want; Socially doing what it takes to share.  It does not always go this way.  Sometimes a horse will posture and push other horses away.  Sometimes a horse will physically bully  other horses and take the hay.  Sometimes a horse will stand to the side and watch the others eat but never do the work it takes to be able to share with the others.  It’s the honesty of asking for (through body language) what they want that has these three horses eating together.

Some self examination could reveal how you get what you want!