Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Feeling the Freedom

I have sent out some of the birth announcement to a few close friends and even received as a gift yesterday, a cute stuffed horse carrying a balloon that read “It’s a Girl”. How fun!

People seem to like the name - Beyond Horse Personalities. Second born children always have to wear the hand me downs don’t they? I liked the open ended feeling of it because we really have no idea where this will take us. We have only just opened the door to the kind of relationship we can have with horses. This blog I hope will journal the process of a new way of BEING with horses.

Some of us are tired of the old ways. The natural horse training techniques that has swept the horse world in the past 30 years; we find it just gives us new ways of controlling horses more intimately, although granted less violently than the old training techniques. They sell the 10 DVD packages that promise you the same results as the master for $400 or more, all within 10 to 20 years of your life. For most of us we got to level 2 or maybe 3 if we really worked hard and took a lot of clinics by the master. By this point most of our horses really hated the program and us, or they had died by then of boredom, old age or stress trying to figure out all the answers to these equations.

We have all seen the videos on U-tube of horses galloping around at liberty, bridle less, with amazing stops and spins and everyone so in awe, but most in the audience not aware that the horse is trained within an inch of his life. I am thinking the horse has long since quit feeling he had a free thought of his own that he could act upon. Personally I wasn’t feeling the liberty.

Ok, got off on a tangent there. I will try in future to put up a red flag when I feel a rant about to burst forth. Now here is a nice little difference between the blog and writing another book. This little rant would have most likely got nixed by the editor. Wow! What freedom – I can feel the liberty in this. Oh can I just add one more little tiny one. Isn’t it funny how some of the old school trainers are just now discovering natural horsemanship and think it is the newest bestest thing? Just an observation which is what I do.

I agree that the master of these programs has a gift that he/she (almost always he I’ve noticed) brings to horses or they bring to him, but when they try to put that into a package and program all that FEEL is lost. Feel can not be taught but I do believe it can be learned. And the horses are anxious to teach us.

To learn feel all we need to do is show up with our horse and listen…really listen. If they turn away with their body or head it means no. It could be ‘no’ for what you are doing or even what you are saying (oh yah they are listening on so many levels we never imagined). The yes is usually a direct look or a lick and chew. If what you are thinking or saying is really deeply important you might hit the jackpot and get the big eye rolling yawn. Once we start to understand the basis of their language, we can start to really relate to them and the result might be ‘feel’. Hands and legs…. pulling and kicking will become so far back in the distant past. Maybe all training might be in the distant past. We have no idea where this is taking us, we are just open and anxious to get on the road. No limitation and boxes for you, second child, you are free to go play.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Follow Your Heart

Day 2

Just like every new parent I read a lot of the ‘how to’ books for my first born, ‘Is Your Horse a Rockstar?’. Then I realized that all this professional information just seems to make you question every decision you make. What started out as excitement and love became an arduous task. For this child I am going to try just using my intuition or my heart. I want her to grow up to be whatever she needs to be without me molding and shaping her every inch of the way. We eventually realize that things will be what they need to be and the answer we see from our little perspective down here is at most times pretty limited. How can we find the new perspective from reading old material?

I confess I took a look at one of the sites on how to blog. It said I needed to list as many topics as I thought I could write about. It said I needed to include all these certain words if I wanted a search engine to pick it up. It said I needed to schedule time everyday for the blog. It said I needed to spend more time reading others blogs than I spent writing my own. It said I needed to research the name, do I use .com or .org. or net. It said I needed to do all these things if I hoped to be successful. Successful? What did that mean in terms of writing a blog? Wasn’t I doing this because something in my soul/body wanted to get out? But after reading this I was overwhelmed and a tiny bit ‘a scared’. Was I up for this task?

Then I realized, that is exactly what happens to horse owners. They buy a horse because they love them. They see the beauty. Something on a soulful level is calling them and they just want more of the experience and then along comes a professional in the form of a book or an instructor that tells them all the things they need to do differently so that they can get their horse to do his things differently and soon the relationship is a long ways down the priority list. That soulful experience is gone.

What does it look like without that ‘help’? Can I trust myself to just follow my heart and do what FEELS right? This is the new journey we are stepping into with our horses. Can we step into our feelings and let that be our guide. Can we have a real relationship with horses rather than one that we have been told we need to have? New horse owners are showing me that this is the new journey. This is the next step. This blog is how I want to record their journey. We’d love it if you wanted to take the trip with us and join in with your experiences any time you like.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Birth of the Blog

It’s 4 a.m. It’s go time. I have been tossing and turning and not sleeping most of the night. Is this false labour or the real thing? I think this is it. I am up and dressed and ready for the trip.

I thought it would be easier with the second birth, but the pangs of labour feel the same. I can’t wait to get this out and yet I am so anxious, alternating between excitement about the new creation and worry that it won’t be all that we hoped for.

I should of known it would be tonight as all yesterday I was restless and discontent, nothing made me happy, grumpy at my husband, invited to dinner and couldn’t make myself go, laying on the couch watching golf to distract from this big ball of discontent.

I’d like to say this was a planned pregnancy but I can’t really remember when I conceived, I just gradually felt something growing in me. When it first started kicking and I knew it was alive it made me feel elated, but then at other times more comparable to morning sickness. What had I done? How did this happen? Could I birth another idea into something tangible and real? And then you realize there is no turning back. This idea was meant to be. It is larger than me or at least ‘little me’. So now I have nurtured it and watched it grow, but I can no longer carry it around inside me. It wants to get out.

It is a second child, so I know now it is not all cute cheeks and cuddles, there is the spit up and poopy pants. Can I love this child as much as my first born?

I was so anxious when ‘Rockstar’ first went out into the world. What a name eh? And that is just the nickname. He actually has a title “Is Your Horse a Rockstar?” The kind of thing you do with first borns. He was little so we wanted to give him a big name. We tried to do everything so right with him. Research, planned parenthood, all kinds of outside council, kept him neat and tidy. We even had a big coming out party for him….sent out invites, rented a hall, served wine. I guess we did alright as he is growing up nicely, finding his own way out in the world, even becoming a bit of world traveller.

Will these be hard footsteps to follow? Will being the second child make it easier or harder? Will he/she be judged because of first child? I feel I will be a better parent, more flexible and ready to go with the flow. I do worry that I might neglect her with my new easy going attitude, just taking it (or typing it) a day at a time. I sure hope I don’t leave her for weeks at a time. Do I have the perseverance?