Horsey Therapist

Saturday, September 09, 2006


A friend was writing about her experience with an instructor who had an excellent reputation, but I gather not quite an excellent presentation as a teacher for my friend.

She appreciated that she learned something about feeling what a horse might feel when the lesson is unclear.

Indeed, we can gain empathy for what our horses are experiencing when we slow down and feel and acknowledge what we are experiencing.

Maybe it's an age thing, but at this point, if I don't feel good with someone, it doesn't matter what they have to offer, it's not worth it to me to spend time and money learning from that person. I cannot separate what I'm learning from how I'm learning. Maybe more accurately: I will not pretend to separate ... I will not suffer while I'm learning, and feeling intimidated, put down, belittled, talked down to all provide a situation where one is suffering the condescension of the other. For sure I think the person with the Better Than Thou attitude is also suffering.

Not to confuse this issue with the feeling bad that accompanies any struggling to understand something. This type of feeling bad is part of my learning experience. I'm grateful that more and more I am with teachers who use a generous dose of humor as they present new ideas or give me feedback that leads to my awareness that I've been doing something limiting and/or hurtful and/or confusing to my horses. I am talking about the feeling bad that comes from a dominant/submissive duality, when one person is arrogant about their level of knowledge. The feeling bad that comes with criticism and sending messages of wrongness and inadequacy.

May the energies of the universe keep me humble as I spend time with people. I may know something about horses that they don't, but all persons I meet know a whole lot more about themselves and many aspects of life than I ever will. I want to adjust to suit their wants and needs, not have them adjust to suit my wants and needs. I like the image of instructor as servant.

Vibes speak louder than words. This IS how our horses live. They read our vibes, respond to our vibes, try desperately to get along with us despite our vibes. Like my friend, my intention is to treat my horses with honor regarding this aspect of their being. I also intend to learn to treat myself with the same honor. I am learning lots about integrity from being around horses.


At 09 September, 2006 19:38, Blogger ZinniaZ said...

The biggest red flag for me was how frozen I became. I went back to being about four years old, unable to speak or move, just imprisoned by crushing embarassment. A friend who was there could see it and left, saying later she couldn't stand to watch it. I will NOT allow anyone to do this to my horse.

I said later that if that were my normal lesson, I wouldn't be riding. That kind of event sucks the joy right out of everything. After the ride, instructor left and I got off my horse and was very surprised that HE was ok. I was so not ok that his kind concerned face and his happy attitude were totally unexpected. I felt bad and thought he must be feeling it too and guilty for him and he was being totally sweet and well adjusted. I was so glad that I hadn't somehow hurt HIM.

This truly does ring in my ears with Libby's words, "If he isn't feeling GOOD about it..." I will remeber this forever and try not to inflict this kind of confusion and upset on a horse by trying to MAKE them understand...


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