Horsey Therapist

Thursday, October 05, 2006


My friend wrote about childhood nightmares she recalled after realizing her horse acted as if he doesn't hear her.

I had them, too, nightmares about not being heard...

Most recently during the weekend break between my two weeks in TN with Harry Whitney. June 2006. No, I didn't include those journal notes on my clinic notes blog. I'll probably share them sometime. It was very relevant and important for me to have that nightmare as an adult. Especially because the outcome was different and someone heard me!

With horses, and yeah, with people, I think of 'being effective' as the ultimate feedback. If I am not effective, it doesn't matter that my intentions are good. Effective without relying on anger and fear. Effective now so I don't have to do this much next time.

I actually keep getting feedback from my horses that being effective now leaves them feeling better. There is meaning to what I do, and clarity, and that feels really, really good to horses.


At 05 October, 2006 17:43, Blogger ZinniaZ said...

I was flabbergasted by the connection between that dream and what I was feeling on my horse. So much of horsemanship is about finding the truth. I was almost angry with myself for not being hearable. Shocked and angry. I try so hard to be clear...

Open mouth, speak-- why is that hard?

At 05 October, 2006 18:40, Blogger LJB said...

Imagine a life time of being discouraged from expressing who you really are. Whether it's choice of clothes or choice of friends or books or thoughts or what to do after school. Plus we're set up in this culture to be taught WHAT to think instead of taught HOW to think. And to quote Harry Whitney about horses -- and apply this aptly to humans -- "so they're started, so they go".

So we have to manage the first habits from how we were started. It doesn't go away, it just gets quieter and quieter and only threatens to interfere with our conscious choices when the adrenaline and/or cortisol start flowing. The thinking brain hasn't a chance at all when cortisol gets going!

And most definitions of communication refer to sending and receiving and mutual understanding... you send... you send... you send... but what about figuring out what was received and how it was understood. That is important, too.

But even our "sends" can be muddled by mixed feelings about our right to "open mouth, speak." Incongruity is what some folks call it, when we say or do something and 100% of our cells are not in allignment with what we are saying or doing.

Absolutely -- our best and most alive, responsive horses will let us know quickly when we are incongruous. Lucky us, eh? (wink)

At 06 October, 2006 06:18, Blogger ZinniaZ said...

I think this is exactly why I adore the horses I do. Velvet-- who could not be clearer about her emotional state and expresses herself LOUDly, Willoughby who is a quick and clear responder. Com who is quiet but hears.

I think this is also why I like my instructor. She reads the people like they are horses. You don't have to speak or react much-- she knows when things are tough and brains are frying.

I guess, as with all things, this can be good-- (the phenomenon of realizing you are not speaking when you think you are, incongruity, etc).


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