Verandah Magazine’s spokesperson for all things ‘horse’, Beate Sommer from Aurora Valley, talks about how to have a ‘soft’ connection with our four-legged friends, and we can relate it to our two-legged companions as well…
Over the years I’ve often asked myself what exactly is ‘connection’ with our horses? Is it a physical feel? Is it mental clarity or an emotional flow? Or is it maybe all of those things.
What I’ve come to believe is that to me connection is a soft feel, a clear mind and emotional awareness. If the feel is not soft, the mind not clear and the emotions not flowing, it is not a connection, it’s more likely a disconnection or a block, or a distortion leading to a misunderstanding and miscommunication.
Horses notice everything around them, near and far, while being acutely aware of their internal environment at the same time. We can learn from horses how to become more attentive, how to sharpen our senses, how to be tuned into everything without losing connection with ourselves. They teach us how to bring our focus back to ourselves, how to notice, sense, assess, decide and act all in a short space of time, and then to return to ‘Self’ instead of having our focus hijacked and scattered. Horses are keenly observant yet without judgement. They take everything as it presents itself and experience energy in its purest form.
Misbehaviour in a horse is a form of communication. Looking at it from this perspective means we don’t have to judge it as bad and we don’t have to punish the horse. Horsemanship becomes a lot more inclusive instead of being exclusive. Everything is welcome and allows us to know the horse a little better. This is a step towards more softness and connection.
Just think how tolerant horses are of our misbehaviours! They are constantly trying to read us – our body language, our verbal cues, our thoughts and our emotions. Plus they can tune into our heart rate, body odours, even our slightest muscular tensions.
Horses also experience our misbehaviour as a form of communication. They sense when we are incongruent. Our incongruence lies in the energy blocks, the random and often unfocussed thoughts, our deeper and more hidden emotions, our intention and so on. Horses respond to these rather unconscious aspects of ourselves. They also respond to us when we are soft and connected and then they become soft too and we experience flow and harmony, even if just for the briefest moment. It is important to pause after such special moments to let them into your whole system so your being can remember the joy later on.
When we have softness we no longer need boundaries but until we have softness, boundaries are necessary. This is true for relationships with people too. Connection with our horses presupposes connection with Self. Let us be soft with ourselves, especially in moments of misbehaviour. If we can be soft in our approach to ourselves, the misbehaviour-like communication, the disconnection from that aspect, which communicates in a distorted way, will feel safe to be seen and acknowledged.
Learn to read yourself honestly and with kindness. Speak to yourself in the same way. Soften those parts within that have become rigid. Then we can relax and our brains can think of creative ways to be and do with the horse. Our hearts offer us the kindness and patience to make the best decision in each moment. Our gut tells us what is safe and what is not.
Practise connecting the three centers of intelligence: head, heart, gut.
I read somewhere that ‘hate is just a funny kind of love standing upside down’. I’m mentioning it because in a way any misbehaviour is like that… love standing upside down.
So, keep grounded, listen to your heart and gut, and be guided by Spirit. Then your mind will use its positive, creative intelligence and your decisions will be for the higher good of All.
AURORA VALLEY Take Time to Smell the Horses offers Natural Horsemanship with Emotional Awareness, Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Facilitated Energy Healing.
“Horses and Nature as a Path to Awakening, 31 Authentic Voice Cards for Heart Centered Emotional Intelligence – Daily Inspiration and Practical Wisdom straight from the Horse’s Mouth”
by Beate Maria Sommer
Available now from: taketime2smellthehorses