Simplicity… the Horse

Simplicity. That is actually what life is supposed to be. Simple, however, we humans, have a great knack for making things incredibly complicated. I, too, am guilty of this and yet I have been able to learn something different and finally come to accept that life is actually simple. I just had to learn to make different choices. And that is where the horse comes in. 

You see, horses are flight creatures. They are prey animals and their main means of defense is fleeing. They have a basic system. Danger equals run and no danger equals not to run. Simple and yet very effective as long as the horse can efficiently learn what to run from and what not to run from. This is the learning process for all of us in essence. We need to be able to slow down enough in our lives to be able to “see what we need to run from and what we don’t” and then remember those things. This is basis of training horses. Helping the horse learn that the things he/she considers scary and should run from are actually things they should not run from. The first encounter of this learning process for a horse is when they are first born and they encounter humans in their lives. Now, how the human interacts with the foal is just as important as how the mother reacts to humans, as foals learn what is important in their lives mainly from their mothers. So, if the mother has had bad encounters with humans and does not trust them well, then her mistrust will show through her behavior around humans and the foal will follow those behaviors. However, if the mother has had good encounters with humans and she trusts them, then her trust will show through her behaviors around humans and the foal will follow those behaviors. Now I understand that things can get quite complicated with this process but the point I am making is it is the processthat is simple and if we understand and apply the process then things will not become as complicated. Life is all about processes and the more we can understand the processes and then use them, the more simplistic our lives will become. 

I owe my understanding and acceptance of processes and the simplicity of the processes to my horses. As I have worked with horses for the past 30 years, I have learned to simplify my life to the best of my abilities and think and be more like my horses. To learn and remember what “things I am to run from and what things I should not run from” and most of those things I’ve learned not to run from are counter-intuitive. And that is the basics of how we humans work with horses. On the counter-intuitive level. It is not intuitive for a horse to let a human touch and ride them and yet we are allowed to do it because of the training. Once again, it is the process and keeping the process simple. However, I am still a human and still prone to make things complicated and that is when I turn to my horses and they remind me life really is quite simple.

I have a saying about horses. ” Horses help us process the complexities of our lives so we can return to the simplicity of our lives.”

Namaste my horse.

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