Making Horse Sense

(c) Carl Studna

From the time I was a child, I’ve always felt a deep resonance and sense of connection with horses and have always held the dream of owning and caring for these majestic creatures. Just recently, this dream has become a reality. All of the elements finally came together thus supporting the responsibilities that come with the ownership and care of these animals, allowing me to take the leap of faith and become a “horse person.”

My horse’s name is Rumi, and he’s one of the most present, sensitive and caring beings that I’ve ever had the honor of spending time with. Rumi’s previous owner spent years steeply teaching him in a holistic, “horse whisperer” form of training known as the Parelli Method, and I’ve found that this training applies more for the humans as we’re the ones that learn how to communicate on the more subtle levels with our horses. I’m so touched by Rumi’s constant sense of stillness and inner-peace and have been quite clear that I don’t want to instill my past traditional horse training onto him where the human dominates over their horse. If I were to do so, he would, in time, lose his precious quality of quiet strength and resign to various degrees of resignation.

This training requires slowing down my pace and feeling into Rumi’s still, quiet and sensitive rhythm. Last week, following the first deep snowfall since he’s lived on our property, I made my way through a foot of snow to approach Rumi and his companion, Gibbs. They were both extremely skittish, being extremely still under a pine tree. They were caked with frozen snow (having chosen to be out in the elements over taking shelter in their opened door stalls) and preferred that I initially keep my distance.

I needed to take into consideration that as the weather and elements changed, their entire orientation to their new home felt unfamiliar, bringing a sense of tentativeness and concern. I was being asked to slow down and feel from a heightened sense of awareness to the changing conditions. As I approached them, they both backed away. Rather than taking offense, their actions reminded me to take a greater look around and tune into the powerful stillness and quietude ever-present. Clearly, they were operating in a heightened, meditative perception that called on me to meet them there, rather than rushing though my morning horse chores before getting on with my busy day.

Where in your life do you need to slow down and heighten your senses? Take some time this week and listen to all of the subtle energies and directives that are always present. This will surely bring you a greater sense of clarity and peace. Horses can serve as wise teachers when we have the sense to meet them on their ground….right here, right now, all is well.

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