Equanimity has been systematically undergoing changes for the past few months. Transitions are incredibly taxing and the constant strain of metamorphosis takes its toll on a person. With the comings and goings of clients as we undergo these transitions, there has only been one piece of advise I have been giving clients as they leave; consider your horse, and listen to him/her. This statement in itself is open to interpretation, as shown in a multitude of memes available on the internet. As all things in life, everything is a matter of perspective.
We each come to our horse with our own frame of reference, our own views on how things should be, based on years of our own, personal experience. What I mean with “consider your horse”, is that although it is important to remember the texts, theories and info so readily available out there, provided by a multitude of trainers with seemingly similar goals, the true judge remains and will always remain, the horse. Nuno Oliviera said;
Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling takes it further, he expects nothing of the horse and everything of himself. Clinton Anderson says; “To change your horse, you must first change yourself.” Many trainers have touched on the subject of self-improvement and the trend has certainly become to look inward rather than outwards, away from what the horse MUST do for us (packaged in neat, sweet words like “progressively, systematically, guiding”, etc), towards who we must instead be in order to elicit certain behaviours from the horse. My advice is both simple and complex. It is open to interpretation. The person who receives the message will take it under consideration within their personal framework. If the goal is to reach the Olympics within the next three years, there may very well be some compromises in this regard. If the goal is to improve the horse’s physical wellbeing, a specific path will be followed and the rider will likely focus on mainly physical aspects of improvement. If the goal is a deepening relationship, the rider may forgo the physical aspects entirely and fixate on the horse’ happiness only. Extremes are unsafe, but the reality is, we work from our viewpoint. Our viewpoint is based on what we know and what we perceive. When I say; “consider yourself”, I mean bring a better version of yourself to your horse – always seeking to deepen your self-awareness and self-improvement. When I say; “consider the horse”, I mean despite what you experience, think or feel, what is it that your horse is telling you? Do you notice anything? What will you do with the information your horse gives you?