Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thoughts on Relationship
Horses exist in relationship - it is through their connections, as much as their own senses, that they experience the world. To truly see, know, and be known by our horses, we have to be willing to engage in the depth of relationship which is their world. To enter into relationship with Red and Lyra, I must be absolutely present. We can walk together with my mind lost as I replay my day and chances are more than good that I will get bumped back into the moment as Red whacks the middle of my back with his nose.
I've wondered about this and have come to believe that when my energy vacates the space my body fills, Red knows it immediately and moves to fill it with his own vital force. If I want Red to respect me and consent to follow my lead, then I need to own my own ground. To do anything else is not safe for the herd, just as it is not safe for our kind. My mind drifts and Red bumps me. I get large, growl or shriek, go full frontal predator woman on him - sure I'm reclaiming my ground but I'm also missing the more subtle lesson . . . walk with congruent energy, in each moment, present with my beloved Red Horse.
This is what my horses offer me. The chance to join them in their subtle, complex dance of connection. This is not a kind or loving dance, such concepts do not apply in the same way as in a human context. It is fair, and it serves life. My horse sees me, knows me, fully takes me in. If I am distracted, he will act to take the lead as he tries to make me move, asserting his will. His bump or his hoof planted with crushing force upon my foot invokes the same summons to awaken as the whack of a Zen master's staff. Thank you Red Horse, my teacher, my friend.