AMBER: Today’s blog is a little bit different, because we have a guest horse contributor. Normally these conversations take place between me and my horse friend, Fiona, who is a great spiritual teacher and enlightened being. However, I am blessed to know and work with a number of powerful equine guides and masters, and I appreciate the different wisdom and perspectives they bring.
Today we are joined by Fritz, an incredibly talented and special horse who graces the life of a close friend. Fritz, you’ve requested that we join together to write a blog. Is this your desire?
FRITZ: YES! Here I am, ready to go. I’ve got a lot to talk about.
AMBER: What would you like to share today, Fritz?
FRITZ: I want to talk about how people relate to their horses. Not like from an abstract way as you’ve done in the past, but from a very personal and intimate way. Many people are asking how they can join with their horse friends to create that connection between them, and you’ve touched on this from a broader perspective. Now I would like to share my experiences for creating intimacy, that wonderful, close relationship, in ways that people can follow and translate to their own lives.
AMBER: That is a wonderful topic. Thank you for sharing.
FRITZ: So many of you wonder how you can get close to your horse. It is not hard. I, Fritz the Fabulous, will now demonstrate.
Step 1: Walk toward your horse. You are now closer together!
My work here is done.
AMBER: I have to admit, that cracked me up. For those who haven’t experienced much equine humor, some horses are great comedians. Fritz is as soulful as they come, and yet he relishes in his sense of humor. It’s one of my favorite qualities in you, my friend, and you always make me laugh in our conversations.
FRITZ: Not everyone appreciates my jokes. That’s just because they have other things on their mind and don’t find it funny when I ruin their carefully-laid plans. That’s a shame, for it is those times of restriction that I am at my comedic best. It worked very well at the race track in tense situations, like loading into the starting gate, because I would just pretend not to notice what they wanted sometimes and spook at birds or other things to lighten everyone up. It was glorious! And then, when they were frustrated, I would happily walk in the gate as if nothing was the matter. I am a professional, after all.
AMBER: Yes, you are.
FRITZ: However, today I have a Very Important Message to share in addition to the gifts of my humor, so I shall proceed.
Step 1: Do indeed begin by approaching your horse for connection, but do so in a way that is respectful of his or her privacy. Do not disturb us while we are busy eating, especially our precious grain or other delectable treats, because that is very rude even if you do not intend to be so. Approach us when we are in a place of peace, in a light space emotionally, where we might have curiosity for an interaction. You may come to us in our environment if it is not an invasion of personal space, like a stall or small paddock might be, but please ask permission for that sort of approach as it is our home and you would not walk into another’s house uninvited. You may be better off entreating our attention with a treat and accompanying us to your usual work space, unless that is a hostile environment for either party. In that case, it is better to find neutral ground where we can both be at relative ease. Grazing is always a great option, or another space where we can be free together like an empty arena.
Step 2: When you are both at ease, tell your horse that you love him or her, and that you desire a closer relationship. Confide to the horse your desire for this intimacy, and share your fears and beliefs that get in the way. This is how you become honest and transparent to us. It is not honest to pretend you are all butterflies and rainbows because we know better. It is honest to admit your fears, to confess your burned and withdrawn places, and to express your honesty in desire for connection. That creates transparency in your energy, because you are showing us who you are instead of who you pretend to be to the outside world.
Step 3: Look your horse in the eye, not with a harsh gaze, but in the whole-hearted earnest endeavor of seeing him or her for all of who she is. Search your heart for understanding, and bring that desire for understanding, for really Seeing and Hearing the wholeness of your friend, into your gaze. Hold this space and breathe as you really truly begin to see the beautiful being before you. This is not a gaze of pity, or of suffering; it is a gaze that allows the strength and powerful soul of your friend to come into the light. There is no place for pity or sadness in Seeing the soul of another.
Step 4: Allow your horse to share him- or herself with you. This may be immediate if you are already very close. It may be months for other horses who do not yet trust, though your shift in energy invites such trust. If you bring an open heart and your honest integrity, including recognition of your own pain and shadow, your horse will, in time, be willing to share his or her Self with you, too. This is not a place of fearing those elements, it is a place of understanding. Your job is to hold the space of allowing, not force the horse through it. All you can do is extend the invitation through your soul gaze and acceptance. Do not persist with this invitation longer than a few minutes, or try to bring perfection or personal performance into the matter. It’s not about you right now; you’ve already done your personal piece.
Step 5: Thank your horse for the interaction, what ever that interaction is, and allow him or her to withdraw if that is your horse’s choice. This may present as the horse’s continued disinterest in you, or a physical withdrawal like walking away, or changing the physical space between you. The horse even may desire more connection, and that is okay too, but it’s not likely to happen the first day. Ensure that your desire for that connection doesn’t override the horse’s true message. You must allow him or her to be where ever he or she is.
You are creating freedom, an acknowledgement of choice, sovereignty, and of the individual preference and desires of your friend by honoring your horse’s “voice.” This is a great honor to be shared and given to all living beings, and in extending this to your horse, you begin seeing and hearing the living being beside you. You begin to speak the language of horses. This is the foundation for all connection, for all friendship, and eventually that intimate, soul-driven connection. It is right here beside you and has always been.
Step 6: Honor the horse’s choice by returning him or her to his place of refuge if that is his or her request. You are now demonstrating through action your commitment to the relationship instead of your own agenda. In time the horse may prefer your company, but that is not an outcome that you can choose or force; it must happen when the horse is ready and wanting and seeking that connection with you.
There is no great need to make a huge fuss, to layer on treats or praise, or to try to convince the horse that your time is best spent together. While we enjoy treats, no amount of them will make us seek your guidance and presence if it uncomfortable for us. What we respond to is your honesty of being, your recognition of our own will and individuality, and your earnest intention for relationship. When we see and feel this within you, we open to partnering together. When you shift from this place into ego and agenda, we withdraw from the connection.
You may use this same process for all that you do with your horse, and you will find that, over time, your relationship shifts from one of agenda-driven compliance to partnership. The steps are steady and slow; you are building trust and demonstrating your viability as a guide and friend. Offering the horse honesty, integrity, choice, and sharing in your relationship and activities together creates an alliance that is based upon joy and mutual desire. You will find that unless your horse is hurting or severely damaged, you will be able to enjoy many of your favorite activities and riding pursuits with this togetherness, because it’s much for fun for us to join you when we do so out of our own desire!
My person and I share a great bond of trust and love, but our relationship is not the one every human would desire, for she simply allows me to be who I am. Sometimes I am goofy, and I enjoy it thoroughly. Sometimes I like to spook at things in the grass because I can, and enjoy the tremendous expression of my extraordinary body in defying gravity and leaping toward the stars. She respects this, and because of this, I respect her. I choose my moments for expression with this respect. Her desires are based upon alignment with my desires, with my choice, with my body’s best good, and the unity of companionable partnership and shared joy. Oh, we have such a good time! She sees my personality, my playfulness, my silliness, and I do my best to entertain her – for if left to her own devices, she would be far too serious. I pick up things and kick up my heels to hear her laughter, to share a joke together, and to make her remember why she loves horses.
And when we do partner under saddle, it is exquisite, for I feel in her the awakening of my highest self and intention, and I am called toward my soul through that connection. Every heartbeat together raises us both and brings us to heights we never experienced apart. I could not do so without her, and neither could she. It is unity and aligned expansion. Without her willingness to see and hear me, to join me in integrity and honesty for who and where she is, we could not raise up like this together, because she would not be following the path of her own soul.
For that is it, isn’t it? So many of you ask how to partner with horses, but really you want to know how to follow your own soul. You ask how to get close to us because your efforts to do so lead you into inner alignment, inner peace, and inner beauty. As you gaze upon us in your place of honesty for all you are and all your intention – that which you find honorable and that which you find reprehensible – this openness and acceptance which you seek to find in us extends to you. We see each other and accept each other’s being in this alignment, in this place of truth, and we share it together. That is the soul at work, for it is how your soul sees you: in love with all of who you are, no matter where or how you are expressed.
That is how you may see us, your equine friends, for all of our fullest selves. We will show you these inner parts, the places we do not normally let into the world of humans, because we fear for their intolerance. Like my humor.
It is a great gift of love to be so open, and you will find that this is not a place of vulnerability. In vulnerability there is withdrawing from yourself. Instead, this is a place of great strength to gaze upon another with such knowing. We are eager to share this space with you! We are eager to be ourselves around you, and for you to be yourselves around us. We are eager for you to drop your agendas and simply BE. That is your nature, and it is ours. We are very good at doing so. We welcome you to join us in this place of presence and true friendship.
AMBER: Thank you for sharing, Fritz. It is a pleasure to call you my friend.
Have you ever wanted to ask a horse how they feel about a particular subject? Now’s your chance! Hear about horse-keeping and equestrian subjects straight from the horse’s mouth. These segments are conducted interview-style between Amber and equine guru extraordinaire Fiona, or a guest horse. Have a question or a topic you’d like to know about? Leave a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter with #askahorse.