Being open to an unfolding of experience helps us become more effective with much less effort.
Who wouldn’t want this?
Many Marys ago, I began my horsemanship career helping folks and horses in two specific areas—trailer loading and handling feet for the farrier. I did this because as a young gal starting out there was ample work in those areas.
I had been attending clinics for quite some time. And I had learn the principles of offering release to achieve what I wanted. As well as creating desire by utilizing the horses natural draw for non resistance.
I knew so many one liners I could recite them in my sleep.
“Can you do less”
“Use enough to be effective “
Leave them wanting more”
“Know when you’re well off”
“Make the right thing easy”
and hundreds more.
I felt like I was helping a lot of horses and I also believed I was on a leading edge of the changing paradigm in the horsemanship world.
Now, 40 years later, I look at what I did as exhausting at best, and aggressive at worst. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Working with horses today, I come from a very different thought system. And the main thing I had to let go of was my ego.
How do we let go of the thing we all rely so heavily on? How do we let go of doing what we’ve always done?
I will say this… it’s an inside job.
Before improving any task we must improve the source of the one doing it. If we pour stale milk from the jug we are bound to get a sour experience.
We have to grow out of ourselves.
We have to see things we never saw before. We have been blinded by our thoughts.
When we start each new day as well as each experience from the clarity that can only come from not knowing, we see things we have never seen. And when we see things we have never seen we are unbiased.
It’s like a child exploring a puddle before he finds out that they are common. There’s a vitality and joy in it. The mud and the water are all part of the experience.
When we look at life or our horses from a fresh perspective there is a multifaceted benefit. We get opportunities that we would have ran right over the top of. That’s just a small part of the benefit. It’s amazing what it does for our relationships.
Each interaction brings with it a brand new view.
Recently, when I asked my horse to load into the trailer, I had no idea how she would respond. I had done some simple, low pressure loading with her as a yearling. And followed it up a couple times last year. Now as a 3 year old it’s time to go out and see the world. So it was time to revisit this process. (See CLIP).
I was absolutely thrilled. Not only was she as good as she was when I left off, she was actually considerably better. I realized during the process that Grace is a much more mature horse now.
It’s not just trailering that teaches trailering. How we have lived through our experiences these past two years have absolutely set up a willing frame of mind. Grace is maturing from a dependent juvenile, into a confident mare. And everything we have done has contributed to this moment.
All that has transpired has transformed her.
She is a brand new horse today. This really highlighted how important it is to let go of yesterday. Even her shear size in the trailer was so evident. She was nearly twice as big in there. I am watching as my young colt becomes a mature and level minded adult.
This is a new age, a new time, a new season. I am much more aware of the horse’s true nature. I wouldn’t want an ounce of what I used to do. It’s not that I was wrong. I didn’t do it to be wrong. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Now, after all these years I can finally see the value in this very moment.
And as my teacher often said “Don’t ask me ask the horse”.
Today I asked Grace. And Grace responded with an awareness that was as beautiful as her true nature. Because in truth that’s who she is. Her natural Grace has been allowed to rise and lead her to her greatest good.
What an honor it is to observe.
“In the land of ‘I know’, there’s always competition, jealousy, pretense, pride, and arrogance.” It’s a kingdom of aggression, the realm of the ego.
I say: Refuse citizenship!
In the land of ‘I don’t know’, the inhabitants move without conflict and are naturally calm, happy and peaceful.
The wise stay here. ”