As you know, I am not a hardcore rider, but instead am one that is seeking better ways to be with Horse and to honor my partnership with my horse when I do choose to ride. My primary riding horse is Diva, a 13 year-old mare that is very generous and calm, yet is not usually the one that will boldly take leadership. Yesterday, she proved me wrong. I loved every moment when we are strong in the lead position picking our way along the trail.
But let me back up. It has been a bit of a journey with Diva, as she has had four babies and her body is not of the best conformation. Finding a saddle to fit her has been challenging. We moved from one season being strong in our trail riding, to the next where she didn’t want to go at all. I knew I had to step back and take a hard look at what we were doing and how I was approaching things. I decided that several things needed to change: she needed a different diet, a different saddle and I needed a better seat.
First lesson learned: Keep your horses strong through their supplements and, as they age, those supplements need to change. Moon (pictured to the right with Diva and then Ginger), now 25 is looking better than ever. I shared with you last week about the amazing supplements he is now on (and they are listed in the Horse Wisdom Library).
I am tremendously blessed to have found a Balanced Saddle that has made all of the difference in the world in our riding. Diva is comfortable and I am developing a much stronger, confident seat. I cannot say enough good things about the Balance Saddle. I am forever grateful to Mel Fleming in Australia who first introduced me to these saddles.
Second lesson learned: As your horse ages, she changes, just as you do. Buy her new gear and keep her comfortable (which can mean going into a whole new style of saddle).
Thirdly, I was fortunate enough to work with Jean Luc Cornille of Science of Motion. My back pain is now gone, as he helped me to redefine and then refine my seat, giving my back and Diva’s back the strength and support needed for a much more comfortable ride. I have diligently worked with her to help her develop her top-line, both in hand and in the saddle, and as I do so, my back strengthens with hers.
Third lesson learned: Learn from the best and those who truly align with your heart.
I am forever grateful to my horse Diva (pictured on the right). Diva has helped me to sink deeper into the idea of surrendering to “what is” when I am with her. Every day and every ride is different. She also teaches me about expectations and assumptions. It is not fair to our horses (or really other human being) to make any assumptions about how things will or will not go. In fact, once we start to try to predetermine any “ride” or adventure we have with a horse (or another), we are doomed to fall short or fail.
If I predetermine that my horse won’t do xyz, and she will only need xyz, and prefers xyz, and she can’t deal with xyz; well, I have done a very good job of completely dishonoring her. I have her boxed up with very few options and my pre-determined assumptions will dictate what transpires. It is as simple as that.
Once we have decided to go on an adventure or for a trail ride, we truly have to shift our perspective to:
- Here we go! What will we co-create today?
- Who will I need to be to honor other and self?
- What beautiful unfolding will I be gifted with today?
- What glorious happenings will be presented?
- How can I dance with another and be unattached to outcome or bracing?
- How can I be strong in my communications, without making another feel less than?
This does not mean I do not ride with focus, leadership and intention. It does not mean that I allow my horse to dominate me and push through my boundaries. It means that I am clear about where we are going, I am soft in my requests, firm with the boundaries when needed, and I am flexible in the process of getting there.
Fourth lesson learned (and still learning): Keep my energy field clear, purposeful and open in our adventure, being willing to dance without dishonoring my horse or myself.
You do not know when a horse or someone you are in relationship with will show up differently and surprise you. Your job is to actively nurture and open the energy for that to transpire. I hope you find some meaning for yourself in this short sharing. Maybe you have a son or daughter that you are trying to, with greater ease, co-create with. Maybe you might like to do so with an employee or your employer. Maybe this speaks right to your heart, as you seek a better riding relationship with your horse. Take what you can. And most of all, I wish you happy trails.
This highly transformational program begins with the EFLC Level One and continues on through next year. We are already starting to fill. If you are desiring to take this extraordinary journey with horse, this could be YOUR TIME. I want you to know about these things:
- You gain access to over 40 hours of listening resources in the Horse Wisdom Library as soon as you sign up.
- Some individuals choose to wait until after they take the EFLC Level One before joining the course (There are pros and cons about this and I am happy to speak with you about it).
- If you have taken the Level One in the last year and want to join the full course, you may. If you have taken the Level One beyond one year’s time and you want to join, email and let me know.
EFLC Level One Training is open to everyone
(and you may continue on if you wish)
Sign up for the EFLC Level One by clicking here.
Would you like to have a conversation with Kathy about the full EFLC Certification Program? Please visit our certification page and submit your contact information through the blue Take Your Next Step box.
The Annual Academy for Coaching with Horses Conference and Retreat is always an excellent opportunity. Be sure to plan ahead and get your spot and savings now, as this conference does sell out and each year has been a fantastic experience. We have a great line-up of speakers and presenters this year and, as always, there are some fun things that transpire that are not shared on the page (as they come to me closer to the program time as I feel the energy of the group).