Moon Shadow Ranch welcomes a new mare named Scotch. Scotch was with us for one month last fall and proved to be an excellent guide and teacher for humans. The facility she was living at closed, so she has come here to my ranch.
I had hoped to have her integrated into my entire herd soon after her arrival. However, with my mustang Corazon (who was a wild and free stallion until he was five), this is a challenging prospect. I allowed everyone to be over the fence for several days and all of the squealing subsided. Diva and Scotch are already friends from years ago, so my next step was to introduce her to Ginger. The two mares bonded immediately like two friends who had been separated for years.
A few days later I tried to integrate the boys. That did not go as well.
Corazon has become more and more protective of “his herd.” Once in the field together he decided he needed to run Scotch off immediately and continue to run her down, demonstrating aggressive and dominant behavior. The entire herd was a galloping frenzy. You can imagine my disappointment and then growing concern for the welfare of Scotch and also Moon, my elder horse who was caught up in the chase.
Eventually Scotch came running back into the paddocks with Corazon right at her tail. She did a quick turn around and flew out of the paddock, and I was able to shut the door, leaving Corazon locked in. Scotch is a smart mare.
Everyone was hot and worked up for such a cold day. I had to work hard to not beat myself up for having better timing and communication with Corazon before they all were put in the same pasture together. I do believe Corazon got the message when he spent the rest of the day in the paddock with Moon beside him for company. He put his butt to everyone and stared out at the opposite landscape. The three mares all ate from the hay I had in the field, all three of them going from one pile to the next together. Moon stood utterly exhausted, head hanging low and body heavy. Finally he laid down. He is getting older.
My lesson was obvious. I had talked at Moon and Corazon about what was going to happen; how they needed to behave and accept her: “Scotch needs a home. She is not becoming mine, but we need to welcome her onto this ranch. I don’t want any problems with this, and we must welcome her with kindness.” What I failed to do is truly hear their opinion on the matter. If I had been attentive, I would have noticed and also heeded the warning from Moon as he proceeded to go over to the fence line, pin his ears at Scotch, and turn around and give me a dirty look. He gets so jealous.
I would have also paused to fully understand Corazon’s eyes staring at Scotch and watching her every move around Ginger. Instead, I went unconscious just wanting everyone to get along.
Having Corazon in my life and working with him in herds has been a demanding experience. He is not like domesticated horses and never will be. Thinking I could integrate the herd on my timeline was wrong. My herd consists of three strong horses all having their agendas and needs. When these needs are filled, harmony prevails; when they are not, chaos reigns.
How do we work in these situations where such strong beings fully express their needs and demand they are met?
I am now taking several giant steps back. The girls will be with the girls, and the boys will stay together. Ginger and Moon will co-mingle at night (as he is very fond of her and because he is the elder I spoil him). Corazon will have to experience being without the girls for a time. Then I will wait until he tells me he is ready to try again.
The lesson for me is that communication has to be a two-way street. I need to learn that when I get stressed and just want things to be “fine,” that it is a sign I need to slow down and not push to make it fine. Quite obvious really.
We all slip from being conscious to becoming unconscious and into old patterns of behaviors. Unfortunately, there is always a cost when we do that. Usually, the damage can be healed, mended, or restored. I trust it will with each of the members of my herd. The main thing is to see and catch the behaviors we engage in that affect others and then make significant changes.
I now set my intention to go to the herd each day and to stop talking and telling, and instead, open my being to what they have to say to me. Entering into their field with the request of “What do you want to share with me today?” “What are your desires for the herd today?”
I hope this little story inspires you to reflect on when you have missed the body language and subtle communication in any of your relationships, and instead have swiftly moved forward to the desired outcome. I also hope it gives you some ideas on how to slow down and listen in a different way.
The Unfolding of 2018
And now, what are your plans for 2018? Will you find yourself next to a horse exploring partnership, connection and mutual exploration of higher levels of consciousness?
Here are a few updates for 2018 programs with more announcements to come soon:
2018 EFLC Yearlong Certification Program
Applications and interviews for the 2018 EFLC Yearlong Certification Program have begun. Your program starts directly after your registration is complete with all online resources. Your first on-site meeting is one of the below listed Level One Program. For more information and a packet with full program details visit: https://coachingwithhorses.com/eflc-certification-program/
New for 2018!
Graduates and Advance instructors Anouk Lori and Jackie Hibbard are now offering the EFLC Level One training program at their locations. How exciting to see this program expanding out into the world and for each of these ladies, with their wonderful teaching herd, to be sharing the work with you. You may take one of their EFLC Level One programs and still qualify to continue on in the certification program with Kathy.
Click Here for more information: https://coachingwithhorses.com/eflc-level-one/
Upcoming EFLC Level One programs
May 16-22 2018 – with Kathy Pike, Berthoud, Colorado
June 1-8 2018 – with Anouk Lori, Mille-Isles, QC, Canada
June 20-27 2018 – with Jackie Hibbard, Lyons, Colorado
Complete listings of all programs can be found on the calendar page: https://coachingwithhorses.com/calendar/
Keep and eye out for future newsletters with announcing new programs and dates!
Kathy and the herd