Time is the Tortoise that Wins the Race

Firelight is in his new home at Horse Spirit Ranch with Lynn Hays, the owner. Horse Spirit Ranch is a boarding haven for horses. He is about 40 minutes from my ranch.

At Horse Spirit Ranch there are trails, two round pens and two arenas. Boarding accommodations include group fields, private fields, paddocks, and stalls. Lynn has a great arena for horse play at liberty. There is most always a time I can turn my horse out.

On the weekends, often, clinics are being held by well known horse trainers and life coaches. I now teach out of there as well. The home of War Horse is also located there. They provide equine assisted psychotherapy for corporate leaders.

Fraklin IllonaFranklin Levinson and his wife Ilona provide riding and training instruction at Horse Spirit Ranch. They also put on these great community get togethers called “Horse Talks” once a month. The subjects shared are better ways to connect and communicate with horses. You will feel like family and everyone is welcome. I am there if I am not giving a private lesson or clinic myself.

This week while I was Sharing Territory with Firelight, feeding time rolled around. I sat with him about two hours. I noticed that some horses were in a hurry to get fed and some were not. I also noticed that the ones in a hurry were fed loose hay and the ones that were fed in hay nets were happy to wait for the bag to arrive and ate much slower.

When Firelight got his hay net he carefully picked at single pieces of hay, drew them out and chewed them up well. I tried to help him by pulling the hay half way out of the net to make it easier for him to eat. He had no interest in the hay I fixed for him. I then pulled hay all the way out thinking that would make a difference. Still he kept his mind on little pieces of hay he could gather for himself. I think that he was getting much more nutritional value from how well he was chewing up his food.
I came to the conclusion that a good way to feed a horse is to have some loose hay in a feeder as well as a hay net, this way a horse can eat his preference as he would choose to do in nature.

That day I approached my horse with the same consideration. First I hung out doing nothing and then I worked Firelight.  Then afterwards I Shared Territory for a few hours. In this manner we felt we had experienced a complete well rounded day together. We filled our needs for companionship.

Tortoise_and_hare_rackhamI also did some journal writing. I wrote about my relationship to time. Time appears to move quickly and slowly depending on how I am experiencing the moment. I am reminded of the fable of the race between the tortoise and hare. The hare lost because he thought he had all the time in the world and fooled around till it was too late while the tortoise kept to the task of moving forward.

I remember years ago thinking that if one gets caught up with keeping your nose to the grind stone one could loose the ability to enjoy having fun. There must be a balance between work and play. As I was growing up my family would repeat to me “All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.” Today I understand that all play and no work makes me loose perspective on life and my ability to cope. Having fun all the time isn’t good either for I no longer want to be responsible. I find that doing daily chores then becomes a drudgery and I get depressed. There has got to be a balance in life.

In today’s world we spend more time being busy and loose our ability to be truly productive or present. The result is the stress we are carrying around with us.
Being in the company of horses releases my stress. Fearful concerns are set aside and my body, mind and soul join with Firelight’s. Sharing Territory is a time of renewal where I find my groove. I am able to slow down and get in sync with the rhythm of life. Time does not race, I do. Time does not slow down, I do. When time no longer seems fast or slow I am in the company of horses and in these moments I am experiencing life to the fullest. I have learned that life is a never ending practice of the choices I make and horses always help to bring me into balance.

Have a great weekend!  Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.

Warmly, Carolyn

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Marbeth Nix - last week Reply

True wisdom x

Clare - last month Reply

I am not sure where you toss them either

Carrie - a few months ago Reply

Hi Ms.Carolyn,
I have a sweet bond with a paticular horse, but have a question regarding his situation, he is an 8yr old gelding that has never been separated from his mom.They are very close. I like them both and will work with them both…but separate. What are your thoughts on that. Thank you.

Colleen - a few months ago Reply

I have been doing the chair ritual, first with my 15-month-old dominant filly and, one day this week, with three of my four horses. But, I’ve been reading Carolyn’s Naked Liberty book quietly out-loud. I have video of my two 17-year-olds literally falling asleep – one with her muzzle on my thigh and the other with her jaw setting on the butt of my wicky-stick. When my husband saw the video, it brought tears to his eyes!

Sonja - 7 months ago Reply

I am so glad for knowing the Waterhole Rituals and to read blog and comments. I get fresh thinking and get inspired every time. I do work with several horses and think both horses and I get a lot of benefits (calm, togetherness, nature aware) from just sharing time together, sometimes doing nothing, sometimes interacting depending of our energy. I always say hello in that respectfully manner I’ve learnt from Carolyn and that together with leading from behind I use a lot if I do not get companion walk.

DariaRupert - 7 months ago Reply

Dear Carolyn, I have always worked more than enjoyed life which had a bad impact on my personality. Now I have gone the opposite way – I quit my job and I’m having summer holidays. I’m having more fun than work but I feel I need it. I’m looking forward to the online class and Linda’s clinic in the UK to keep me busy. Love, Daria

karin kozlowski - 7 months ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

So many of your words of wisdom have stayed with me through the years. These will as well.

Something I have always remembered was your saying that sometimes we lead, and sometimes we follow. This weekend was an example of my horse, Amigo, leading and my following. I walked into his field to see what we were going to do together. Often, after connecting, he will accompany me at liberty to the gate to proceed to one of the arenas. Other times, he is not so willing, and we do another waterhole ritual, or if he wants instead to play with his new best horse friend, well, ok he can do that, and I just watch. This time, when I started towards the gate with Amigo, he darted off. But he didn’t run towards the other horses. Instead, he trotted to a favorite shaded area where we often spend time together just sharing territory. So, I followed him. We enjoyed the cool breeze under the trees together for a long time. And naturally I recalled your words.

Always grateful to you,


UlrikeKraft - 7 months ago Reply

Dear Carolyn,

we just rescued two 3 1/2 month old calves and I was wondering if you know of anybody using the Waterhole Rituals with cows. We are planing to raise them as pets.
I have done a lot of Sharing Territory with them and they both came up to investigate me. The Hello Ritual works well with them too but now we are getting up to respect and they can be quite pushy around food. I don’t want to upset them and I thought before I continue to play with them I should see if anybody has experience with cows.



Sally Twesten - 7 months ago Reply

Today’s blog really hit home at the right time. I’m sitting here sharing territory while my partner eats following a short but fun play session. About two years ago I retired from a full time job. Since then I moved to a quieter horse community not far away and found a nice school for my 10 year old daughter close by. I have been volunteering at school for special events but otherwise have not made many commitments but choose to spend most of my time with my horse, two dogs and husband and daughter just enjoying life. I do take clinics and self-study but on my own time and when I’m in the mood.
Carolyn you put into words what I’ve been feeling – sometimes just having fun all the time doesn’t feel right either. I need more balance. Being with my horse always feels right but it’s the daily rhythm of the days that can feel off. You have been a big influence on my life for many years and you continue to offer valuable insights. I appreciate you.

SueImmen - 7 months ago Reply

This is a very special post. I love to learn from your “horse advice,” but here you went deeply into human reflection–with horses by your side, of course)). The north side of my house faces my fields, and we have no window dressings. When I walk by my windows I always look out to see what my horses are doing (hopefully they are still there)). I find that I pause and join their moments. Usually they are calm and peaceful, but sometimes they are having a good romp. They always give me a “time out” to enrich my soul. It sounds like Firelight is in a wonderful place….and you join him there. Hope you are well! Sue Immen, Grayce Wynds Farm, “uniting heaven and horses for human inspiration”

Mary Barrett - 7 months ago Reply

Carolyn – You describe just what happens for me when I am with horses. Experiencing life to the fullest!
Blessings to you and your loved ones!

Geerteke Kroes - 7 months ago Reply

Hi Carolyn… fascinating blog.. .. thank you… I have not posted a comment here for a long time… not for any particular reason …this time I will…not for any particular reason either … 🙂

QUOTE ..Being in the company of horses releases my stress. Fearful concerns are set aside and my body, mind and soul join with Firelight’s. UNQUOTE

I would like to add something to the above…
DZAR a group of compassionate energies speaking the other day of humans often keeping being human separate from being spiritual… like needing to meditate to be spiritual… that also being a sign of duality and separation…
I AM human and I AM spiritual all the time every day…
I do not need to be with Marcello to either be spiritual, stressless or fearless… body mind and soul experiencing inner peace all the time…. and when this feeling of inner peace is lost for whatever reason which sometimes happens, I tell myself I am just having an experience… immediately un-identifying myself with the experience … and any stressy feelings melting away instantly….

Mind you … this has not been achieved overnight…it has taken some awareness and denying any doubts…yet, making life very joyful and experiencing freedom … it has amazingly expanded, enhanced and deepened my connection with Marcello.. and other horses responding to this energy as well…. and as DZAR commented when I spoke of this…. “ENERGY REFLECTING ENERGY, Young One” …

I am wishing you the same…
Lots of love

Barbara Tilson - 7 months ago Reply

I, also, found this blog to be especially relevant to me. I have trouble slowing down and staying present in the moment. I participated in the initial chair challenge program and found that it deepened my understanding of Sharing Territory which I initially learned from paticipating in two Extended Circle online WHR courses with 2 different horses that I leased. The chair challenge was with a 3rd horse and there I finally really understood what it can do for the relationship. This blog motivates me to continue this practice and to do it again with any horse that I’m going to be working/riding with. You are a great inspiration, Carolyn!

KayTomlinson - 7 months ago Reply

Dear Carolyn, there’s so much wisdom in this post. It’s so true, what you say about the nature of Time: “Time does not race, I do. Time does not slow down, I do.” Thanks for this–I needed the reminder this morning. Going out to share territory with Nevada in a little while–taking my rain gear so I can sit out there even if it pours!

So glad to hear of Firelight’s new home–sounds wonderful!

Big hugs and lots of love, my friend!

— Kay

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