This is a follow up on a YouTube and blog posting awhile back about Talley Hutcherson and an Icelandic horse named Blaise she works with using my Method. As you may remember, Blaise was recovering from a serious Insulin-resistant caused founder. When they first met back in October 2008 he was in great difficulty and severe pain. With the right diagnosis and treatment, his life was improved and as Talley returned repeatedly to visit and offer him her companionship a deep bond developed. Her first YouTube showed the connection at the very beginning of using the Waterhole Rituals and her second YouTube shows the advancement and essence of the deep, loving connection that comes with time spent doing nothing in particular, having an awareness for the beauty in the moment and the one you are with.
As you will see, there are times when Talley allows Blaise to be very intimate with her. As a rule, I would discourage this unless, like Talley, you have spent a lifetime working with horses and clearly know how to read a horse's energy, intent and whatever else is needed to stay safe and maintain clear boundaries. Talley told me she works regularly with Blaise to discourage him from using his teeth on her by mistake, both verbally speaking to him… saying “no teeth”, or if necessary sending him away from her if there is any question about his judgment.
Since Blaise is a very dominant horse, it is extremely important to set this up so it is clearly understood and no naughty thoughts are tolerated. As his energy increased, so did his enthusiasm for following her lead. In the Fall of 2008 I held my “Self-Realization through the Way of the Horse" Workshop and Talley was one of the participants. She was able to connect with herself in a very specific way through the work at my ranch and regularly told me how much more aware she had become of herself and the needs of the horse she was working with. Letting go of her need to control things was instumental in her evolution as a leader.
Though many months have passed in companionship without either one having a particular agenda, it is clear they have traveled a great distance together and achieved many advances in what they can do while spending time together. This time together is always spontaneous and without a particular routine. Once there is a connection, Talley said she might offer up an activity like a few steps of “Spanish Walk” at liberty, Go Trot and Come Up/ Dancing with your Horse, Companion Walking, mutual grooming…etc. When something goes off course in the relationship and the connection seems to be weak in some way, Talley tells me that her remedy is to review the Rituals individually to see what needs to be re-established. Often with this horse, it shows up as difficulty in Leading from Behind or Eye Contact.
Talley told me a funny story about what she has begun to notice about this particular horse and the way she perceives he views her in their relationship. Everyday she spends time with him, she has become aware of a conversation he is having with her that sounds like this.
“Are you good enough for me?”
I find this interesting and entertaining, as I am sure many of you have egos and some of you have very dominant horses that also have egos. Talley is no different. She has had to set aside her ego many times to sort out her assumptions about this unique horse. As they are learning to navigate their relationship, I have heard her stories often about taking him for granted and then finding herself in a precarious situation. At those times, she wakes up and becomes aware that her leadership wasn’t present and Blaise was waiting to show her that his was!
Here's the video:
Talley and Blaise - Falling in Love [Carolyn]uWA11uCQVJo[/Carolyn]
Now he is rideable and occasionally they go out for easy rides in nature. Being able to rely on each other makes this a joyful way to spend their time together. On the 10th ride, it happened again…! Talley got up on Blaise in a little bit of a rush… not present to where she was or how he was responding to her in that moment. Once on, she very quickly realized he was more prepared then she was and in a few steps, he had her deep in the mulberry branches.
Naughty pony? Not really. Talley explained that she had heard him asking the question, “Are you good enough for me” as her leg was swinging over his back. In that moment, she wasn’t, but it woke her up and things have been very different since that day. She is practising being present in the presence of this horse and the relationship is growing rapidly.
What she has expressed to me is how subtle the shift was and profound. Their love affair isn’t about what they are going to do together. It is about appreciating the moment they are in and the joy of being awake in that moment.
In teams that reach the highest levels of success and productivity, it is common for the individuals in the team to express their experience this way. As a team member, I focus on anticipating the needs of the others on the team and this takes priority over making sure my individual needs are met. Within the team, there is an agreement we all make to behave this way. That way, I know each person is aware of my needs and I trust they will make sure I am OK, as I am doing that for all of my teammates too. With this system, community rights and individual rights are balanced.
One more thing. Following my email over the weekend, I have just a few spots left for my new workshop coming up in September for those of you who are interested in working with me personally. It is called Self-Realization through the Waterhole Rituals and you can find out more by clicking here. Hope to see you there!