Reconnecting with Horses by Sophie Hunter
We still have space available in our Extended Circle Online Class starting next week. .
Written by Sophie Hunter For the September issue of Magma magazine in Turkey
The first time I saw horses I must have been no more than 4 years old. I found them so magnificent with their hair flowing along their powerful bodies as if they were dancing with the universe itself, and those dark dark big eyes that seemed to be looking straight at who I was. No-one ever had looked at me that way. I was love struck!
Of course there was no way to keep me from learning to ride and care for them. I was taught the classical English riding style and soon entered competitions with my beloved little horse black-jack. But everything was not without trouble, no no although we were best friends we also had daily fights and I must have fallen off of him over a thousand times. Strangely, our fights only happened when riding, when following the rules I had been thought. When we were spending time playing together, hanging out, there was only love, I often used to take naps on his back while Black-Jack was grazing in the soft summer sun. Then one day drama struck our family and black-jack and i were separated quite brutally and horses disappeared from my life altogether.
With Hakan we dreamt up a life in nature, with horses. A few months ago we moved to the Taurus mountains and adopted 3 horses. This time I was going to do things differently. This time I want my relationship with horses to be based on trust and respect and love instead of the hard dominant/submissive rules I had learned as a kid. Today I know that's the reason I had daily fights with black-jack.
I searched the web and found countless people who trained their horse in a softer way and I felt all empowered. I continued my search and found Carolyn Resnick, an American 70 year old lady that grew up on a ranch and spent her childhood summers connecting with wild horses. From this she deciphered a series of rituals horses use between them to establish leadership and order in their herd. She translated those ritual to human body language and teaches this online. I had found my woman!
Since the few months I have been living here with the horses things have changed a lot. All our interactions inside our property happen at liberty, with no ropes and the possibility for the horses to leave me whenever they want to. My behavior better be impeccable if I want to continue to interact with my friends. The process is quite slow because we are, all of us, new to this different approach into inter-species relationship. I am seeing great things happening already. It is strange how changes don't happen gradually but rather with jumps into another level of intimacy, trust, friendship.
Ceylan for example wanted nothing to do with humans once she realized she could just turn around and walk away from us. A very new situation for her as she used to be a fayton horse (1) on Burgas Ada(2). One day on a walk in the forest with Hakan and the 3 horses Hakan started to walk in front of our little band. I remembered an interaction Carolyn talked about. "Leading from behind" I started following Ceylan, not right behind her but at a slight angle so she could still see me. When she would stop to eat I would make her go forward with arm movements and a clicking sound. After a little bit of this she started looking at me, clearly wondering if what I was doing was what she thought I was doing. Calmly and consistently I continued to follow her and make her advance when she stopped, or letting her graze a bit now and then. After we arrived at the yayla(3) for them to graze she walked towards me,sniffed me, stayed with me. On the walk back down she stayed next to me looking at me straight in the eye. Her whole energy had changed, our first connection was set, we had become friends. She never returned to her ignoring my existence.
Our horses live in the 40 donum (4) of land we got for them. They live a pretty natural life, eating, drinking, going into their shelter when they feel like it. Because this kind of life is quite close to the lifestyle they have in the wild they are very healthy and heal from their hard life as fayton horses. In just a few months my relationship and communication with them is deeper and healthier than what I had in all these years with black jack. Even though we all know children, with their purity and innocence have much deeper and cleaner bonds with animals than adults do.
Reconnecting with horses and wild nature has opened even further in me, the immense door of instincts that society and civilization has closed down on us, humans. Horses live in permanence in the state of "now", their energy is so powerful that they suck us in their state of awareness just by entering their energetic field. We too are nature, we too have to capacity to speak the universal language that nature shares with all that is on it. When we tap into this energy field, when we change our vibration to harmonies with nature, our natural state of being. We are balanced. At peace. Profoundly happy. When connected to the earth, life flows. And isn't that what we are all looking for?
*1) carriage horse, known to be overworked *2) one of the prince islands off the coast of Istanbul *3) a meadow up in the mountains *4) 10 acres
Notes from Carolyn -
Thank you Sophie for this lovely article. You can see the beautiful connection you have with your horses now and as a child.
Have a great weekend! Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.
We still have space available in our Extended Circle Class starting next week. The Extended Circle Class is a "Study at Home" course.