I love the practice of Sharing Territory: I am able to connect with the true spirit of horses. Feeling their spirit alive and how they connect to their surroundings, I leave the false world of the human mind. When I Share Territory I set out to rebalance my energy so that I can truly connect with horses. In the pause of silence I take account of the unwanted energy I am holding. As time passes I begin to feel myself reaching a natural state of being. I begin to feel the slipping away of blocked, held energy leave like the shedding of tightly bound robes that restrict my movements. In this blocked state, before the pause, I was previously unaware that I had a problem. Becoming aware, I begin to notice an unpleasant quivering inside my body. As I sit focused on this locked up mess, I long to break free so that I might feel reborn, refreshed, enriched, and able to experience the true joy of simply being alive. I enjoy my discovery that I am not in alignment. From releasing this energy I feel a heighten state of well being. Becasue I have become aware of my discomfort, it can not stay. This feeling is not me.
As my awarness returns I am aware of a renewed energy flow through my body like a never ending river. This flowing river of enegy matching all that I encounter. In this awarness I notice I am now back with the herd and with my own kind when freedom and flowing enegy insipres my heart to dance with the music that freedom and well being provides. In this state I can magically communicate and train a horse because we are in the same river of time and connection. We are "as one", not in need of anything from each other, but still deeply connected.
I remember my Dad saying to me that before you ask a horse to do anything the first thing you must have is his attention. I must add to that; not only do you need your horse's attention, but you must have your own attention in the moment as well. Sharing Territory puts all of this into perspective. Horses can read when we are not right inside and when we are like that they can not resonate with us in an unconscious state of being and we then blame horses for their behavior when we do not like it.
With the practice of Sharing Territory, communication creates resonance with a horse. When resonance grows from the act of communication it is the pathway to our true self and to all others. When one is in this state of awareness you notice the things that truly matter. You are able to know better in how to transform chaos into resonance.
A Story of a Dangerous Horse:
I was hired once to help with a horse that was becoming dangerously aggressive to his owner, children, dogs, and other horses. I was told that he had always been very difficult and did not like attention or affection of any kind. I was told he was dangerous to saddle as well.
Some people at the barn thought that hiring me was a mistake. They said that this horse would not relate to a trainer that would try to make a connection with him. They said he was in his twenties and he was set in his ways. This horse was still competing as a jumper and was still competitive at his advanced age despite his painful arthritis. I was the last resort. The stories of his aggressive nature went on and on. When I went to see him I had my doubts if I could make a diffrence. But I always like the challenge.
I was hired for the day to do an evaluation of this horse. I was told that in his paddock he was at his most aggressive. But that is where I needed to be. I went into his stall while he was outside in his small paddock eating his grain. When he heard I had entered he came after me in the stall. He could not see me. He came looking for me. He was moving quite fast and was dead serious in wanting to get ahold of me even before he knew who I was. I had to defend myself. The only thing I had was a rolled up magazine in my hand as a show of power to keep him off of me. When he came around the corner looking for me I was just at the entrance of the stall, which was a surprise to him. He thought I was in the back of the stall and at that moment that I swung the rolled up magazine at him fast and hard hitting my own hand, that was an inch away for his forehead, right between his eyes. He thought he was hurt and he was so surprised that I was where he found me that he spun back out to his paddock. I raced after him to keep my position of power in place. He then chose to dart back inside. I went to the far corner, out of his way, and presented to him from my energy that it would be a good idea that he left me alone.
At this point what I wanted to do was to Share Territory and see how he felt about his life, his home, and what kind of horse he was really. Maybe he was not mean, or intrinsically dangerous, maybe, maybe lot of maybes. I was there to unravel the truth and maybe bring him to a peace of mind he had never had.
The funny thing about this horse was that I was told that when he was ridden he would try for his rider with all of his heart to do the best he could. None of this was adding up. Great under saddle and a killer on the ground. What could that be all about? This question lead me to unraveling the mystery of his aggression.
As I was in his paddock eventually he came outside and ignored me for the moment and went about the business of eating his grain. I watched waiting for some answer to magically appear, which they usually did. I had come to the idea that many times the biggest problems are the easiest to solve and Sharing Territory was the answer. While I was watching him eat there were quite a few birds that were eating in his dish with him and around his feet. He tried to be careful not to step on them. When I saw this I felt instantly closer to him. This horse was no killer. It had to be something else.
The next step was me tacking him up and then seeing him ridden. He was tuff at first, but seemed to like my approach and he began to settle down. My audience was impressed with the change in his behavior. I think what he responded to was my timing and my need to be affectionate with him at the same time he was in a threatening mode. What I did was use a bit of force to get him to accept my pats and treats by pushing a carrot into his mouth. My strength and kindness threw him off a bit.
After his work in the jump arena I watched him turn into a wild angry horse going back to the barn. Then in that split moment I figured out what his needs were. He did not want to go back to his stall. That was all. So I formulated a plan. I was hired the next day to try it out. The plan worked.
When he finished his work I asked his rider to allow him to watch the other horses and to graze around the barn and hang out with the horses, and people, dogs, children, and the like. He got treats and pats and lots of loving interactions. In one day he became a different horse.
I had found the formula to relive this horse of his aggression. He wanted out of that stall. He fought being tacked up because he wanted OUT, he could not wait. He fought anything on the other side of his fence because he wanted OUT! He was mean to people because they excluded him and they were the ones putting him IN the stall.
The Power of Sharing Territory:
This horse at the age of 20 became a happy gentle being and his owners followed my prescription going forward and all was well with just a simple adjustment in meeting his needs. I could not have turned this horse around if I had not had years Sharing Territory leading me to the true nature of horses.
Sharing Territory causes one to pay attention to the things that matter and causes you to bring about solutions that come to you from something other than yourself from being in the flow of "What Is".
I have fixed more difficult horses from this simple act of Sharing Territory. What it does is that it slows one down enough to see the path the leads to resonsace. So simple.
Have a great weekend! Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.