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.
Franklin 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.
I 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.
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