Hello to you all, and welcome to those of you who are receiving a newsletter from me for the first time. This newsletter is a little overdue as I have been learning how to use this new newsletter program and new bulk emailing system. It takes a lot of time to get to know new programs and systems especially when you are not very high tech and computer savvy, but I think it is going to be much better and worth the time and effort in setting it up. So please forgive me if there are a few glitches or you received the newsletter twice and do let me know so that I can correct things and improve them for next time.
I am writing this newsletter from “Banyandah” via Howlong, where we have just enjoyed some transformative courses. “Banyandah” is a beautiful property on the Murray River, adorned with magnificent redgums and with great facilities for teaching horsemanship. I especially enjoy coming here and usually bring a couple of horses and my dogs with me, so that is always fun.
This trip I have Matriarch and Helium with me and I have been really working on increasing their confidence and especially focussing on liberty. Matriarch (pictured) is an ex racehorse, she had broken down with a bowed tendon, but now is rehabilitating into a magnificent and powerful mare. She was very unbalanced and extremely on her forehand and she has been a great learning project for me. Matriarch is generally happy to be ridden, however she gets very unconfident in new environments which we are working on and she has never really enjoyed ground work/play. She would go through the motions and but never with too much exuberance, so I didn’t force the issue and kept it to a minimum. Now it feels like I have been successful in talking her into it and she is starting to get enthused and even having moments when she thinks that it really is great fun !!!!
Helium loves playing at liberty. I would have to say that he is one of, if not the most, exuberant and expressive horses that I have ever seen at liberty. Building confidence and helping him to feel deeply relaxed is always the main focus for him.
Both horses are coming along superbly and of course through getting them better in their minds and emotions through the liberty sessions, they are going to another level in improving how they are using their bodies. This is a cyclical formula, as the better they use their bodies, the better they also get in their mind and emotions. It just keeps getting better and better. The ultimate level of partnership, harmony and athleticism can only be achieved through relaxation, which comes from confidence which comes from trust. So that is what I keep on developing – TRUST.
“Only a relationship that is built on trust will be a rewarding and fulfilling relationship. In this relationship your wildest dreams and heart’s desires can be reached. You must trust yourself and trust the horse and only then, can the horse trust you.” Mel Fleming
It was interesting where this learning came from. I was trying to catch a horse, who definitely did not want to be caught. I remember saying to her in my head ” You can trust me” and straight away a thought came clearly back to me “How can I trust you when you don’t even trust yourself” WOW – It was so true. There were so many areas in my life where I didn’t trust or believe in myself and where I lacked certainty and confidence.
How much can your horse trust you ? How much do you trust yourself ?
We can look at this in general but also in the following specific areas.
To never lose your cool.
To be consistent.
To be balanced.
To understand the horse’s point of view.
To understand the horse’s physical needs, including their balance and biomechanics.
To make good decisions and judgements.
Pondering these questions will help you ascertain what qualites you need to develop more in yourself and what areas you need more learning, education and skill development in. The more “centered” that you are, the more certainty you will feel and balanced you will become. From there you will be able to trust yourself more, not only in the above mentioned areas, but in all areas of your life. I think that “centering” might need to be the topic of my next article for those that haven’t learned about this yet in one of my courses and as a reminder for those that have.