By: Elaine Ackerly, free as a wild Mustang!
As we embark on a journey with horses, we can take many different directions. It can seem as though the horses come to us, serenading to our very essences, with what it is we are missing when we look at life.
The dangers of not being in the moment or truly listening to the people in our lives is an epidemic of the largest proportions. We hide behind our keyboards and answer strangers with our emotions fully charged, never fully grasping where the other party is coming from, and only seeing things with the filter of our own minds.
When we are truly open to the messages the horses have for us as individuals, we can feel a sense of being turned upside-down or end to end. We can feel a loss of self to start, but if we consider that the horses have made it through to us, we must not be a lost case.
The next generation of horse people are crucial to the survival of our horses and the industry that supports it. There has been a surge of horses as therapists as the world begins to recognize that these animals offer us more than just being the expired tools of transport and farming. Their connection to and ability to read the people in their lives is fascinating, as their prey animal mentality seems to offer a grounding that is beyond what dogs have brought us. Almost as if their passive search for food has a wisdom that mankind lacks.
This is something that money and insurance costs have taken from some of our pupils. Children. Without the horses and lessons I had in my life, I cannot imagine the impatient and angry brat I would have manifested into. And I can see why there is great caution and concern when mixing horses and children, but the more I see with this combo the more I see how they belong together. The children have fewer filters and barriers preventing them from seeing the language purely. And doesn’t that make sense when you consider that it is a second language and that, the younger the mind, the easier it is to learn another language?
What horses have to offer children in this technologically advanced, disconnected world is something that can save the planet from our self-destructive nature, to reconnect us to the world as a whole and not as the sum of the parts we have come into our lives. This inter connection brings in a confidence that cannot be paralleled, for it comes about only with a soft humbleness. The awareness that you are a small tiny speck in a vast sea of organisms, acknowledging that there are other perspectives and knowledge you don’t yet have, and finally, with even all the differences between human and horse, the children begin to see how much they have in common. Their search for comfort, company and fun. The emotions that flare up when you don’t feel heard, the appreciation you feel when you are given a voice…