Unequivocally he was full of fear for when I entered the run down property he ran to his hiding place at the back of the pen, his little body quivering and his eyes full of worry. For about 6 months nobody had been able to touch him, let alone put a halter on. He lived with other recently rescued horses who were still fighting to regain their weight. Surrounded by burly men who saw these compact Mongolian horses as work horses, I was asked if he would be suitable for my demonstration. While they waited for my reply I thought my answer through carefully as I had found myself in this situation many times over. What value could I bring this little frightened horse in just a few hours, for him to be placed right back into this situation? I began a non verbal conversation with the little fellow relating to him directly having felt lost, alone, and misunderstood throughout my life-time on different occasions. Instead of holding these emotions, I ran a quiet dialogue in my head letting him know I would not hurt him, but instead I was there to help. My help would involve showing everyone a new way of interacting with horses, through compassion, understanding and most certainly reliable, effective and teachable moments! Results were being sought for people to trust these methodologies. He ran when I approached showing me clearly that he had been abused in the past, not this one action alone, but his whole body spoke to me. Consistently I showed him that I could read what he was conveying and kept to my word. He hid behind others, he shivered, but tried his very best. Gradually his fear dissolved showing an even more beautiful soul, giving me the chance to halter him. I promised I would give my all and that together we could get through this hardest piece for him to find his way…he had to work out a way to survive and adapt from living out in the Mongolian planes.
I wish I could tell you he was taken care of in the way we would expect that night, but they snubbed him to a post with access to food and my heart broke. He was there until the morning for the demonstration and that was just the way it was. In that moment I realized what I was up against. This was my first exposure to the Chinese horse culture in the rural country. Each day got a little easier for this young horse as he knew there was someone out there who could hear him, relate to him and was trying her best to pave a way for change. He was to be part of that change. Although not perfect change, it was to be a step at a time and people witnessed the language of the horse with a wild one. They saw the raw authenticity, despite the fact that one evening the Mongolian horsemen reverted back to similar training we see during our wild horse breaking at the rodeos. The similarities are astounding. We continued to create a relationship despite outside influences and together we stayed in the moment not allowing the negativity to influence our partnership. The language once again proven to be universal, a language of love that breaks through all barriers and extends beyond body language.
We had more in common than many may realize as I had arrived in a foreign country not being able to understand the locals and the culture was exceptionally new. Alone, exploring new horizons, with people I had never met before finding my way through their expectations to see if I was being set up to fail or to fly. This was another male dominated country and I could not be sure how I would be received. I trusted my inner compass to guide me to this very moment and despite my protective shield remained open to creators guidance. This is where I needed to be. Gradually I learned to trust the situation, environment and people more and more, as their enthusiasm to learn was clearer than daylight. Imagine being surrounded by raw emotion of people who are awakening to this for the first time…naturally beliefs and traditions are being questioned, all overruled by what they see. A seed was being planted and this was to be the gateway to change…