Tuesday, November 28, 2017

RELATIONSHIP

RELATIONSHIP

All morning I've been thinking about relationship and the many aspects of it. Many of us see the importance for it in our lives. Whether that be with our family, friends, spouses, or work environment. In Horsemanship, relationship is also extremely important.

I'm going deeper into this. Such as our relationship of our thoughts to our emotions, how our breathing is also related to our thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts and emotions are directly related to our movement. In fact our ability to move is in direct relation to our emotional state. If fear has a strong hold on us, it will inhibit or restrict your ability to even think, nevermind move.

I can say a lot more in many comparisons. But this took me to think on my understanding of Mind, Body, Spirit relationship. In some peoples point of view, the soul and the spirit are separate aspects of ourselves just as our DNA that makes up our body is partially from our mothers and partially from our fathers. In many ways they are, and in others they are the same. I will keep it simple and speak of them as one in spirit.

All 3 aspects are individual aspects of us. The relationship between these aspects of ourselves is imperative to our existence and our ability to cope in life. Yet most of us spend very little time even thinking about, nevermind nurturing these relationships. In my opinion, this is where all our own individual problems stem from. If we have fear, inhibition or anxiety. It stems from us internally. By not understanding the relationships within our own self, we become confused, fearful, lost, misguided, unaware and separated from our true self and our life purpose.

I see Spirit as energy that allows for our consciousness. Our Spirit is who we are. It is our presence, vitality, virtue, will and intent. But if we don't nurture it's relationship with the other 2 aspects, it becomes week. Our Spirit becomes drained. Which weakens ours Mind and our Body. So lift your Spirits. Give it the attention it deserves.

Our Mind is our connection to Body and Spirit. Our Body and all our senses exchange information with the all knowing Spirit aspect of ourselves in order for us to navigate through life. If our mind ignores this connection and we don't maintain this relationship, we become selfish, greedy, discontent, and we unattach from Spirit and attach to physical objects. Such as electronic devices, or any gadget, clothing item, useable or unusable items. This is also why addiction is so wide spread. This happens because our relationship with our self is insufficient. Something is missing and we don't understand what it is so we attach ourselves to a temporary good feeling to make up for it. Recognize and overcome it.

Our Body is made up of all the elements and came out of the Earth it self. We are made up of all things and our relationship with all things need to be recognized and nurtured. Our Body is the conduit that connects Spirit and Earth, which creates life. Ignore this and you find illness, disease, weakness, and loss of purpose. Our Body needs air, water, food, and energy. Air, water and food come from the Earth and they give us some energy. But our best sources of energy come from the Sun and Spirit itself. It is something we can manifest within ourselves through mindful thought and relationship with our Spiritual aspect of ourselves. Thus Mind, Body and Spirit working together.

Many understand the importance and work on it many different ways. Some do it individually with meditation, diet, and exercise. Some practice Yoga, Reiki, Chigong, Tai Chi, etc, etc.  I prefer Tai Chi myself which fully encompasses all aspects for the relationships between Mind, Body, and Spirit. But the simplest way to start becoming aware of these relationships is to just breathe.  Focus on your breath and you can't help but see, feel and experience all 3 aspects of Mind, Body, and Spirit coming together all in one moment.

There is way more to it. But this is a great place to start. I would recommend you try it. I'm sure you won't regret it.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Some thoughts on thought itself

A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT, THOUGHT ITSELF

Think about this. Or think about that. Think about whatever you want to think about. It doesn't matter the topic or the position you have on it. We all think and we all analyze or associate.

But for any topic that comes to mind, it will either be something we kinda know or something we are just learning things about. Because the things we are certain of or know and understand in great depth, needs little to no thought at all.

Let's look at learning a skill. Whichever you choose. When first we start there is a lot of thought. We think so much in order to put everything in place so we can learn and understand. The more we do this skill, the less we have to think about it. Soon we can do it without much thought at all.

We can compare this to a single word and it's definition. Or if you want to go deep. We can compare it to a computer program. The person who creates the program has a lot of work to do to create the program so it works as it should. A lot of thought and research goes into the process. Every program needs some tweaking in certain places that isn't found until you try to run the program. So again, a little more thought. Once the process is complete, you click and it goes. Automatically.

Our thoughts work in the same way. Specially if the thoughts involve moving. The more intricate or physically demanding the movment. The longer it takes to become a seamless, thoughtless, responsive action. All it really takes is a conscious effort which programs our unconscious mind. Then it becomes us and we become it without having to think about it.

To take this to our Horsemanship and to draw attention to how I'm always talking about "Thought and Energy". Our thoughts automatically create expression. This is most noticed on our faces but can be picked up in our body and the horses as well. These expressions are picked up and processed by our mind. At first our conscious mind does a lot of thinking in order to make sense of it all. The more we do it the easier it gets because we are programming our unconscious mind. The more we have programmed into our unconscious, the more proficient we become at understanding and responding to the energy. When our Horsemanship becomes proficient, we flow in a seamless connected communication with our horse. The activity becomes much like the computer program. It runs automatically with little extra thought and a whole lot less effort.

The trick to this is to not assume, make excuses or try to make something happen. It's a difficult place to get to sometimes. Specially if you are in a hurry, have other things on your mind, your end goal is to ridged, or you skip important steps to attain it.

The point I'm making is that we can program ourselves to be very efficient and skillfull or be who and what we want to be. By making a conscious decision and effort to understand the topic or process.

Our unconscious mind is "Our True Self" and we can take control of it. Or we can go through life unconsciously allowing our Subconscious to be manipulated by energies we are unaware of. Because every thought we have is caused by an energy that we received at some point in our life that either created the thought or a certain way of thinking.

Not only can this help us, but we can help our horse in the same way. I find the best way is to use my thoughts to project energy to the horse to encourage a conscious thought in them. Soon with time and understanding, I reprogram their unconscious mind to seek intention and understand my thoughts through my energy. Once we are both able to do that, our communication becomes instant and in great detail. Like anything else, it needs maintaining. Other energies and thoughts get in the way much like a virus can corrupt your computer software. And it happens unknowingly. So we need to run tests every now and then.

I hope you all enjoyed this. I wrote it based on meditation practice. In which we strive to remove the endless mind chatter. In meditation we quiet the mind. This is how I try to be in my Horsemanship whether on the ground or mounted.  Just in a moving meditation. Thoughtless yet thorough.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

LIGHT FEEL or TRUE SOFTNESS

LIGHT FEEL or TRUE SOFTNESS
THE DIFFERENCE and IMPORTANCE OF BOTH

I right about this today because I think it's important to know there is a difference. It is possible to have a light horse that isn't soft. It's also possible to have a soft horse that isn't light. It's important for them to be both light and soft. I'll explain.

Having a light feel to your horse is great and pretty much a must if you want a horse to give to pressure with a light response. Lightness comes from them understanding the cue fully, liking you well enough to do it for you, and knowing not to lean on pressure. Repetition, consistency, and not overusing your aids can help you attain this. It comes from our ability to ask lightly, feel every little response, know how to respond to this, and give back. Making it beneficial to respond is better than making it consequential to not respond. So knowing when they are ready for you to ask for more is an important factor. If they're not ready, they might resist. That can be counterproductive.

Softness comes through the heart and mind then to the body and feet. True softness is difficult to attain. It only comes when all inhibitions are washed away. For softness you need to have a real connection with your horse. One that goes beyond the Rein and leg cues. Your thoughts and emotions need to match almost completely. Knowing how to read and understand your horses every thought and emotion is the only way to find the path to attaining this. You can't guess and you can't assume. And worse of all, you can't make excuses. It has to be real and true.

You may experience a horse that is responding to the lightest touch and doing everything you ask spot on. But maybe you have some inhibition causing small tension spots that to most would go unnoticed.  That would be Lightness without softness.  Or maybe your horse is as relaxed and carefree as can be with no worries, anxiety, stiffness, or inhibitions what so ever. But then when you apply a cue the response needs a second request. That could be having softness without Lightness.

The reason it's important to have both in my opinion is. A lot of (but not all) light responding horses are responding out of emotional energy. The fear, anxiety, or inhibitions becomes the motivator to that light response. If this is the case, then you risk them trying to overachieve, or nervously making a dangerous move. So building softness into this horse will remove those risks.

Also. There are some horses that are so soft that they're not very responsive. They may bend or move without resistance, but not necessarily with effort.  Building Lightness into these horses will benefit that greatly.

To me it takes a balance of both to make for a well rounded and safe horse. One that responds well, maintains emotionally, communicates with us and knows that we understand them. We won't always be on the same page everyday, but it is worth attaining and maintaining.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hearing Nature's Voice


HEARING THE SILENT - SEEING THE INVISIBLE - FEELING THE UNTOUCHABLE

For the longest time I've been working to find a way to explain the most important aspects of communication.

When I communicate with a horse, a dog, or any animal that doesn't speak verbally, I rely on my ability to interpret the things that can't be said, can't be touched, and can't be seen. I talk about it in many ways but most people either don't understand or don't believe it is possible.

I recently read an article about talking to nature. I can appreciate the article to its fullest. For many who may read it, they would  think it was all hogwash.

Thinking just that, I started pondering on a way to explain how a person would go about "Hearing Nature's Voice"  By doing this I think we can make a connection to how it works with animals as well.

A person can receive tons of information if they know how to interpret it. Nature is a hobby for me. I am into wilderness survival, edible wild plant life, using what nature provides. I admit my skills are probably not as good what my Great Grandfather's generation would have had, and certainly not what the Native American people would've had prior to the European invasion. But when I look at a tree, it tells me a story. In a quick glance I can tell a great deal about its life and the life of everything around it. If I was standing on a mountain looking down on a valley and viewing other mountains, I could tell by the growth on each mountain where I might need to go to find certain things. The trees and the lay of the land tells me what will be growing under those trees, where a stream should be so I could find water. This can be done by anyone with prior knowledge and understanding of nature's harmony and the purpose for its existence. Again, I know my skills could use some great improvements. But this basic thing I understand.

This is just another way for me to explain how I communicate with the animals as well. You have to listen without hearing, feel without touch, speak without saying a word. Interpretation of thought through thought. Energy received and returned in an endless cycle of harmony. Again I am still evolving into this capability and have much to learn. It doesn't always work. Misinterpretation, distractions, hurrying, and not thinking ahead can all make a mess of things. But when it is working, it's something so special.

I realize most people could care less about this. They just want to ride and the subtleties aren't important. That's OK. It's their choice. I know this and it's the main reason I don't push it or do any hard core advertising.

Also, this is at the end for a reason. It's the ones who are looking for this type of thing that I am most interested in working with. Sure I can give riding lessons, train their horse, or help them with their problems. And I am happy to do so. I would never turn anyone away. It's an opportunity for me to plant a seed of thought in their mind. Maybe it will grow interest. If not, I am still happy to have helped them with whatever it is they come to me for. I can't say enough how happy I am to help whoever is in need of some help.

My outlook on life is to always try to make the world a better place. I will do my best till my end days.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

YOU RESTRICT = THEY RESIST

The simple laws of physics state that for every force or action, there is an equal and opposite force or reaction. This is a universal law that applies to everything.

In Horsemanship, or when it applies to people or animals that think, it can become amplified and accelerated into perpetual motion. This happens because one applies a force, the other applies a force to bring balance. In the case of thought, whether it be ego, inconcideration, or any form of inhibition,  an extra force comes to gain an upper hand. This in turn begets a force to establish balance again. The cycle can intensify in this way. This is how we get the "HARD MOUTHED HORSE"  Many other problems like stiffness, bracing, refusing, escaping, and many more come from this same basic natural law.

If thought is the energy or the force that is in play, and they are respectful and meaningful, then the responding force will be one that maintains balance and harmony. This will keep all actions and reactions civil. It maintains a balanced mind in the Horse and the Rider.

Sounds easy right? The key is to do more with thought and energy and less with restriction through Reins and legs. You can use your Reins and legs to create thought, but that alone isn't enough. You have to communicate and maintain thought while helping your horse do the same.

This is where I differ from other trainers. Yes, all trainers work on some form of cue development process. The better you understand this the better things get. You can get a horse to a do a lot of things through cues. But the real softness and suttleness comes from them being able to think with you. Not responding because they know what's next, but responding precisely at the moment it needs to happen. Always on time and never early or late.

I can't write about how this works, you have to see it. And even then you barely get anything from it until you start working to develop it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Horse Problems

We all have them from time to time. Like, hard to catch, disrespectful, leaning on pressure, won't stand still, panicking,  won't go, won't stop, won't turn, and the list goes on and on.

Sometimes it's a new thing that we have not seen in this particular horse before. It appears to have just showed up out of nowhere. Other times, we no the problem exists and they have been doing this for a while. The horse may have even came with the problem.

So now for some harsh reality. Without picking on anyone or making anyone feel degraded. I put myself in this next sentence as well. Every horse problem is a problem in ourselves, not in the horse. Even if the horses issues have been on going before you ever got to them.

I'll explain. First thing is, a horse really only wants to be left alone. They are happy to just eat and engage in some play with other horses. We are the ones that WANT, WANT, WANT from them. This is where our problems all start. If a horse acts up with you in any way, try to remember this. Find a way to get them mentally engaged to where "THEY" want to be a part of what "YOU" are doing, AND allow "THEM" do it.

This is one of the most difficult things for us to do. But when you can keep this fresh in your mind and understand how to put it to use, you can do a whole lot more, doing a whole lot less.

It starts right here. This should be step one, but unfortunately, most of us don't take that step. Or we forget to on occasion.  Once you understand how this all works, you'll be happy you learned it. No matter how advanced you are in your discipline, if you didn't make this step one, I encourage you to go back and make this step one in everything you work one. If it's not working in one exercise, don't move on to the next until it is. You may find you need to go back and get it working in another exercise then come back to this one.

The concept behind this is really about getting the horse interested and caring deeply about understanding your thoughts. Appreciating you to a point that they know your inner most wants needs and desires and they are driven by their own desire to help and be a part of it. You can never have a lighter, softer, more responsive horse than one that is so mentally engaged that they understand fully what to do, and are willing to do it without your help.

This is what makes liberty work so beautiful. And how riding becomes effortless. If you get this really well, you will be able to ride without the use of Rein or leg cues. It won't always be great. It will only be great when you and your horse are communicating thought with each other.

So to put this in a different light. The first step is to care about everything your horse is thinking and know that they want to know ALL (not just some) of our thoughts as well. Once we are communicating thoughts, we'll gain in appreciation. It all gets better from there. Because that's when the magic starts happening.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Stress and Communication

Stress is something that effects every thing in the world and beyond. It is impossible to avoid. Stress comes in many forms, physical pressure, assumed pressure, emotional tension, situations, expectations and many more. A psychologist will tell you there are 3 types or groups. Acute, Episodic Acute, and Chronic stress. And great detail can be put into each classification. But for the purpose of this Blog, I just want to talk about things to look for so we can better understand there effects on our Horsemanship.

We will more easily see stress in the horses we work with before we recognize it in ourselves. It goes unnoticed in ourselves all to often. Symptoms of stress can be things like, mood changes, sickness, elevated heart rate, muscle tension or stiffness, poor circulation, depression, and Anxiety to name a few. We often miss the signs because the cause of the stress has us otherwise engaged in the problem instead of its cure. Being aware of our thoughts and feelings can help us recognize it. We can't make a change if we don't see what is really happening.

I will start by talking about recognizing stress in our horses first. This will help us later to turn the attention back onto ourselves so we can understand it better. A horse shows signs of stress frequently. You will see it in their posture and attitude first, more than likely. Inhibition and Anxiety are caused by stress and this is very noticeable when it is present in a horse. Specially if it's severe. If it's mild you may notice some movement, maybe some muscle tension or stiffness, high headed and alert, tail up or swishing, or a change in breathing. The more severe it is the more movement you will see. They start to become fixated on an idea, most often that will be getting away or what the rest of the herd is up to, but if it is real severe they may challenge you or hurt themselves to get away.

If you have worked with horses enough, then you know that the more a horse is stressed, the less they understand. The same is true that the less a horse understands the more they are stressed.When they get like this, they are not even interested in trying. They become one track minded. We do the same thing when we are stressed as well. While working with a stressful horse we become their Psychologist. We have to go back to a place where the stress is manageable. Most times we can not remove it completely but we can help them work through it if we start in a place they can handle. We offer them options and when they find them, some of the stress gets relieved. It gets relieved through understanding. The pressures of stress cause them, (and us) to feel trapped or helpless, even hopeless at times. Learning there are options gives hope. figuring out these options gives understanding and power over the stresses.

Now for us the stresses in our lives are much more complicated. We carry stresses around for decades sometimes. These stresses effect all areas of our lives. Stresses from childhood can stay with us and effect us till retirement if we don't recognize it and get a handle on it. As I mentioned above, the stresses most often go unnoticed because it keeps us fixated on the cause and not the cure. Everybody has their own stresses in life and I could write a whole book on this topic. But I really just want to shine a light on it for those of us who may not have been lucky enough to see it for what it really is and are living with it un-managed.

I guess the best way to do this is to write about a personal experience. I really don't know where to start because I know my stress begins in my childhood. I always struggled to try and fit in. Never really feeling accepted. I had friends and was good at many things. That did get me some attention. But I was not very popular. I really had no desire to be popular either. I found the popular crowd for the most part, very childish. Saying things about others to knock them down and raise themselves up. Not for me. But it did leave me feeling like an outcast. Even though I knew I could do so much. School was easy for me, I always had good grades. Maybe because it wasn't a social event for me. I was really good at sports which you would think would make me popular. But for many I saw my talent in sports made them feel less about their own skills. Many of them feeling the need to try and discredit me as a person so they don't look bad as an athlete. I never really understood what was really going on as a child but I knew I didn't like it so I stopped playing sports even though I loved it and was good at it. In a way I'm glad I did, in other ways not so much. But because I stopped activities like that in 8th grade, I started studying up on things like Understanding human behavior and my interest in horses. I never knew the 2 would go so good together. I learned at a young age that all the stuff I was experiencing was typical and an understanding of what was really going on. It gave me some relief, but the stresses still follow me around even today. Even though I know all of that was not directly related to me. They were just dealing with and responding to their own stresses which did directly effect me. I have learned to forgive the people in my past and any here in the present because of my understanding. But seeing it all around me happening to so many people it is still stressful to me.Though now I am more equipped to deal with it.

Another example I can give that shows how stress can effect communication. More recent in my life, In August of 2014 I broke my ankle. Being self employed with an overhead that I needed to cover, being out of commission for even just a couple weeks is difficult never mind not being up to full capacity for 6 to 8 months. Between the financial stresses, the worry of how good and fast I would heal, not being able to do things for myself and relying on others, not being able to be a positive part of other peoples lives, and maybe more that I just haven't recognized. I was really slipping into a depression. A few people really stepped up and helped and for them I am truly great full. But being a person who would rather give than to receive, it was very stressful for me to know that my problem became their problem. I had no way to compensate them. All I could do was say thank you. Falling behind financially (to a point in which I still have not fully recovered) I attempted to do a demonstration 6 months after my ankle brake. There were many stresses involved with myself and the horse in this Demo. Even though I felt I was being scammed by the horses owner, which turned out later to be true, I felt a strong need to do this Demo for many reasons.  I felt like I needed to show people that I am healed and ready to work again so people would start coming for help again. My financial situation depended on it. I really needed to feel needed at that point after needing others so much for the last 6 months. Also the fact that I wasn't able to work the way I would've normally worked because it was winter, even though we had a heated arena, It was so cold out side that the ground froze and lifted at the front door to where it wouldn't open. Because of this and the fact that people had to come in through the barn, I set up a round pen in the arena so people could come and go through the arena. I would've normally worked this horse loose in the arena and not in such a confined area. There were a lot of stresses involved for the horse as well. She was 6 years old and not even weaned from her mom. Still nursing in fact. She had never been worked with and never had left the place where she was born. So you could imagine how stressful being in an indoor arena, fenced in a 45 foot round pen out of site of her mom, with people all around would be to her.  What that horse needed in that situation was to be worked in a typical round pen fashion. Being as I don't care to work like that and I would rather have had her loose in the arena, letting her get as far away from everyone as possible and work at building her confidence to come be with me. I didn't see what the horse really needed. I wanted so bad  to show my method of working and didn't pay enough attention to the stresses of the situation. Her stress on top of my stress made it so that there was pretty much no communication. I was never able to show what I intended to that day. The good thing is I learned a very valuable lesson in planning and compassion. I kept the horse for a week and worked with her the way she needed me to and made great progress before I brought her home. Unfortunately I didn't get to show it in the Demo. But this is a great example of how stress can effect communication and how easy it is to go unnoticed at the time. It really made a mess of things that day. A mistake I am sad to have made, but grateful for what it has taught me.

It really is important to manage our stress on a daily basis. It is difficult but truly necessary. Stress blocks out the truth sometimes.  It causes inhibition and anxiety. That worry doesn't allow us to see what is really there. Unfortunately life is becoming more and more stressful. More of the truth is being lost every day. Because of how each and every one of us deal with stress, we end up passing our stress on to someone else. When it changes hands like that it gets changed into something different. Blinding us all into our own little reality. Its no wonder everyone is arguing, taking sides and getting offended. And unfortunately again it creates more stress. Interfering with our communications. Through Faith, Hope and Understanding we can wash away our worries and fears. ISAIAH 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.

Thanks for reading