I gave my horse a couple of months off this winter to just, well, be a horse in his 17 acre pasture. I started to ride again a few weeks ago and he behaved badly each time we went out. He was quite averse to bending his body to the left, fine to turn his whole body left but not bend.
At first I thought he is just being naughty because of the time off, but just after that thought I realized horses don’t ‘plan’
to be naughty, how can they, they live in each moment, here and now. We are the only creatures that actually plan behaviour and actions because we spend quite a lot of time planning our future from our past. So if he wasn’t just being naughty what was wrong?
Of course, he is uncomfortable, something is amiss with his body when he moves that way. I spent the next couple of ride sessions working out where he was stuck and helping him release stuck areas. It turned out to be his neck, jaw and poll area that were stuck, likely from some ‘horseplay’ with his pasture mates or a fall when it was slippery.
Now he is completely comfortable and bends beautifully in all directions.
Too bad we humans aren’t this easy to work with to effect change. I barely had to touch areas of his body that were contracted for him to release, with my human clients I figuratively have to get a 2 by 4
to even get the attention of their brain to effect changes! I include myself in this lack of attention because we have trained ourselves so well to be in our thinking brain rather than feel how to move well in any given moment of our day. We humans could learn much from animals on how to live our lives in the present moment, fully and completely aware inside and out.
Next time your horse ‘misbehaves’ don’t impose human constructs like he is deliberately being naughty; he is trying to tell you he is uncomfortable either in his body or because of what you are doing with your body to him. More on our body later……