Mirror, Mirror …


Bear and I are making strides.

After an “Aha!” moment during my coaching on Tuesday we’re focusing the next month on walk/trot and lateral work as I endeavour to establish the seemingly impossible — a more effective leg.

Sinking the weight into my lower leg releases the tension in my hips and thighs.

Releasing the tension frees Bear’s back.

He’s been so much happier this week as I’ve been working on this, reaching into the contact, stretching through his back, eyes soft, ears floppy, hind end engaged.

We trot past the mirror and I smile from ear to ear as I notice how “dressage-like” my position in the saddle is finally appearing. And it isn’t just the look that I like, it’s the effect it’s having on Bear. His relaxation makes my smile even broader.

Once I have established a solid, sympathetic leg position at walk and trot we’ll take it to the next level and work in canter. Like I said, we’ve put aside a month. If it takes longer, or happens in a shorter time, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is we’re on track to me being able toΒ stay out of Bear’s way so he can do what he was bred and born to do … move fluidly, athletically and beautifully.

I liken this to removing the detritus in my life that keeps me stuck. The negative people, ideas, illusions that thwart my progress forward and make me act out in counter-productive ways.

I’ve taken steps in recent years to give notice to these things that restrict my movement forward. Finally some of them are dropping away and a new way of being is emerging — relaxed, soft eyed, floppy eared … you get the picture … πŸ˜‰

It amazes me how my relationship with my horse mirrors so closely my relationship with myself. When I’m with my therapist we often discuss my interactions with Bear and the lessons he has to teach me about my coping mechanisms in general. And, whether he realizes it or not, Coach is the guiding hand that helps me find my way with the metaphor that is my horse.

Often while we work in the arena a light bulb will go off in my head that illuminates an issue I’ve been working to resolve in the therapist’s chair. Somehow the angst around the issue disappears and, once again, Bear has mirrored to me what’s possible. All I need to do is pay attention and release the tension I’ve clung to unwittingly — tension that stifles forward energy, blocks my view and tries to convince me there’s no hope.

I may nurture my horse but he, with the help of a few pretty amazing people, heals me.

Nurture what you love …

Dorothy πŸ™‚
Horse Mom


Copyright Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013

7 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror …

  1. We can all learn a lot from horses and dogs in particular – because we have such affinity with them. Often, we can apply these lessons to how we ourselves can learn to deal with other people and actually ourselves. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for your comment, Stuart. … An interesting book to add to your list is “Dancing With Your Dark Horse” by noted Canadian natural horsemanship trainer, Chris Irwin (www.chrisirwin.com). He dips his toes into the water of equine-assisted therapy here by talking about his story and how his work with horses has helped to heal him. He went on to create Equine-Assisted Personal Development workshops in which I had the privilege of being one of the first participants. Changed my life, and it marked the beginning of my journey toward a truer connection with my horse and, ultimately, myself. … You may find Chris’ work compliments your own amazing insight. … Be well, Dorothy πŸ™‚

  2. Dorothy, it is my fondest hope that you will one day convert this blog to a book! Put me on the list for a signed copy. There are lots of resources out here in the blogosphere on how to do this. Fingers crossed.

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