Most frequently asked question last Wednesday during our ADVENTURES IN
AWARENESS (AIA) session was "how do you train them (the horses) to do
that?". In my world view, the conscious reality base I choose for my
perceptual lens, the horses join our group as colleagues with gifts to
share. What training the herd has acquired comes through daily turnout
together, grooming, and in the case of the riding horses, schooling in
the basic elements of dressage, long slow walks in the woods, and weekly
cross country work.
The basic format of the initial AIA EEL session remains similar to the
early design for staff development training at Sierra Tucson during the
early 90's. Vargas worked in the herd then, (he helped me invent AIA)
co-facilitating the equine interactive exercises that promote awareness
of relationship and communication dynamics. These days he hobbles on 3
legs, his magnificent heart infused spirit refusing the constant pain of
high ringbone. His current regime is a daily gram of Bute, much love,
appreciation, and fou fou along with herd turnout and continued work in
AIA sessions. His right fore ankle is rubbed daily with dynamite wound
balm, the product used by the acuscope.
On Wednesday morning as Vargas realized we were passing up the turnout
gate and heading on towards the small fenced dressage arena in the
mesquite copse, he picked up a trot. 17.2 hands of three legged
trotting now focused on the gathering group of participants taking their
chairs in the circle under the trees. As he no longer has the braking
power of his hindquarters, we made a wide curve around towards the gate.
Some in the group gasped at his peculiar efforts to move. Regally he
greeted old friends as he proceeded to facilitate 5 horses and 8 people
in a magic dance of awareness. Life lived in the heart energy of now.
He invited both humans and equines into the rhythm of process. In the
circle as our safety agreements completed and the centering exercise
preparing for mutual choosing - heart scanning reached the point of
moving to the fence line, the horses were lined up along the rail as if
They were free, no halters. They had been frolicking in the
sprinklers. Raine would leap into the air twisting about in a circle
mirroring the swirling water. Landing, he would give a huge buck and
again merge with the water's vortex to repeat his leaping airs above
ground. Inside, I'm feeling guilty at not keeping him ridden. My broken
arm and sprained wrist still healing. Vargas helped Raine select out.
Driving him to the far fence line to turn his butt to our group.
In my One Mind belief system, Vargas 'read' my safety concerns. Raine
too much in the other world today. And Vargas being a dual world dweller
himself recognized the symptoms. He lives the safety agreement, being
responsible for self today and thus, contributing to the safety of the
CC Ryder is a transformed horse. Laura who has worked with CC over the
course of the last several years, remarked on his growth, maturity, and
general air of contentment. He is BLOOM under the unconditional love and
acceptance of his new owner, an eleven year old girl who sees him only as
Vargas helped the two most fearful people learn trust as they chose and
worked with him. He presented as a 'big pussycat' fully appreciating
their thorough grooming. And with one in the pair tall enough to
properly scratch his butt and croup with some pressure, he appeared to
purr, his top lip curling into a pointed bow, neck stretched in delight.
Both these participants had clearly stated in the circle they had fear of
horses, especially big horses. Alert to their congruent energies, Vargas
drew them in on the fence line. He, like the rest of us, deeply
appreciates a matching message sender - one whose inside feeling matches
their outward expression.
NOPE, not doing the walk part of the imaginary lead line exercise. Life
hard enough on 3 legs for someone my size. (Half TB-half warmblood, liver
chestnut 17.2 hh. 22yrs). I do want to stand here and heart hug. Room
to spare for several folks in my circle.
As the group completed the congruent message sending in the round ring
with CC Ryder the star facilitator, and again sat in the circle, the herd
lined up to hear the feedback. Each teacher horse moved down the fence
line to focus intently on their person speaking.
Remarkable morning. Many comments of how do you train them to do all
that? Including, "OK, we're done", as during the Happy Trails hand hold,
the herd moves to the gate to stare intently at their halters. Time to
return to our stalls for lunch - who is first in line? Chief
facilitator - the BIG V himself.
Barbara K. Rector
ADVENTURES IN AWARENESS