Life is a Gentle Teacher. She will keep repeating the lesson until we learn. It is okay to become frustrated. Confused. Angry. Sometimes it is okay to despair. Then, it is okay to walk away and allow the breakthrough to come. It shall.”
I sat in the middle of our arena yesterday, allowing our newest filly to run around on her wobbly legs and admiring her gracefulness at only 5 days old. Everything was new and she was curious. Her momma was always close by, protecting her from the other horses, who were watching from outside of the barn. Leonidis, our Bernice Mountain Dog, was just as curious about this little thing running around as she was about him. They were sniffing each other and playing a game of who’s who. Glenna, the mother mare, would allow Idis to be close, as long as I stayed near and contained his excitement. When they played too rough, she’d nose and even chase him away, getting him to run and hide in the round pen, which was set up for clients in the arena.
New life, new beginnings, new journeys. We as humans are given the choice every day to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others. Our past can’t be erased, but we can use our challenges and accomplishments to enhance our lives today. Or we can choose to stay stuck and spiral down into an anxiety and depressed existence.
I often wish that I were a dog or a horse that someone feeds and waters and cleans up after. That I could run free, sleep when I want to, and not have a care in the world. Animals have a beautiful way of not carrying stress and anxiety, the way humans do. They live in the moment, liking a routine, giving us a chance to earn their trust. No matter what they find ways to survive, unless they have been so badly abused that trust is just not possible.
Horses test us. They like to get away with bad behavior. They push, bite, kick or charge us, if that’s what they feel they need to do to protect themselves. We teach them by using our energy to show them better ways to behave. We repeat the process of praising them when they make the right choice; then repeat the lesson again so they understand what we are asking of them.
A horse, in my opinion, works to earn our trust. In the end though, we learn more from them about how to properly use our energy. We can’t show them frustration and anxiety or anger, or they will portray that energy right back at us, and there will be no progress.
People can test us too. We even test ourselves. We can be taught good behaviors or bad behaviors. We can change our ways, even when we have been abused or have abused ourselves. We need to become gentle with ourselves and repeat good behavior until it becomes our truth. We need to give ourselves praise when we’ve made a good choice and be forgiving when the choice wasn’t so great. Then we do it again and again until it feels right.
As Neigh’s Beautiful “Arianna” and our dog Idis sniff each other, run and play, with boundaries set by Glenna, the filly’s momma, and myself, they enjoy the exploration of the moment. Both Glenna and I trust each other to keep our babies safe and allow them to start a bond of friendship between horse and dog. Today our little filly will learn another lesson and I’m excited to see what that will be. I’m sure that as I take the time to watch her test out new and exciting things, I will learn a new lesson right along with her.