Congratulations and thank you for being here on Day 9.
It may appear as you absorb each day’s helping of blogs that my focus and exercises are geared towards you rather than the horses and other animals in your care.
Each and every one is a vital step in the process to understanding our animals on a far deeper level than most people are aware of, care about or even believe exists. The information I share today is specifically ‘horse’.
Horses are my stress buster
Through much of my childhood and adulthood I was at times quite angry and frustrated; being in the company of horses was the exception. I would regularly say “Horses are my stress buster”.
We shared a deep empathy. I was the person called upon to ‘sort a horse out’ (a term given by my peers) where others had failed. I could bring down the raging mind of a horse to a gentle amenable level where just about anything was possible.
I took pride in having what appeared to be a rare and valuable ability.
How wrong I was.
We think that we ‘gentle’ our horses (by any means according to our traditions, beliefs and conscience). It is quite the opposite – they ‘gentle’ us, and by one means only.
During all those years of ‘sorting horses out’, the horses were actually teaching me and had been doing so, I came to realise, since the age of around 8. Through their behaviours, body language, facial expressions and vocals, horses taught me that an approach that works for one horse won’t necessarily work with another.
My biggest lesson
My biggest lesson was to let my anger and frustrations go. I do not remember being angry around horses; maybe that is the reason I did not actually let my anger go until I began working with energy. It was only then I understood that particular lesson – my sudden and clear awareness that when my anger reared its ugly head, horses were not around to make me look in the mirror to recognise my anger.
When a horse appears to be stubborn or defiant and even angry, there is always a lesson to be learned – if we change ourselves, the horse will respond differently.
I researched the science
Are you aware of Equine Assisted Therapy? It is a therapy in which people and horses are suitably paired in a controlled environment designed to help those with a variety of mental health issues from addiction to low self-esteem.
It is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. It is not an area that I work in. However, for my benefit and for yours I recently researched the science behind it. Here is what I have found:
Researchers at the HeartMath Institute in Arizona produced a device that measures HRV – it represents heart rate variability, and is sensitive to changes in the emotional state.
Positive and negative emotions can easily be recognised by changes in the heart rate rhythm patterns.
HRV monitors were attached to a group of people for 24 hours. During the 24 hours, they carried on with their normal routines. The results showed the following:
When we experience positive emotions such as joy, love, appreciation and happiness our heart rhythm remains balanced- coherent.
A negative emotion such as fear, frustration, sadness or anger reflects erratic and imbalanced rhythm patterns – incoherent.
The HRV monitors were then attached to a selection of horses for 24 hours. The horses were allowed a day off during the test.
The recording showed that all horses demonstrated consistent coherent HRV patterns, only changing to incoherent patterns when something that caused fear was introduced. The patterns returned to a cohesive level shortly after the cause of the fear was removed.
What is interesting is the HRV tests on the horses demonstrated that they remained, for most of the 24 hour period, in a positive emotional state.
The result from the human test was one of incoherence; the humans showed signs of stress for the bulk of the 24 hour period.
Each horse was then paired with a person and their HRV measured at the same time.
This time, the result showed that each person was far more relaxed than in the first test. The HRV frequency of each person appeared to synchronise with that of the horse they were paired with.
A school of learning
For me, this information clearly demonstrates and confirms the answers to my own questions – ‘why do I feel such a deep empathy with horses? Why did I always leave their side feeling healed when the medical profession had no answers? What is it about these beautiful sentient beings that make me feel at one with them?
With this knowledge, we must acknowledge and honour our horses for who they truly are – our teachers and healers, rather than merely an animal to entertain us and bring us glory. They willingly accept us into their school of learning, where there is no force, manipulation and abuse.
Having researched further into Equine Assisted Therapy, studies show that participating horses may be subject to a certain degree of stressful experiences. Those studies are ongoing.
What can you do for your horse?
It is time to ask ‘What can I do for my horse?’, and not ‘What can he do for me?’
I work with heart centred energy; from the heart, we share our feelings of love, compassion, and appreciation. My research stumbled upon the ‘Heart Lock In, a method very similar and discovered by the HeartMath Institute.
- Stand or sit in a safe place. This exercise may be carried out with eyes open or closed – safety paramount.
- Take in some of those gentle but deep breaths from the pit of your stomach and feel them regulate to your natural rhythm.
- Bring your focus just offside centre of your chest to your heart area.
- Inhale and exhale 3 gentle yet powerful breaths from your heart. As you do so, imagine a bright light appear in your heart centre that grows with each in-breath. Trust and believe the light is powerful in its healing and connective abilities.
- Take that light down into the pit of your stomach. Feel the warm glow.
- Take your focus back to your heart and inhale the white light.
- As you exhale, imagine the energy of the white light extending out of your body, showering around and through you.
- Be aware of the love, appreciation and happiness emanating from your heart to the horses.
On every inhale see the light getting brighter and its energy growing in strength.
On every exhale see the light extending to fill the stable, then the paddock and see it shower gently around and through the horses in the area.
Extend the energy across your village, your country, the planet, the universe.
Take delight as your horses congratulate and honour you as they come closer to your presence.
I’m so excited to hear about your regular updates on the new amazing journey ahead of you! I’d love for you to comment below if you enjoyed this blog post. Please also share it if you believe it will help others in your social community.