A few weeks back I posted about my first rides with Lucky. While I was thrilled to be on him and starting our journey, something still felt “off”. I sensed skepticism and mistrust from him, and felt like he was holding himself apart. Because of these feelings, I continued my search for new ways to be with him. I have explored all sorts of “natural horsemanship” techniques over the years, and am a TTEAM Practitioner-in-training myself. All of these techniques still felt like the horse was dominated, albeit usually in a kind way. I still dreamed of the possibility of a true partnership with no demands, only mutual learning and guidance. I remember reading in The Tao of Equus and Riding Between The Worlds about working with horses without any dominance, just kind leadership. I read about a ranch where the horses chose each day which would be ridden, and would present themselves to be saddled. Then I met Kim Walnes www.thewayofthehorse.com Watching her teach, having the opportunity to meet her equine partner Guideon, renewed my faith in a kinder, gentler partnership. And suddenly, all sorts of trainers and resources began appearing on my radar. Trainers that could work with stallions at liberty, with mares in heat present. A man riding a horse, doing airs above ground that were the horse’s idea, with only a neck rope and a saddle. So, today I decided to apply some Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to my relationship with Lucky. You can learn more about EFT at www.emofree.com In a nutshell, EFT involves tapping on specific points on your body to clear emotional baggage and replace the baggage with positive programming on a cellular level. During the tapping statements are made. I use positive statements only, following the principles of Conscious Language www.masterysystems.com With EFT, you can surrogate tap for an animal. I trust the flow, and add the statements as they pop into my consciousness. Each of these statements was a round of tapping. Here is what we tapped today: I am one with Lucky Lucky is one with me I understand Lucky’s emotions I find Joy with Lucky I find peace with Lucky I am peace with Lucky I have adventure with Lucky I explore trails with Lucky in safety and joy We move in harmony Lucky and I are friends I love and nurture all my horses I cherish Poco and spend quality time with him (my note: Poco jumped in here, feeling left out)
Stopped and pictured myself riding down the trail happy and joyous on Lucky. Felt fear in myself. More tapping…
I face my fears with Lucky I choose Trust I choose trust with Lucky I am courage with Lucky I feel Lucky’s energy I share Lucky’s energy I feel Lucky’s excitement I share Lucky’s excitement I remember the fun of an energized horse I enjoy a courageous energized horse (started feeling sad) I love a courageous energized horse (lots of sadness)
At this point I realized the sadness was over Buck, my first horse. He was a very energetic and yet calm horse. He could poke along, or be like sitting on controlled dynamite. We did everything from trails, to riding in traffic, to open jumpers and hunt seat. He died young, of colic. I still had some unresolved sadness about the way I was taught to treat jumpers, and how patient he was over the treatment.
More tapping: I choose forgiveness I am forgiveness Forgiveness is love
(felt a sudden release of the emotions)
At this point I ended the EFT session. I was surprised by where the tapping had taken me, when my goal was a closer relationship with Lucky.
So, later today, I took Poco and Ben out for a leisurely trail ride, then called Lucky. For the first time, he walked right up and was positive about me putting on the halter. With just the rope halter I mounted bareback. Just stood and scratched and rubbed and did TTouches on him. I explored where he liked to be scratched. Gave him hugs, rubbed behind his ears, fed him treats. I got one huge wave of sadness, when I rubbed my legs against his sides. He reached around to sniff my boots, and I got an impression about spurs. He licked and chewed and sighed, sniffed as much of my legs and boots as he could reach, nibbled on me, and stood quietly. This is the same horse who came off the racetrack, that bucked when ridden by a trainer, that danced and pranced and refused to stand the last time I rode him. After about 10 minutes, I picked up the reins. He turned and backed and leg yielded with the lightest of touches on the first try. After about 10 minutes, I felt we had done enough and slid off. Throughout the entire session, I had his full attention with a positive, curious attitude. I got a very clear impression that he wants a bigger challenge next time, and will try whatever I suggest. I’m quite excited to see where the journey leads next, and plan to use the EFT more to address any additional issues that arise.