conscious horsemanship

What herd do YOU run with?

written by Carrie Eastman, Tabby M., Bodhi (equine) and Salty (equine)

In the past, my blog posts have usually been written by me (though I suspect a guiding hand or hoof behind many of them).
Recently, I shared an experience with Jeep, a member of the herd here at Oak Hill.  Jeep took an active role in presenting the lesson and insisting that I share it with others.
Today’s post is yet another new experience for me – a group writing effort between myself, a new friend, and 2 of our horses.  (I use the term “our” loosely, as really they are companions and teachers and friends not possessions.  Our and possessives are just a simpler way to express who belongs to which herd)


This Teaching unfolded over more than a week.  It all started with a personal Teaching from Tabby’s horse Bodhi.  Bodhi asked that Tabby share his wisdom to all of us by extension.

To Tabby directly, Bodhi expressed: “You are addicted to your mind.”  Bodhi went on to explain that people often retreat to their thoughts similarly to how an addict abuses substances as a means to avoid. Referring to humans, he shared: “Obsessive thinking (over-analyzing, daydreaming, thinking too much, etc.) creates a disconnection through numbing your Feelings as well as stifling your Intuition.” And then he went on to reiterate that Humans are not truly Present when their minds are active/racing. In addition, “people are often addicted to their perception (of reality or otherwise) created by thoughts as a means to avoid the Truth (of themselves, others or situations). It’s like getting high or drunk.”

From that, Tabby and I discerned that people may subconsciously prefer the company and safety of their own thoughts and may spend countless hours “thinking their Life away” versus actually Being and Experiencing the Magic…

More Teachings and related articles and posts began appearing in my and Tabby’s lives.  Kim Walnes from The Way Of The Horse​ shared an article about following your passion(warning: profanity).  The general theme of the article is that we don’t need to find our passion, we already have it.  We have just chosen to ignore it, for a variety of reasons.

How many of you are wrestling with thoughts and feelings about how you earn your living, following your passion and/or heart, making major life changes to better support yourselves and follow your dreams?  For those of us currently feeling uncomfortable or dissatisfied with our career choices, Bodhi offers this thought: and suggests that we “find the same “Connection with Self in all areas of Life, quiet our minds and Be Present with whatever task we are doing”.

This raised a question for me, which I brought up for Tabby, Bodhi and Salty to contemplate.  “So what happens when you find that “Connection”, only to discover that you have used obsessive thinking and “mind-hiding” to avoid facing a situation that fits poorly with your Heart?”  Tabby and I both realized that this Teaching about “over-thinking” has rippled into other discussions about careers, following our passions or True Calling and celebrating our Gifts. The horses are sending us a clear message… Are we ready to listen?

Tabby shared this quote:
 “When your mind wants to bolt, but your heart hangs on, it is because you don’t know with absolute certainty what the truth is. When you waste so much time on something that you want to believe is true, you begin to overthink things. Eventually, something obvious becomes twisted into something absurd, which keeps us from believing a simpler answer. Over time, you believe your own lies and fantasies to shield yourself from hurt, when following what is logical would have been the quickest way to healing. It is through your own self-imposed delusions that you lose your perspective. The world then becomes different to you when in fact you are different. Why? Because your own ego gets in the way. Everyone wants to feel special. Everyone wants to have faith in others. Everyone wants to believe in fairy tales, happy endings and have all bad interactions with others explained. It is easier to sit in denial with your delusions and pray God will intervene, not realizing he has. He gave you commonsense and intuition, but you didn’t like how it made you feel.” – Shannon L. Alder

The horses offered further thoughts about being in denial, hiding behind obsessive thinking, staying true to your heart and calling.  This is where the horses took the Teaching to a deeper level.

The horses offered a vision of the wild horse bands.  In the wild, horses get herded by stallions and grouped into bands. These groups are fluid and can change daily. Wild horses find a way to co-exist and make it work. They do this without fear about how they will survive; they are Open and go with the flow. It is Life and Living moment to moment.. Embracing the present circumstances and doing the next thing. Being. Each member of the Herd is important.  Salty added “what is the fuss about? Be happy. Eat. Enjoy. Repeat. Life flows, and all you need is provided if you are Open to Receive!”

Tabby and I realized that the horses were showing us how horse bands and human groups have similar lessons.  Human Kindred get put into or choose to enter a herd (perhaps a job, living situation or family) that you might not like… Sometimes to fit into the Herd, we human Kindred hide who we really are. We downplay or hide our uniqueness and the gifts we bring to the world. This hiding is a choice we make individually, on a conscious or subconscious level. It is just something we might have to do to function in our world… just like how our domestic horses sometimes just have to do things to function in our world? I suspect this is a core lesson for many of us. How many of us each have unique gifts and skills, and hide them or downplay them? And how many of us are told “a regular job is not a bad thing” or “A regular job is something we have to do to function in society”? “We must play by the rules.”  Different Herds have different rules. I’m going to repeat that, because this is so key to the Teaching. Different Herds have different rules. And we all have a Purpose

What herd are you choosing to run with?

Choose your herd with care.  Choose a herd that supports your dreams, embraces and values your gifts, challenges you to do more and be more.  Choose courage.  Let your light and gifts shine.  Choose wisely. Choose consciously.  Choose love.

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