A couple weekends ago, one of my adult riders was hand-walking a lesson horse until I came into the ring. When I walked into the ring my student asked me "Why does she (my lesson horse) keep stopping in the middle of the ring while I walk her? She keeps looking to the back of the barn. Why is she doing that?" I told her she was probably listening to the new horse hollering. I was right, but it was SO much more than that.
What this amazing mare kept looking toward was the fearful energy the other horse was exuding. It had nothing to do with the hollering which had ended about 5 minutes before we ever got into the ring. Let me give you perspective, the ring is a very large indoor arena (60 X 230) built for reining. We were on one end and the other horse was down at the opposite end, through a closed door and on the farthest corner of the barn from us. Yet, my horse could still sense the other horse's fear.
The Boogie Man Cometh...
I could tell that something was making my steadfast horse antsy. But I couldn't have anticipated that she would become wide-eyed and grow about 10 inches taller as the other horse entered the ring. I told my student to give me the reins quickly and step far away from us. As soon as that happened, this usually unflappable horse went into a full blown panic because of the new horse in the arena. We're not talking distress, we're talking full flight response.
The other horse in question was not only new to the facility but extremely fearful and skittish. Her owner was relatively new to horses and rather inexperienced. Obviously by seeing the change in one of the most solid horses I know, the new little horse was far
more fearful than I ever imagined.
I decided that the best thing to do was to teach my student how to refocus and regain control of a horse in this type of environment. Sometimes, you have to use an unexpected issue as an opportunity to educate and build a bond between human and horse. In other words, my student needed to learn how to make her horse understand and believe that even IF the boogie man comes into the barn that she was in fact, safe.
The Queen Arrives
I am Queen, hear me roar.
We are safe because I stand, walk and present myself in a way that says 'I fear nothing, you are safe with me.'
We spent the hour working together to help my student how to re-create her persona while working with her horse. We worked on how the leader stands with confidence. How a leader walks,
breathes and what mentally the expectation is inside their head to get there and stay there.
By the end of the hour my student had taken enormous leaps forward in her horse handling skills which further helped her in her riding the following week as she used the same confidence riding that she learned to harness on the ground.
So why is it that we have become disconnected from our 'Inner Queen' (or King)? The hardest thing for us to remember is the power we all carry within us to be leaders.
But it is no wonder that we have a difficult time remembering who we are. How our new way of living in this fast-paced life has made us morph into a lesser version of our true self.
When you walk a dual line at work, at school or at home it causes you to think, speak and act differently. Sometimes even randomly. It makes you vacillate between the multiple roles you play, student vs. teacher; employer vs. employee; parent vs. child. In many cases, the long term effect can cause physical symptoms, such as changes in eating and sleeping habits. Emotional overwhelm, uncertainty and even fear that does not seem to stem from anything in particular.
Although those are more dramatic, long term symptoms, I do believe that we have become less and less in-tune with ourselves and our feelings. This comes in an effort to find 'sanity' in a world that goes at such a fast pace that we can no longer keep up unless we shut down a part of ourselves.